Adebayo Obajemu

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again wielded the big stick against defaulting banks on the CRR target.

The apex bank debited twenty-six banks, including merchant banks, to the tune of N459.7 billion for failure to meet their CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) obligations. The fresh round of debit, Business Hallmark learnt took place Thursday.

Tier 1 banks most hit by the Tsunami of debit include United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion).

The rest of the affected banks can be seen in the table below.

Recall that the latest CRR debits are one month into the last round of debit where a lot of banks were collectively debited to the tune of N1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. Between then and now, a lot of other minor CRR debits have occurred.

Last month at   the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the committee members voted to retain CRR rate at 27.5%. The rate was increased in January this year from 5% to its current level after the apex bank cited inflationary pressure concerns.

The implication is that Nigerian banks are required to keep 27.5% of their deposits as CRR with the Central Bank of Nigeria.