The pan-African lender is currently under investigation by Nigerian regulators over alleged mismanagement and breach of regulations and corporate governance principles.
This decision comes on the back of uncoordinated regulation for the holdings company that has its subsidiaries in a lot of countries in Africa.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido said the setting up of the college of supervisors will increase supervision and improve on information flow among regulators.
“I’ve actually had meetings with the Governor of BCEAO and we are having meetings with the Commissioner Bancaire trying to strengthen the supervision of Ecobank and also increase the level of information that flows among regulators.”
He noted that “ETI is no longer a small hold company. It has spread and has grown very large in many of the big economies. In Ghana it’s the biggest. In Nigeria it not the biggest but it is now systematically important and what happens to the holding company and how it allocates capital and takes strategic decisions can affect the subsidiaries.”
Lamido indicated that the “first step is to implement what we have agreed which is to try and have a college of supervisors for ETI itself. We would hope that as part of that agreement we would expect ETI to comply at least with the minimum governance standards we have on our banks. So if there is any regulator in any part of Africa where Ecobank operates that has certain governance rules, we would expect Ecobank to comply with all of those rules. That’s the best way to ensure compliance.”
The Nigerian Central Bank governor also adds that in an extreme case, ETI might have to be registered as another financial institution to be regulated by the central bank of Nigeria.
“In the extreme if we feel there is a need to, we may require the holding company to register in Nigeria as another financial institution to be registered by the central bank of Nigeria just like all holding companies of all the banks. But we don’t think we need to do that now. We are getting the full cooperation of BCEAO and the Commission Bancaire and we will try to work on that. We already had the meeting.”
“What I think is left is for my director of Banking supervision and the secretary of Commissioner Bancaire to agree on a meeting date in Abidjan and work out the modalities. We’ve had the meetings in Dakar and in principal we have had all the agreements,” he added.
Source: CityFm Online