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Published On: Thu, Oct 9th, 2014

N40bn debt: Unity bank to blacklist debtors

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unity bankBy Etuka Sunday

unity Bank has concluded plans to blacklist debtors through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for failing to meet up with the two weeks deadline to pay up the debts.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unity Bank Mr Henry James Semenitari at the bank’s celebration of customer service week in Abuja.

According to Semenitari, the debts “in excess of N40 billion, about N40 billion to N50 billion, with the interests unserviced over the years.”

He said, “luckily, 90 percent of our customers are Nigerians, they are here, they are in this country and we know them, we know where they are. While we were not going after then, everybody became complacent,

I can tell you. But some are doing businesses in other banks. And the good news for the industry today is that the current management of CBN is very serious about addressing bad debtors.”

“If you forward names of debtors to the CBN and they confirm the names, the customers will be blacklisted. So what we will do after two weeks beyond recovering our money, is to employ whatever legal means

there is and they will also be blacklisted from banking transactions.”

“We will do everything within the law and I think Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is an acceptable arm of the law to address our debt, so we will do that. But there will be negotiations,

but whenever you negotiate loans, discounts come in, as long as you are not discounting against the expense of the bank,” he said.

He said, “is in the inability of the customer to pay, that’s why penalty rates come and penalty rates are legal. If you don’t service your debts for x period of time, penalty rates come in.”

He said, “as a bank with a huge network, one of the strategies we have adopted in the last nine months is to ensure that virtually every branch within our network receives some payment daily, that is positive. Within your receipts and payments, if your are posting an excess of 100 to 200 thousand, you are funding your clearing, it means

you are in positive, your loan velocity is good, you have fees and commissions, what is left in your income statement is basically depreciation and amortization, which is less than five percent of the income. So the net position of daily closure of branches is our strategy as at today” he said.

 

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