THE IMPACT OF BANKING REFORMS ON BANK PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA
Reforms are predicated upon the need for reorientation and repositioning of an existing status quo in order to attain an effective and efficient state. There could be fundamental bottle-neck that may inhibit the functioning of the institutions for growth and the achievement of core objectives in the drive towards enhancing and sustaining the economic and social imperatives of human endeavor. Carried out through either government institutions or private enterprises, reform becomes inevitable in the light of the global dynamic exigencies and emerging landscape (Somoye, 2006).
In terms of policy thrust therefore the banking sector reforms are expected to build and foster a competitive and healthy financial system to support development and avoid systemic distress (Soludo, 2007). Thus Balogun (2007) averred that banking sector reforms is interpreted to mean embarking on comprehensive process aimed at
Substantially improving the financial infrastructure, strengthening the regulatory and supervisory framework to address the issue of low capitalization and a structured financing for cheap credit to the real sector and financial accommodation for small and rural credit schemes. In most cases, bank reforms are embarked upon to forestall banking crises or cushion the effects of a recent crisis. Banking sector reforms have come into play due to banks inability to meet up to required obligations or satisfy their stakeholders which overtime have led to subsequent failures and crises. A banking crisis can be triggered by weakness in banking system characterized by persistent illiquidity, insolvency, undercapitalization, high level of non-performing loans and weak corporate governance, among others. (Adegbaju and Olokoyo, 2008).
The reforms carried out in Nigerian banking industry which started from July 6 2004 was done primarily to meet the developmental challenges of the 21st century. In his words, Professor Charles Soludo, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria from June 2004 to June 2009 said that the reforms were to engender exchange rate and price stability, managing interest rate for stability and development of macroeconomic coordination, vigorous pursuit of the developmental roles of the CBN, improvement of the payment system, financial sector diversification and regulatory reforms and strategies for integrating the Nigeria’s financial system into the African regional and global financial system. He further emphasized his desire to concentrate on the theme of banking sector consolidation. Strengthening and consolidating the banking system was to constitute the first phase of the reforms designed to ensure a diversified, strong and reliable banking sector which will ensure the safety of the depositor’s money, play active developmental roles in the Nigerian economy and be competent and competitive players in the African regional and global financial system. The reform was to support the banks to become strong players for good health, long live and positive contributors to the economy. Depositors were expected to have sweet dreams in aftermath of this reform. With the universal Banking system which was introduced in 2000, banks became one stop shops offering a range of financial services, insurance, mortgage, stock broking, investment, banking etc. Unfortunately after the observation that the banks were putting shareholders’ funds at risk and not concentrating on their areas of core competence, the central Bank of Nigeria on 15 March 2010 announced the phasing out of universal banking within the 18 months. All these reforms had taken place but the benefits especially as it relates to bank performance is still a doubt to many people.
Oloyode (1994) observed that the banking sector over the years has been faced with so many crises and some fraudulent practices. These crises led to the recent reforms in the banking system one of which was merger and acquisition of banks. Oke (2006) observed that the inconsistency in monetary reforms and regulatory policies as a major setback to banks stability as the surveillance and regulatory measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have unfortunately been unable to keep the pace with the rapidity of the changes in the financial system.
One objective of the reform is to create a sound and more secured banking system that depositors can trust. These banking reforms were expected to address the problem faced by the banks and other technically insolvent institutions without an initial resort to liquidation, with all its adverse consequences for deposits. These problems encountered by the banks before the reformation according to Lemo (2005) were as follows:
According to Soludo (2007), the Nigerian banking system has undergone remarkable changes over the years. Regimes in Central Bank of Nigeria have always geared up towards the avoidance of banking distresses and its attendant consequences as witnessed in Nigeria in the past. These changes have been influenced largely by challenges posed by the reforms in an attempt to consolidate and strengthen the banking system and solve the problem of illiquidity and distress, and to restore public confidence in the sector. However, the correlation between these sets of reforms and banks performance has not been clearly ascertained.
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the impact of banking reforms on Bank performance in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions were formulated to address the research problem and the research objectives as discussed above. Three principal research questions were answered in this study. They are:
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the research questions above the following hypotheses were designed to guide the course of study
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research covers all the reforms that have taken place in the Nigerian Banking system within the period 2000 – 2008.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
One of the major significance of the work includes the evaluation of the banking reforms in terms of its impact on efficiency in the Nigerian banking sector. At the en of this study, the following shall benefit.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Consolidation: This occurs when two companies combines into one for either a
business or other purposes.
Mergers: A merger occurs when two or more companies transfer their businesses and asset to a new company and in consideration; their members receive shares in the transferee company
Acquisition: An acquisition occurs when one company acquires sufficient shares in another company so as to control that other company. This may be inform of take over bids or by purchasing shares in the market
EDITOR SOURCE: The Impact Of Banking Reforms On Bank Performance In Nigeria