CBN takes over Skye Bank, renames it Polaris Bank

Ugo Okoro, Abuja

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced the take over of Skye Bank.

Skye has now been renamed Polaris Bank. N786bn has already been injected into the bank as it prepares for sale.

Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank Governor, made the announcement in Lagos on Friday.

Emefiele said the decision was reached following the inability of the owners of the bank to shore up the capital of the distressed bank which had earlier received a N350 billion intervention in July 2016.

“Skye Bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN.

“We have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank.

The strategy is for AMCON to capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON.

“By this decision the licence of Skye Bank is hereby revoked,” he said.

Also the management of the distressed Skye Bank would be retained to continue to manage the newly licensed Polaris Bank.

According to the CBN governor, given the good performance of the board and management, the CBN shall retain them.

Also, Emefiele said based on discussion with the Nigerian stock Exchange, the shares of the distressed Skye Bank would be suspended from trading on the capital market until discussions are concluded. The shares had gained 4.05 per cent to reach 77k on Friday.

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, is expected to begin process of  sale of the bank on Monday.