The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retained banks’ deposit ratio at 65 percent citing rising real sector loans by banks as the reason. CBN announced this in a circular signed by Ahmad Abdullahi, the Director of Banking Supervision, to all banks dated 7th January 2020 titled: ‘’Re: Regulator Measures to Improve Lending to the Real Sector of the Nigerian economy.”
The CBN in October 2019 had raised the Loan to Deposit Ratio (LDR) of banks from 60 to 65 percent to raise real sector lending.
The CBN, in the directive, gave December 31, 2019 deadline for compliance.
However, at the expiration of that deadline, the CBN held the rates constant and promised further reward banks who improved lending to MSMEs. The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) regulator directives contained in its circulars dated July 3, 2019, ref. BSD/DIR/GEN/MDD/O1/)45 and September 30, 2019 ref. BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/12/049 refers.
“The CBN has noticed remarkable increase in the size of gross credit by the deposit money banks (DMB) to customers. Accordingly, the CBN has decided to retain the minimum 65 percent loan deposit ratio (LDR) in the interim. All DMBs are required to maintain this level and are further advised that average daily figures shall be applied to assess compliance going forward. “The incentives which assign a weight of 150 percent in respect of lending to SMEs, retail, mortgage and consumer lending shall continue to apply while failure to achieve the target shall continue to attract a levy of additional cash reserve requirement of 50 percent of the lending shortfall of the target LDR on or before March 31, 2020. “DMBs are further encouraged to maintain strong risk management practices regarding their lending operations. “The CBN shall continue to monitor compliance, review market developments and make further alterations in the LDR as it deems appropriate” the circular concluded. ‘’