Stanbic IBTC faults FRCN allegations, reaffirm commitment to business compliance

Court restrains FRCN from obstructing Stanbic IBTC's operations
Court restrains FRCN from obstructing Stanbic IBTC's operations

Biodun Abimbola

 

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc on Monday faulted the allegations levelled against it by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), stating that they were “inaccurate and unseemly.”

Stanbic IBTC faults FRCN allegations, reaffirms position to business compliance

A statement released by Stanbic IBTC said: “FRCN’s allegations are inaccurate and unfortunate, and the manner in which it has chosen to make them is procedurally defective. Whilst FRCN takes refuge in Regulation 21 of the Directorate of Inspection and Monitoring Guidelines Regulations 2014 for the wide publicity that it has given to its regulatory decision, Regulation 21 only applies “Where the Panel and the entity agree that accounts are to be rectified by way of revision or restatement.

“That is not the case here, because Stanbic IBTC does not agree that its accounts are defective or require rectification. Moreover, Regulation 27 makes clear that where a reporting entity does not accept FRCN’s position, FRCN “shall institute a legal action against the entity”. FRCN has ignored this laid down process in preference for self-help and media publicity.”

In September, the FRCN announced that it had commenced investigations into allegations of financial impropriety made in the financial statements of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee, stated that the move was in response to a petition written by shareholders of the bank, drawing the attention of regulatory authorities to some unapproved transactions allegedly conducted by the bank with its foreign technical partners.

According to him, preliminary discussions with both parties, had brought the realization that the petitioners had a valid case. He explained that the petition from the stakeholders of Stanbic IBTC is on issues relating to Stanbic IBTC and the way they have been accruing some monies in their account.”

In the petition, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, members of Trusted Shareholders Association, had alleged that tens of billions of naira were yet to be returned into the profit and loss account of the bank.

This allegation led to the suspension of the proposed rights issue of Stanbic IBTC Holdings to raise N20.4 billion earlier approved by the Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, Stanbic IBTC Holdings further explained that although the matter was in court, they are constrained to respond to certain aspects of the report for the benefit of their stakeholders and the general public.

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