Review of Minimum Capital Requirement for Commercial, Merchant, and Non Interest Bank in Nigeria

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the minimum capital requirement for banks in Nigeria, this was disclosed in a Circular released by CBN to all Commercial, Merchant and Non-Interest Banks; and Promoters of Proposed Banks, in Nigeria.

CBN said, the prevailing macroeconomic challenges and headwinds occasioned by external and domestic shocks have underscored the need for banks to raise and maintain adequate capital to enhance their resilience, solvency and capacity to continue to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Consequently, in furtherance of its statutory responsibility to promote a safe, sound and stable banking system and in line with Section 9 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hereby announces an upward review of the minimum capital requirements for commercial, merchant and non-interest banks in Nigeria as follows:

Type of Bank Authorization Minimum Capital (N Billion) 
Non-interest National20
Non-interest Regional10

To meet the minimum capital requirements, banks may consider any of the following options:

1. Inject fresh equity capital through private placements, rights issue and/or offer for subscription:
2. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As); and/or
3. Upgrade or downgrade of license authorization.

Accordingly, all banks and promoters of proposed banks are to note the following:

1. For Existing Banks
a. The minimum capital specified above shall comprise paid-up capital and share premium only. For the avoidance of doubt, the new capital requirement shall NOT be based on Shareholders’ Fund.
b. Additional Tier 1 (AT1) Capital shall not be eligible for the purpose of meeting the new requirement.
c. All banks are required to meet the minimum capital requirement within a period of 24 months commencing from April 1, 2024 and terminating on March 31, 2026.
d. Notwithstanding the capital increase, banks are to ensure strict compliance with the minimum capital adequacy ratio (CAR) requirement applicable to their license authorization.
e. In line with extant regulations, banks that breach the CAR requirement shall be required to inject fresh capital to regularize their position.

2. For Proposed Banks
a. The minimum capital requirement shall be paid-up capital.
b. The new minimum capital requirement shall be applicable to all new applications for banking license submitted after April 1,2024.
c. The CBN shall continue to process all pending applications for banking license for which capital deposit had been made and/or Approval-in-Principle (AlP) had been granted. However, the promoters of such proposed banks shall make up the difference between the capital deposited with the CBN and the new capital requirement not later than March 31, 2026.

Finally, all banks are required to submit an implementation plan (clearly indicating the chosen option(s) for meeting the new capital requirement and various activities involved with their timelines). The plan shall be submitted to the Director, Banking Supervision Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, not later than April 30, 2024.

The CBN will monitor and ensure compliance with the new requirements within the specified timeline above.

Please note and be guided accordingly. For more information on the recapitalization programme, please refer to the CBN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or visit the CBN website.

Also Read

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On The Banking Sector Recapitalization Programme 2024

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