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Customer battles Ecobank over N2 billion loss

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A Federal high court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has adjourned till 10th of December, 2018 for report of settlement or trial if amicable settlement fails, the suit instituted by a

Lagos business man Rev. Chukwuemeka Ngubo and his company Elim Motors Nigeria Limited against Ecobank Nigeria limited for allegedly buying United States Dollar on their behalf at the rate of N475 to one United States Dollar whilst the Central Bank approved rate was at N300 to one United States Dollar as at the time of purchase.

By wrongfully sourcing foreign exchange from the parallel market,the Plaintiffs alleged that Ecobank exposed them to the sum of over N2Billion loss.

By the provision of the Foreign Exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous Provisions )Act, Cap F34,laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,Ecobank ought not to have sourced foreign exchange from the parallel market

The plaintiffs further averred that, the action of the bank is in flagrant breach of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s extant rules regulating the conduct of foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria which has adversely affected the credit rating and financial credibility of the company to the benefit of the bank.

According to statement of claim filed before the court ,The Plaintiffs aver that pursuant to the banker-customer relationship between Ecobank Nigeria limited and Elim Motor limited,the bank had, in the past granted Elim Motor limited several credit facilities which the company always repaid as at when due.

The company averred that,it applied for and the bank issued a bank guarantee in the sum of $12million in favour of Credit Trading Company ,through Deutche Bank AG London in the sum of $8,750,000, By the foregoing the plaintiffs aver that, a balance of $3,250,000 was left unutilised.

The loan was secured with the following.
1.lien on cash Collateral of N200 million being held at the bank’s Treasury Department.
2.legal mortgage on blocks of lecture Halls Complex student centre Okota, Isolo Lagos State valued at N383Million.
3.Legal Mortgage on Block of Lecture hall complex at Elim Mordern Student Centre Okota.
4.Stock Hypothecation of one Billion Naira.
5.Persobal guarantee of the Managing Director with a notarised statement of net worth
6.Promisory note of Elim Motors Limited for the payment of all present and future principal and outstanding balances in the account.

Upon the expiration of the tenor of the bank guarantee ,and in honouring the bank guarantee, Ecobank Nigeria limited unilaterally and wrongly sourced the sum of $8,750,000 it paid to Cedric Trading Company LLC from parallel market rather than from Central Bank of Nigeria by purchasing the foreign exchange at the rate of N475 to one US Dollar, whilst the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approved rate was at N300 to one US Dollar as at that time.

By wrongly sourcing foreign exchange from the parallel market, the bank exposed the Plaintiff Company to the sum over N2billion as loss.
By the provision of the foreign Exchange (motoring and Miscellaneous provision) Act, Cap F34,Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,Ecobank ought not to have sourced foreign exchange from the parallel market.

Due to the wrongful actions of the bank,the bank is still demanding for the sum of N4,410,017,358.51 from the plaintiffs as their outstanding indebtedness.
However, the Plaintiffs averred that they are not in any way indebted to Ecobank,consequently urged the court to declare that the unilateral purchase of foreign exchange by Ecobank at the parallel market rate rather than at the Central Bank of Nigeria ‘s inter-bank rate is in breach of the Ecobank’s fiduciariary duties owed the Plaintiffs by Ecobank Nigeria limited.
An order directing Central bank of Nigeria to conduct a detail enquiry into the purchase of foreign exchange by the bank at the parallel market, and if the bank is found to have breached ethical standards in the banking industry, penalized the bank in line with its extant Guidelines and Monetary Policies.

The bank in its statement of defence denied almost all the claims of the plaintiffs instead the bank is contending that the plaintiffs are owing the bank the sum of N4,693,438,781.10 as at 28th of February, 2016.

The bank therefore urged the court to dismiss the claim of the plaintiffs as being frivolous and baseless.

Source: TheNews

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BUSINESS

FCMB empowers more SME customers in Season 2 of “Race to China Promo’’

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On Tuesday, May 21, 2019 First City Monument Bank (FCMB) rewarded another set of its Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) customers in Season 2 of the Bank’s reward scheme tagged “FCMB SME Race to China Promo”. The winners emerged through rounds of electronic selection from the pool of qualified SME customers in the first draws of the promo (for the months of March and April) held in Lagos, Kano, Abia and Oyo states.

Among the winners are eight customers who each won the star prize of an all-expense paid trip to China (return flight ticket and hotel accommodation for 7 nights) to participate in the 2019 edition of the Canton Trade Fair, one of the world’s biggest import and export trade fairs, scheduled to hold later this year. In addition, several other SME customers won various exciting items. These include $500 preloaded shopping cards, business enablers (such as, power generating sets, laptops) and other consolation prizes.

At the Lagos regional draw, Eternal Fabrics Enterprises and Gold Tech Multi-Global Limited, won the star prizes for the months of March and April, respectively, while Jahved Ventures and Sapart Integrated Services Limited in Gombe State emerged winners at the Northern regional draw which took place in Kano. Similarly, Soupah Farm-En-Market Limited and Lade Olagbenro & Company were the star prize winners at the regional draws for South-west, held in Ibadan, Oyo State. Ife Progress Resources Limited and The Congregation of the Mission emerged lucky winners at the South-east/South-south regional draw held in Aba, Abia State.

