What you should know about Polaris Bank, the bridge bank taking over Skye

As the financial institution formerly known as Skye Bank goes under, the Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that a new bridge bank, Polaris Bank will take over the operations and serve customers.

In his speech which announced the dissolution of the troubled Skye Bank, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele revealed that Polaris Bank will assume the assets and liabilities of the now defunct bank.

Having received a capital injection of three-thirds of a trillion naira just over two years ago, the CBN determined that the bank did not stand a chance of meeting its shareholder obligations and intervened to forestall a total crash of the bank. The new bank by the CBN and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) was then formed with a view to stabilize the operations of the troubled bank and continue to serve its board and customers.

“Skye Bank requires urgent recapitalization as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN. We have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank. The strategy is for AMCON to capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON,” Emefiele said.

He added that from Monday 24th September, all Skye Bank customers are protected and will not lose any of their deposits. “We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly. Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank.”

It is, however, unclear if 72 hours is enough to completely overhaul the over 300 branches of Skye Bank to reflect its new identity. As of the time of filing this report, there has not been any logos or corporate identification marks of Polaris Bank released by the Central Bank and the NDIC.

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