IMF recognises Ecobanks positive steps to avoid risks to financial stability

On 4 February 2015, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report titled ‘Pan-African Banks – Opportunities and Challenges for Cross-Border Oversight.’ The report made references to governance issues at Ecobank, which some readers may perceive as being current.

Ecobank has made it clear that the information used by the IMF in regards to internal governance at the bank date back 18 months ago to the period between mid-2013 and early 2014. Ecobank has explained that it dealt conclusively with those internal governance issues at the time, a process that culminated in the dismissal of then Group CEO Thierry Tanoh, and his replacement by Mr Albert Essien in March 2014.

The IMF today issued a media statement acknowledging that references to governance at Ecobank in the report were from the 2013/2014 period and not references to governance at Ecobank today. The statement went on to note that IMF staff was aware that Ecobank had since taken a number of important and appropriate steps to strengthen governance and avoid risks to financial stability. It acknowledged recent news that Ecobank had raised equity capital for the group and announced an equity capital increase to meet regulatory capital requirements in Nigeria. The IMF welcomed these developments as steps in the right direction.

The Ecobank Group reaffirms its financial strength and strong governance as a systemically important banking group in Africa. Ecobank has total assets of over US$23 billion. As the IMF statement alluded to, in the last six months, Ecobank has raised approximately US$1 billion in combined equity and debt capital for its parent company and its business in Nigeria, the largest of the group’s affiliates.

Ecobank is compliant with regulatory requirements, including those for liquidity and capital, across its network. It continues to be supportive of regulatory reforms that make the African banking system safer, more transparent and more accountable.

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