By Odunewu Segun
The Nigerian Stock Exchange has again announced penalties for six more financial institutions over their failure to meet the deadline for the submission of their audited report and accounts for last year.
First Bank Nigeria Holdings Plc, the holding company for FirstBank of Nigeria was among the financial institutions sanctioned. It is expected to pay N2.1 million as fine for the duration of its delay.
Fidelity Bank Plc, which just released its results last week was fined N2.7million; Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc was fined N2.1 million; Sterling Bank will pay N1.3 million fine for the delay of its 2017 audited financial statements.
Also, Meyer Plc was fined N2.1 million for the delay in releasing its 2017 audited financial statements. Presco will pay N1 million fine for failing to submit its audited report within the deadline and another N300,000 for failing to submit its first quarter results for 2018.
Recall that National Daily had earlier reported that Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) had fined about 38 companies the sum of N433 million for their failure to adhere to the minimum listing standards as regards the timely disclosure of their audited financial report for the year ended 2017.
According to Appendix 111 of the Listing Rules, companies are expected to submit their financial year-end result latest by 90 days after the end of each year.
Quarterly results are also expected to be submitted at most 60 days after the end of each quarter.
Also, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its bid to promote transparency and accountability in these public companies had threatened to remove any chairman and chief executives of any commercial bank whose accounts remain unpublished for 12 months after the end of the bank’s financial year.
The apex bank, in its Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade, and Exchange Policy Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2018/2019 recently released warned that it would hold the board chairman and CEO of any bank directly responsible for any breach
According to the new guidelines, appropriate sanctions which include, barring the chief executive or his/her nominee from participation at the Bankers’ Committee and disclosing the reason for such suspension.
It also include the suspension of the foreign exchange dealership license of the bank; and its name sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (in the case of a public quoted company), and the removal of the chairman and MD from office if the accounts remain unpublished for 12 months after the end of the bank’s financial year.
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