The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, acting as the liquidator of Heritage Bank, has listed the bank’s head office in Lagos and its branches nationwide for sale.

NDIC List heritage bank

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) announced the sale of 48 Heritage Bank properties and various chattel, including vehicles, office equipment, plants, and machinery at 62 locations nationwide.

The advert stated, “The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, in the exercise of its right as Liquidator of failed Deposit Money Banks, hereby invites interested members of the public to buy the assets (landed property and chattels) of defunct Heritage Bank through public competitive bidding.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked Heritage Bank’s license due to its breach of Section 12 (1) of BOFIA, 2020. The CBN stated, “The board and management of the bank have not been able to improve the bank’s financial performance, which constitutes a threat to financial stability. This follows a period during which the CBN engaged with the bank and prescribed various supervisory steps intended to stem the decline. Regrettably, the bank has continued to suffer and has no reasonable prospects of recovery, thereby making the revocation of the license the next necessary step.”

The properties listed for sale include the bank’s head office and annex at 143 and 130 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, along with buildings, chattels, a generator, and a motor vehicle. Also included are six other branches in Lagos, four in Abuja, four in Rivers State, and others across the country.

Interested parties are invited to inspect the assets and submit their bids to the NDIC office in Lagos. Bids must include a Certified Bank Draft for 10 percent of the bid amount. Successful bidders will need to pay the balance within two weeks of notification.

Previously, the NDIC announced the verification and payment process for depositors with accounts of N5 million or less, representing about 99 percent of Heritage Bank’s customers. The NDIC Managing Director, Bello Hassan, stated that Heritage Bank had 2.3 million depositors, with total deposits of N650 billion and a loan portfolio of about N700 billion.

Sector stakeholders expressed confidence in the CBN’s decision. Mustapha Chike-Obi, chairman of the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria, told The PUNCH, “BDAN accepts and respects the unique position of the CBN in making this kind of decision in the interest of the banking sector. BDAN is confident that CBN analyzed all the pros and cons of this decision and took the best decision in the interest of the banking sector.”

The House of Representatives has also mandated the CBN to investigate the leadership and management of Heritage Bank to “identify any possible issues of mismanagement or wrongdoing that may have contributed to the bank’s failure.” This followed a motion of urgent public importance filed by Uchenna Okonkwo, a representative from Anambra State. Additionally, the NDIC has been urged to “conduct a comprehensive review of its operations and the effectiveness of its mandate to ensure it is adequately equipped and resourced to fulfill its role as deposit insurer and liquidator of failed banks.

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Theresa Anyanwu

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