Among the winners of $500 preloaded shopping cards, power generating sets and laptops are Suraj Furniture Limited, Smoothie Express Limited, Pisces OEA Multibil Limited, Goldmet Ventures, Exclusive Champion Limited, Kingdom Ideas Integrated Limited and Brands Yard Limited.

Season 2 of the ‘’FCMB SME Race to China Promo”, which commenced in May and will run till October, is an extension of the first phase held last year following the huge success and impact recorded. It is designed by FCMB to give extra value, empower and reward its Business Banking/SME customers for their patronage and loyalty over the years. The promo is targeted at business customers who operate any of the Bank’s local currency accounts. There will be a total of 6 draws which will hold monthly.

Speaking on Season 2 of the ‘’FCMB SME Race to China Promo” the Executive Director, Business Development of the Bank, Mrs. Bukola Smith, said, “this is part of our initiatives to demonstrate our commitment to the growth of SMEs, which are key drivers of economic development. The second edition of this promo has been enhanced to ensure that more customers have the opportunity to emerge as winners. From 43 winners in the first edition held last year, a total of 320 customers will win either a trip to China, $500 pre-loaded shopping cards, business enablers and other gifts that are on offer in the second edition. We will continue to create opportunities and offer the very best of products as well as services that will grow the business of our SME customers in a sustainable manner.”

In their comments, the winners commended FCMB for considering it worthy to reward and empower its SME customers. According to the Managing Director of Ife Progress Resources, Mr. Ezeike Ifechukwu, “I was in shock and at same time very happy when I was called by FCMB that I have won a trip to China. I have never been lucky, not even once in my life to win anything. So when I received a text message from FCMB telling me about the Race to China Promo, I didn’t really bother. But having won the star prize, I thank the Bank, our Bank. I am a shareholder of FCMB, a customer for more than ten years, and I maintain series of accounts. FCMB has always been my number one Bank. Today, I repledge my loyalty to FCMB. I will ensure that I drive more customers to FCMB”.

Another star prize winner of a trip to China, Mrs. Joyce Ajanah, who is the Managing Director of Gold Tech Multi-Tech Limited, said, “I am very excited, really short of words and extremely grateful to FCMB. This is definitely going to make my business grow significantly. The FCMB Race to China promo is a very good initiative. The Bank is going places”.

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Zenith Bank emerges first Nigerian Bank to repeatedly audit its carbon emissions

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L-R: Dr. Temitope Fasoranti, Executive Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Lynsey Elston, Country Manager, V4 Advisors, at the official presentation of the certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing for the 2018 Financial Year to Zenith Bank Plc by V4 Advisors, held at bank’s head office in Lagos, recently. PHOTO: Zenith Bank Plc

Zenith Bank Plc has received a certificate for Greenhouse Gas Auditing by V4 Advisors after successful completion of its Greenhouse Gas Audit for the 2018 Financial Year.

The presentation of the certificate and the report of the Auditors was done by V4 Advisors at the Zenith Bank Head Office on May 21, 2019.

Temitope Fasoranti, the executive director, who received the certificate on behalf of the bank, said Zenith started this effort with the 2016 Financial Year and has carried out three greenhouse gas audits to date.

He explained that the bank understands the relationship between greenhouse gas emission and climate change and appreciates the role it is expected to play towards combating the menace of climate change.

Also speaking on the milestone, Lynsey Elston, V4 country manager, highlighted that Zenith Bank is the first Nigerian bank to consecutively report the carbon emissions of their head office in Lagos using a certified tool which is built on the internationally recognized “GHG Protocol”.

She commended the bank for proving its commitment to United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Goal 13, Climate Action, in addition to complying with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.

In response to her, the executive director said the initiative has significantly helped the bank reduce its overall carbon footprints and drive energy efficiency.

V4 Advisors is a UAE-based provider of advisory and consulting solutions on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

The firm’s calculation and reporting tool have been reviewed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) for conformance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

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BUSINESS

Access Bank threatens to publish names of debtors in June

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The management of Access Bank has threatened to publish the list of all its delinquent debtors.

In a statement released on Thursday, the bank said it is acting in line with a directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“All Access Bank Plc (including former Diamond Bank Plc) debtors are directed to pay up their past due obligations in order to avoid punitive actions being taken against them,” the bank said.

“Please note that we shall publish our debtors’ names in newspapers in two weeks.

“Similarly, in the event that these obligations are not fulfilled, we shall take such further actions against such delinquent individuals and companies as we may consider necessary and shall relentlessly pursue full recovery of all our debts.”

Deepening its threat, the bank said it would collaborate with other banks to ensure that habitual debtors are excluded from the banking system.

“Furthermore, all debtors will be sanctioned by the CBN and banned from participating in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange and Securities Exchange Markets and registered on the Credit Risk Management Systems (CRMS) Bureau as bad debtors making them, their directors and related entities illegible for any credit in the Nigerian Financial Markets.”

Earlier in May, the bank had announced that it would pay off a $200 million Eurobond issued by Diamond Bank in 2014.

Access Bank became Nigeria’s largest bank after completing a merger process with Diamond Bank in March.

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