The Nigerian Stock Exchange has sanctioned eight banks with fines totalling N102.7m for failing to file their financial statements at the regulatory date.
The Exchange launched its new sanction regime for the delay in submission of companies’ results on January 1, 2018, saying companies might pay fines ranging from N100, 000 to more than N100m as penalties for delay in the submission of their corporate earnings reports.
The NSE requires quoted companies to file their unaudited quarterly accounts not later than 30 calendar days after the relevant quarter.
The account should also be published within five business days after the date of filing in at least two national daily newspapers, and post it on the company’s website, with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publication.
Under the new rules, late submission attracts N9m in the first 90 days, N18m in the next 90 days and N400, 000 per day until the date of submission.
Data obtained from the NSE revealed that the total amount of fines due this year was N341.6m, while the carried forward amount of last year was N424.9m, bringing the total amount due from fines to N766.5m.
The Exchange said it applied sanctions in accordance with the Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules).
The data showed that of the eight banks sanctioned, Unity Bank Plc owed the highest amount of N80.2m.
At different times this year, the bank was fined N200,000; N9.8m, N29m, and N40.7m.
It, however, had an outstanding fine of N500,000 from 2017, which it was sanctioned for filing its audited 2016 financial statement late.
Trading in the shares of the bank was suspended on November 1 but was lifted on November 2, 2018, after the bank submitted its financial statements.
The bank explained that the delay in filing its financial statements was occasioned by certain corporate actions, some of which were the ongoing discussions with prospective investors.
It said these led to the extensive reviews by its primary regulator.
A review of the bank’s financial statements showed that its total assets dropped by 68.23 per cent from N492.681bn in 2016 to N156.506bn in 2017.
Customer deposits dropped to N252.31bn from N264.196bn in 2016, indicating a decline in patronage.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Unity Bank, Mrs Tomi Somefun, argued that the bank had recorded recognition, public acceptance and diverse patronage that had not been enjoyed in the last three years.
She said a reflection of that could not be seen in the revenues because of the challenges of huge non-performing loans the bank had to contend with.
Diamond Bank Plc followed as the second highly sanctioned bank with a N7.3m fine.
The bank had an outstanding fine of N2.4m from 2017, added to the N3.8m and N1.1m fines it received at different times this year.
Fidelity Bank Plc followed, with a N6.2m fine, the breakdown of which showed a carried forward amount of N700,000 from 2017.
Union Bank was fined N4.7m for late filing of its audited 2017 and first quarter 2018 financial statements, while FBN Holdings Plc was fined N2.1m for failing to file its audited 2017 financial statements as and when due.
Sterling Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, and First City Monument Bank Plc were efined N1.3m, N800,000, and N100,000 respectively for late filing of their audited 2017 financial statements.