Wema Bank to Pursue Legal Action Over False Licence Revocation Reports

Wema Bank announced it will take legal action against reports suggesting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is poised to revoke its banking license. The bank’s Head of Brands and Marketing Communications, Mabel Adeteye, issued a statement on Tuesday affirming the bank’s financial health and performance, despite a challenging operating environment.

The statement came in response to rumors sparked by the revocation of Heritage Bank’s license on June 2, which led to claims that the CBN would revoke more licenses—a claim the CBN has repeatedly denied, asserting the stability of the country’s financial sector.

A viral WhatsApp message suggested that several commercial banks, including Wema Bank, were at risk of losing their licenses. Wema Bank firmly denied these allegations, stating, “We categorically confirm that this claim is false and contrary to the reality of Wema Bank’s financial strength. Wema Bank is in sound financial health and at no risk of licence seizure or closure.”

Wema Bank highlighted its robust financial performance, citing a profit before tax increase of 196% from N14.75 billion to N43.59 billion in 2023, and a 70.63% rise in gross earnings from N132.30 billion to N225.75 billion. The bank’s non-performing loan rate stood at 4.31%, below the 5% prudential benchmark.

The bank also mentioned its efforts to meet the CBN’s N200 billion minimum capital requirement for a national commercial bank license. “We have raised an additional N40 billion in fresh capital over the past months and are on track to meet the target within 18 months,” the statement read.

Wema Bank assured its stakeholders of its commitment to financial stability and optimal returns, and condemned the circulation of false information. “With confidence in our financial standing and stable outlook, we have petitioned security officials and will be taking legal action against the perpetrator(s) of this libellous statement.”

The bank reiterated its readiness to continue serving its customers and expanding its reach as a commercial bank with national authorization.

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