The Nigerian finance and banking sector has arown from a simole structure at independence in 1960 to the present complex system. Much of the growth came since the 1980s following the financial sector deregulation. Since then, the finance and banking sector has encouraged economic and social development through its intermediation func tion. This development function was threatened by the frightening incidence of distress in the financial sector. The quick intervention of the Federal Government and regulatory authorities has reversed the trend. Today, sanity and confidence have returned to the finance and banking sector.
Emerging trends which will impact significantly on the financial sector include the introduction of Universal Banking in January 2000 and the opening of the sector to foreign players again. Citibank Nig. Ltd is now a subsidiary of the Citibank banking group of the United States of America. Standard Chartered Bank (Nig) Ltd, a wholly owned sub sidiary of the Standard Chartered banking group commenced operations in early February 2000. These trends should result in greater efficiency in the delivery of banking services in Nigeria and also facil itate the process of attracting investment into Nigeria.