Skye Bank set to raise fresh capital


Skye Bank Plc is to raise fresh capital in the first quarter of 2016 to beef up its capital base and improve its working capital just as it is shifting its business focus to retail and commercial banking as it enters a new growth phase after the acquisition and seamless integration of erstwhile Mainstreet Bank Limited.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Timothy Oguntayo, disclosed this on Wednesday at an interactive session with top stockbrokers in Lagos.

Oguntayo said the bank had entered into discussions with some of its key shareholders and strategic potential investors for fresh capital injection, expressing optimism that the exercise should be completed during the first quarter of the year.

Explaining further, the Skye Bank boss said its capital adequacy ratio of 15.87 per cent out of which 12.4 per cent is covered by common equity, was already in compliance with Basel 11 provisions.

In addition, Oguntayo said retail banking as the bank’s new business focus would be pursued in 2016 for more traction. In particular, he said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), small businesses and priority banking would be strengthened.

To actualize the lofty objectives of the bank, the CEO informed that the financial institution has set for itself in the medium to long term, strategies to achieve growth for the good of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Reeling out strides recorded by the bank in 2015, he said the board of the bank appointed four new executive directors to the board; has concluded the design of a three-year strategic plan from 2016-2018; achieved certification by the British Standard Institution on IT service management, business continuity and IT management for the integrity of its operations.

He said the bank had commenced structured capacity building programmes for the SME segment, working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the business model and risk management framework and product innovation for its retail business.

Other measures taken to strengthen the retail banking business of the bank, according to him, include retooling the locations acquired from the legacy Mainstreet Bank for the mobilization of cheap low cost funds, enhancement of the electronic channels to support the branch network and intensification of acquisition of customers across the retail segment.

Oguntayo said the bank had been working on continuous improvement in structure, practices and resource deployment in risk management, adoption of enterprise-wide risk management approach, board oversight on risk portfolio to ensure diversification of risks, as well as vibrant and proactive credit monitoring framework.

In another development, Oguntayo disclosed that the bank never sacked any staff under his watch, either directly from the bank or the acquired Mainstreet Bank.

Oguntayo made this known in an interactive session with the Capital Market journalists after sounding the Closing Gong on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The report has earlier indicated that the management of Skye Bank Plc sacked about 350 staff of the newly acquired Mainstreet Bank. However, information from an employee of Skye Bank confirmed that the bank actually disengaged some of its staff members.

Skye Bank acquired Mainstreet Bank from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for a reported fee of N126 billion, making it the new owner of the bank.

Debunking the sack report, Oguniyi stated that the report was a ruse, adding that Skye bank would continue to review its manpower from time to time so as to add value and improve its efficiency.

According to him, “That is not correct. We will continue to review our manpower from time to time as a performance driven organisation and when you join us, we agree on certain deliverables, if you meet those deliverables, you continue and if you don’t, of cause it’s like any other organisation, if your cost is greater than your revenue, you cannot continue.

In specific terms and relating to the acquisition of Mainstreet Bank, there is no way one bank can carry the staff strength of two banks. And what we did was to employ a reputable consultant to do the human assessment of the people in the Mainstreet and as well as people in Skye Bank to fit in to our new focus.

And a very transparent test was conducted wherein some people scaled the process, while some did not. Not because they were bad but the appropriateness of skills sometimes makes you not to fit into a particular area or position. As such, some people have to separate from the bank, while we also took decision to fill those vacancies”, he concluded. He confirmed that the current staff strength of the bank is about 4,000.