Nigeria Regulator Suspends Stanbic Directors Amid Finance Probe

Nigeria’s Financial Reporting Council ordered the suspension of four past and current Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc directors, including its chief executive officer and chairman, after accusing them of posting misleading statements over two years.

CEO Sola David-Borha and Chairman Atedo Peterside were the two current directors of the unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender by assets, to be suspended, the regulator said in a statement on its website on Monday. The FRC is investigating to establish the “extent of their negligence in the concealment, accounting irregularities and poor disclosures” in the company’s financial statements of 2013 and 2014. Stanbic denied the charges.

The Lagos-based company’s directors have been directed to withdraw the annual reports, the FRC said in the statement. The regulator also asked Nigeria’s Securities Exchange Commission to “consider withholding her authorization of any request made by Stanbic IBTC” on its rights issue until those statements are corrected.

The Nigerian SEC suspended Stanbic’s proposed share sale in September as the FRC began an investigation into the company’s financial statements. The company received approval in June to issue 800 million shares, after announcing plans a month earlier to raise 24 billion naira ($121 million) of equity.

The allegations are inaccurate and Stanbic “does not agree that its accounts are defective or require rectification,” the bank said in a statement e-mailed by spokesman Usman Imanah, adding that a legal case was ongoing. “The directors of Stanbic IBTC have not been ousted.”

Stanbic’s shares fell 5 percent to 21.85 naira by the close of trading in Lagos, dropping the most in more than two months.

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