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CBN Announces Revised Minimum Capital Requirements for Banks, Sets 24-Month Recapitalization Deadline

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The Central Bank of Nigeria – CBN has announced new minimum capital requirements for banks, aimed at bolstering their resilience and capacity to support the country’s economic growth.

The revised capital base for commercial banks with international authorization has been set at N500 billion, while those with national authorization must now have a minimum capital base of N200 billion. Regional banks are required to maintain a minimum capital base of N50 billion.

In a statement released in Abuja on Thursday, March 28, 2024, the Acting Director of the CBN’s Corporate Communications Department, Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the new requirements. Merchant banks are now required to maintain a minimum capital base of N50 billion, while non-interest banks with national and regional authorizations must have minimum capital bases of N20 billion and N10 billion, respectively.

The CBN has given banks 24 months, starting from April 1, 2024, to meet the new minimum capital requirements, with the deadline set for March 31, 2026. Banks are encouraged to consider various options to meet the requirements, including injecting fresh equity capital through private placements, rights issues, or offers for subscription, as well as engaging in mergers and acquisitions or upgrading/downgrading their license authorizations.

To ensure compliance, the CBN has mandated that all banks submit an implementation plan by April 30, 2024, detailing how they intend to meet the new capital requirements. The regulatory body has also stated that it will monitor and enforce compliance with the new requirements within the specified timeline.

The announcement of the new minimum capital requirements follows remarks made by CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner in November 2023, where he emphasized the importance of enhancing banks’ resilience, solvency, and capacity to support the Nigerian economy’s growth.

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