Facts have emerged on the reason for the last week’s investigative visit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Sterling Bank, as the bank on Tuesday, filed a regulatory disclosure at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Sterling Bank is required as a listed company to disclose material facts to the NSE.
A statutory filing made by Sterling Bank on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by Ripples Nigeria, said the investigation by the EFCC was linked to some dealings with an asset management company, contrary to some media reports linking the investigation variously to the slush dealings involving former officials of previous government of President Goodluck Jonathan- former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, Diezanigate and former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Dasukigate.
According to Sterling Bank, the EFCC visited the bank on Wednesday 4th May, 2016 requesting to see a mid-level officer of the bank; unfortunately the officer was not immediately available and that led to the agency questioning some senior management staff including the CEO of the bank.
Read also: Arrest of banks’ executives: CBN steps in
The bank explained that at the time, the nature of the EFCC investigation was unclear but it has now become clear that the investigation is related to the banking relationship of a non-bank financial institution that is a client of Sterling Bank Plc.
“We affirm for the public records that the bank does not hold the account of the public officer from the previous administration to which this matter has been linked either officially or otherwise; the non-bank financial institution (asset management company) in question purchased a number of loans on a recourse basis from Sterling Bank Plc on commercially acceptable terms and this is the link of the concern raised by the EFCC to Sterling Bank Plc,” the bank stated.
The bank stated that arising from this incident, it has commissioned a review of the compliance procedures of its non–bank financial institution clients with the aim of strengthening this area of its operations while in the interim, the bank will not accept any new non-bank financial institution relationships.
“We thank our numerous partners for their support and assure you that the bank remains a compliant institution that continues to conduct its business within the ambit of the law,” Sterling Bank stated.
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