Economy

Nigerian Banks Moves To Blacklist Bad Debtors, Decry Smear Campaign

Chief Executive Officers of Nigeria banks, on Wednesday, condemned the resort by bad debtors to smear campaigns against banks and their chief executives so as to either delay repaying loans or avoid meeting their obligations completely.
The group, under the aegis of the Body of Banks CEOs, at a meeting in Lagos to review what it called the “harassment and criminalization of bank CEOs by law enforcement agencies”, they called for collaboration among members.
In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, the body lamented the wanton abuse court processes and use social media by the chronic debt defaulters to propagate their smear campaign against the banks by loan defaulters.
One of the resolutions at the meeting is the need to identify and ex-communicate such recalcitrant debtors, in what they argued, has gone “beyond publishing names of such defaulters in national media (which is inevitable), but involves all banks speaking with “one voice” and sharing information about those entities, and refusing to do further business with them until they settle their obligations”.
This was one of the five-step resolutions to what they termed emerging threats to the banking business in Nigeria, after considering various options for dealing with the issue.
The group further resolved to present all cases of defaults through the Ethics Committee of the Bankers’ Committee, just as it intends to work with legal councils to fashion ways and strategies to manage related cases effectively without disrupting businesses and the system.
Also, to avoid the kind of crisis that rocked the banking sector 10 years ago, the CEOs urged all agencies and stakeholders to step up and help fight the inherent menace of chronic loan defaulters.
According to the CEOs, the banking industry is the backbone of the Nigerian economy, therefore, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders – regulators, police, judiciary, corporate organizations, and media to help save it from activities of delinquent debtors.
It described as unacceptable, the habit of enlisting law enforcement agencies, including police, judiciary and state security by these chronic debtors to harass and criminalize its members.
The group warned that these activities by the law enforcement agencies and bank debt defaulters were capable of adversely affecting the banking system vis-à-vis the CEOs reputation amongst international banks, destroy the economy, and called for these to be checked and managed.

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