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Naira hoarding: Investors dump Sterling Bank shares amid CBN, ICPC accusations



Investors are distancing themselves from Sterling Bank amid multiple accusations over their handling of the new Naira notes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) handed to the firm.

Sterling Bank was embroiled in allegations of hoarding the new Naira notes last week, allegedly making it difficult for Nigerians to withdraw over the counter in its banking hall or their Auto Teller Machines (ATM).

Recall that six days ago, a video had been circulated in which a Deputy Director of the CBN, Oluwole Owoeye, revealed that N6 million was found hoarded in the Sterling Bank branch located in Ado-Ekiti.

Sterling Bank didn’t make the funds in the firm’s possession available to Nigerians, as the company’s ATMs in the branch were empty despite CBN instructing that the ATMs should always be loaded to make disbursement of the new N200, N500 and N1,000 notes easy.

Owoeye said Sterling Bank has been made aware of the N1 million penalty, “because they have five ATMs here, they have no reason for keeping this money,” he said.

The bank, however had responded in a statement, that it’s ATM machines were being configured at the time for the new notes.

Two days after the revelation by CBN’s director, anti-corruption agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC), also disclosed that N258 million was discovered in the firm’s vault in Abuja Central Business District (CBD) Complex.

READ ALSO:Sterling Bank gifts customers free transfer after report of hoarding new Naira notes

Although Sterling Bank admitted that it had the sum discovered by the anti-corruption agency in its vault, the firm denied the money was being hoarded instead of dispensing it to their customers.

It explained that it was in the process of disbursing the funds to its branches within the district, and that it had explained same to the ICPC officials that visited.

Amid these allegations that have dragged Sterling Bank’s reputation into negative light among its customers and Nigerians at large, investors are dumping Sterling Bank’s shares in the stock market.

Sterling Bank suffering investor apathy has caused shareholders of the company to lose 7.36 per cent of their investment in the firm led by Abubakar Suleiman.

This indicates shareholders with investment in Sterling Bank lost N3.45 billion to the disinterest in the firm among investors in the stock market, according to Ripples Nigeria equity market analysis.

The 7.36 per cent decline also depreciated Sterling Bank’s total market valuation to N43.47 billion, from N46.92 billion between February 3 and 10, 2023.

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