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Experts, Customers Admit Heritage Bank is Distressed

LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The insolvency challenge presently confronting Heritage Bank is expected, given the unethical conducts by its topmost management members, thus it might require an extraordinary ”midas touch” for the commercial bank to get through its present mess, experts have declared.

When AFRICAN EXAMINER further researched into the prevailing misfortune of the Bank, early in the week, a financial editor in Lagos who prefers anonymity, although admitted that for any financial institution to make headway, it must be active in its liquidity drive and lending, by reaching out to the prospective depositors, as well as ensuring discipline and probity in facilities disbursement.

The editor however cautioned that the aggressive drive must be with strict adherence to ethical conduct, and by avoiding scandals and financial recklessness  as well as ”shadow loans.” The financial editor hit that this traces were lacking, observing that the misgivings of those at the helms affairs of the Bank, signaled present woe of the young money market institution.

When told that the management could not have taken very serious decisions without intimating the ownership, the senior editor admitted that the Heritage Bank’s saga is as good as a case of like father; like son – saying that the real problem started from the topmost head. He snapped and asked that when the head is rotten, what is expected of the body, if not ”decay?”

He reasoned that the Bank has no choice than to resort to the palliative and drastic measures it is presently taking, just to fake that it is still financially strong and healthy. He however assessed that the gimmicks might not do the expected magic as well as fails to go far.

The editor’s position is justified with ”on the run”, still being experienced by the Bank across the country.

A customer, who complained a fortnight ago about the difficulty she faced in accessing her money, complained again that there was no significant improvement with the state of things with Heritage between then and now.

She lamented that as we speak, her money is still trapped in the Bank, indicating that her branding business is being held back, while she had to desperately source for money to execute her jobs, so as to save her image and future of her business.

Given her nasty experience, the young entrepreneur confirmed to AFRICAN EXAMINER that she has begun to source for another Banker for her business, as she noted, running Bank account was inevitable, especially in the present cashless economy. But she added, she was being careful about her decision, so as to avoid similar terrible experience she has been battling with the embattled Heritage Bank.

AFRICAN EXAMINER also spoke with another young business man, who resides in Igando, a Lagos suburb. Although, he said he did not have money with the Heritage, still, his assessment of the situation is that there is no more discipline and decorum in the Banking sector. He said the era of Prof Charles Soludo as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor brought some sanity to the industry.

He reasoned that it was the unfortunate trend that caused the Heritage Bank trouble.

However, despite the public being conscious of the obvious, the Bank is still insisting that it is healthy and capable of being in the business. Its Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, has maintained that there was no need for panic withdrawal. The same defence is also coming from the apex Bank – CBN.

Still, most customers are not convinced, as they struggle daily to withdraw their money – an exercise that has been very tight and frustrating.

 

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