Its just another wordpress blog, and I just stumbled on this one from Nairaland.
Its about the truths and rumors flying around about Intercontinental bank. Someone is pissed, someone wants to get back at Intercontinental, and vice-versa. Anyway, we are here listening to all the gossips – at least to know the right places to put our foot into.
Soyinka called it collective amnesia, the seeming inability of Nigerians to remember the past, no matter how recent. After the global financial crisis decimated the world’s leading economies, Erastus Akingbola, the President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers told the press that Nigeria was immune from the meltdown. According to him, the Nigerian financial system did not contain exotic instruments such as the CDOs, subprime mortgages and credit derivatives that launched America’s bubble economy. He was wrong and the people conveniently chose to forget.
That careless and shallow statement illustrated Mr Akingbola’s intellectual dwarfism and shallow understanding of the financial system. Since then, several strange things have happened at Intercontinental Bank such as its decision to raise its savings minimum balance to 10,000 and the complete shutdown of its services three weeks ago. The bank claims that it experienced a service disruption as a result of its migration to a new technological platform but its managers did not deem it fit to notify its customers in advance. How does that reflect responsible corporate behaviour?
Intercontinental Bank also claims that it has a 1 trillion balance sheet but analysts at Proshare, Nigeria’s leading independent analysts, have already raised questions over its financial statements. Many people do not know that a company can generate a huge balance sheet by revaluating its fixed assets and employing other creative accounting gimmicks. UBA was the first to do it in Nigeria and other banks have since caught on.
Mr Akingbola also claims that the European Investment Bank has asked it to disburse 50m Euros to strengthen the educational sector. I would like the Nigerian press to really investigate this arrangement to find out the truth of the matter. I am highly suspicious of this deal because I noticed that Intercontinental Bank hurriedly inaugurated a non-profit organization AFTER it supposedly received the loan. Does the bank plan to exploit Nigeria’s lax corporate laws and use its Foundation as an avenue for diverting funds meant for revitalizing the educational sector.