Bank customers rush to negotiate loans over debtors lists

Delinquent debtors of Deposit Money Banks, whose
loans have become non-performing, are rushing to
the banks to renegotiate their outstanding facilities
four days to the expiration of the July 31 repayment
deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN had on April 22 directed the banks and
discount houses to commence the publication of the
names of their delinquent debtors from August 1.
It ordered the banks to publish the list of the
delinquent debtors, whose loans remained non-
performing after the deadline, in at least three
national newspapers on quarterly basis.
In line with the directive, banks gave the chronic
debtors a three-month ‘grace period’, which will
expire on July 31.
But top officials of banks told our correspondents on
Monday that majority of the delinquent debtors were
already re-negotiating their loan terms with the
respective management of the DMBs, with large a
number of the customers turning out in the last few
days.
A top executive of a tier-1 bank, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity, told one of our
correspondents on Monday, “I can confirm to you
that majority of the delinquent debtors are now
rushing to renegotiate their loans with us; some had
come earlier to do it, but we are having a large
turnout in recent weeks and days.
“We are still looking at the numbers but there is no
going back on the CBN directive. We will definitely
publish the names of those who fail to meet with the
bank over their indebtedness sometime in August,
but not necessarily August 1 in line with the
directive.”
Officials of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Guaranty
Trust Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc
and United Bank for Africa Plc told our
correspondents that there was no going back on the
central bank’s directive.
However, they said some of the delinquent debtors
were contesting the figures regarding their total
indebtedness to the banks.
This, they noted, had led to series of litigation
between the banks and a sizeable number of their
delinquent debtors.
A spokesperson for First Bank, Mr. Babatunde
Lasaki, said “Some of these customers have
initiated discussions with their relationship
managers and the discussions are ongoing.
However, some of the debtors are contesting the
figures and some of them have resulted to litigation
over the matter.
“We have written to the CBN to seek clarification on
whether these set of customers should be included
in the list (of debtors for publication), but we have
yet to get a response.”
The Skye Bank spokesperson, Mr. Rasheed
Bolarinwa, said the lender could not disregard the
CBN’s directive, explaining that discussions were at
an advanced stage between the bank and the
debtor customers.
An e-mail enquiry requesting further information on
the status of the delinquent debtors, especially the
number of those that have renegotiated their
facilities and the outstanding number was not
replied to as of the time of filing this report.
The spokespersons for UBA, Ecobank Nigeria Plc,
Diamond Bank and GTBank promised to provide
updates on the discussion with the delinquent
debtors, but had yet to do so as of press time.
Meanwhile, the Asset Management Corporation of
Nigeria, the government agency that bought over
the NPLs in the banks after the 2009 banking sector
crisis, said on Monday that it would publish the
names of the delinquent debtors in line with a CBN
directive.
In a public notice, the agency advised its debtors to
pay up or produce feasible restructuring plans
within the time stipulated by the central ban

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