Benefits and challenges of the new CBN capital base policy

We at SIAO Partners have the best professionals to help you navigate the challenges that might come with the new benchmark to help you stand tall and remain open for business.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced new minimum capital base requirements for banks in Nigeria in March 2024. The expectation is that this will have some benefits for the Nigerian banking system. Some potential benefits include:

Increased Strength and Stability: A larger capital base could make banks more resistant to financial shocks. This could help to protect depositors’ money and ensure the smooth running of the financial system.


Support for Larger Transactions: Banks with a bigger capital base may be able to handle larger transactions from businesses and corporations. This could improve access to financing for important economic activities.

Benefits and challenges of the new CBN capital base policy

Enhanced Global Competitiveness: With a stronger capital base, Nigerian banks may be better positioned to compete with foreign banks. This could benefit the Nigerian economy as a whole.


Increased Resilience: A larger capital buffer allows banks to absorb losses more effectively during economic downturns or unexpected events. This translates to a lower risk of bank failures and increased public confidence in the banking system.


Improved Credit Risk Management: With a stronger capital base, banks can afford to be more selective when issuing loans. This can lead to a decrease in non-performing loans (NPLs) which are loans that borrowers are struggling to repay. Overall, this improves the health of the banking sector.


Greater Capacity for Lending: Banks with a larger capital base can lend more money to businesses and individuals. This increased access to credit can stimulate economic growth by funding new ventures and expansion projects.

Benefits and challenges of the new CBN capital base policy


Consolidation in the Banking Sector: Smaller banks may find it difficult to raise the required capital. This could lead to mergers and acquisitions, resulting in fewer banks overall. While this can create stronger institutions, it could also reduce competition in the banking sector.


Higher Borrowing Costs: Banks may raise interest rates on loans to compensate for the increased cost of capital. This could make borrowing more expensive for businesses and consumers, potentially slowing economic growth.


Short-Term Disruption: The process of raising capital can be time-consuming and complex. This could lead to temporary disruptions in banks’ operations and a slowdown in loan approvals.


Overall, the new capital requirements are intended to strengthen the Nigerian banking system and position it for future growth. However, there are also potential drawbacks that need to be carefully considered.


Status of Nigerian Banks

Nairametrics wrote an article last year analyzing this scenario and showing the banks that are most vulnerable to raising capital.

It’s important to note that there may also be some challenges associated with the new capital requirements. For example, some banks may struggle to meet the new minimums within the timeframe set by the CBN. This could lead to consolidation in the banking sector.

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