Sterling Bank to Raise Fresh Tier-2 Capital by February

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Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola

Sterling Bank Plc on Thursday disclosed its plan to raise fresh tier-2 capital to fund its expansion before the end of February 2016.

Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola, said this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.  Sterling Bank put the amount of tier-2 funds to be raised at between $100 million and $150 millon.

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“On the issue of additional capital, we are adequately capitalised, but we are raising tier-2 capital and we are at the tail end of it and hopefully by February, we would have additional debt capital. But in terms of equity capital, I think we are good with a capital adequacy ratio of 19 per cent when what is required is 10 per cent; we are not under capital pressure at all,” Adeola said.

He described the regulatory environment as tough, saying that the banking industry is the most regulated in Nigeria. Sterling Bank would continue to face the challenges that come it way, he added.

Speaking on the developments in the forex market, he said: “It is a tough one. You can only spend what you have and if our reserves are at $29.4 billion as at December 16, they would barely fund four to five months of import.

“There is no regulator that would not be worried at that level. The options are usually either to adopt capital control as a strategy and focus on key sectors, in other words, you determine where the forex to go to if you want to curb waste or wastages.

“You don’t want a situation where people use the forex market for speculative purposes and you want to control it. And that is what is happening now. But it is a double-edged sword because when you adopt capital controls, investors are reluctant to come in.”

Adeola said the expanded its branch network by 135 from 50 in 2006 to 185 in 2015, saying plans were on to ensure that the bank is ranked among the top six banks in the country by year 2020.

Adeola who was supported by the Executive Director, Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Kayode Lawal and the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Yemi Odubiyi, also explained that the Bank, within ten years had deployed 801 ATMs nationwide when it had none in 2006.

He also assured that in the coming year, the bank will sustain its drive to become the leading consumer banking franchise, diversify its retail funding base, diversify its income streams with a view to achieving a  top quartile position in all “our operating areas and enjoy a double digit revenue growth year on year”, he stated.thisday.