Regulatory Approvals Delaying Our Audited Half-Year Results, UBA, Stanbic IBTC

For analysts and investors awaiting the publication of half-year results of what has now come to be known as interim dividend-paying banks, the wait may be for another one month, given regulatory filings by two of the affected banks- United Bank for Africa and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, the holding company of Stanbic IBTC Bank, an arm of South Africa’s Standard Bank Group.

In separate filings to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, the last day for the submission of the half-year result for companies that wish to audit their interim result, both companies blamed the delay on their failure to obtain the needed approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), their primary regulator.

This is very unusual and a first of its kind, giving room to fears that something amiss may have been spotted in the result, especially in this unusual times requiring a back-and-forth movement by officials of the bank.

According to the filing on its behalf by Bili Odum, group company secretary, ‘by order’ of the board, UBA Plc notified “shareholders, stakeholders and the investing public of the delay in the filing of its Audited Financial Statements for the Half Year ended June 30, 2020 within the extended regulatory filing deadline.”

The Audited Financial Statements, it continued, are still undergoing necessary regulatory approvals, expressing optimism that the scorecard “will be submitted to the Exchange on or before September 29, 2020.”

Stanbic IBTC, in its own filing by Chidi Okezie, the Company Secretary, also said the “delay is occasioned by the fact that we are currently seeking the approval of our primary Regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the Half Year Audited Financial Statements.”

The directors, according to Okezie, “are working diligently to ensure that our company’s 2020 Half Year results are published on or before Friday 25 September 2020.”

Other members of the interim dividend paying club yet to file their audited financials for the June 2020 period are: Zenith Bank, Access Bank, and Guaranty Trust Bank. Also, Fidelity Bank is yet to present its half-year result owing to its decision to audit same, it is not clear whether the directors would offer an interim dividend.