Access Bank, FGN Jittery Over New Directives in Congo

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The Congolese central bank has instructed financial institutions to sell a 45% stake in three years

According to the apex bank, the development is aimed at spreading institutional risk Nigerian banks in the country have committed to working in line with the new directive.

Nigerian banks in Congo could be affected by the new directive by the Central Bank of Congo.

The instruction mandates banks to sell 45% of their stake within three years. The apex bank wants traditional banks in the country to have at least four unrelated shareholders holding a minimum of 15% each.

This must include the current owner of the bank to allow the institution to spread risk. The Congolese central bank wants traditional banks in the country to have at least four unrelated shareholders holding a minimum of 15% each.

This means that most of the banks in the country would need to sell some portion of their equity by 2026 to meet in line with the instructions.

However, the Congolese Banking Association has said that its members, made up of 15 lenders, were still reviewing the instructions.

It stated that this would enable it to ascertain the feasibility and implications of the proposed requirements.

Bloomberg reported that several banks are still yet to grasp the new directive, while some have already started taking action.

Two of Kenya’s biggest banks, Equity Group Holdings Plc and KCB Group Plc, recently bought stakes in three Congo banks.

Standard Bank said it is still discussing the new directive with Apex Bank, bankers’ associations, and stakeholders.

Access Bank plc and executive for African subsidiary Seyi Kumapayi said the institution is still studying the new regulation.

FBN Holdings Plc expressed commitment to complying with the regulations.