Why Nigerian banks are yet to publish their 2022 Audited Accounts
- None of Nigeria’s Tier One banks, collectively known as FUGAZ, have released their audited financial statements for 2022 as of the final week of March, despite the requirement to file within 60 days of year-end.
- Most of the banks, including the FUGAZ, are yet to publish their audited accounts due to delays in obtaining regulatory approvals, according to Nairametrics.
- The reasons for the delay in publishing audited accounts vary, with some citing the need to ascertain the impacts of external factors such as Ghana’s sovereign debt default and the auditing of subsidiaries.
- The governor of Nigeria’s central bank reassured the public that Nigerian banks are performing within prudential guidelines.
As we enter the final week of March, none of Nigeria’s Tier One banks, collectively known as FUGAZ, have yet to release their audited financial statements to the public.
According to the Nigerian Exchange, companies listed on NGX are required to file their financial statements within sixty (60) days of the year-end, in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) directives and NGX RegCo’s Circular on the filing of Q4 Unaudited Financial Statements.
In more specific terms, companies with a year-end date of December 31st of any year should file their accounts on or before March 1st of the next year. However, this rule does come with some exceptions, especially for commercial banks.
According to the latest filings of commercial banks, only Stanbic, Fidelity, and FCMB appear to have filed their 2022 year-end audited accounts. The rest of the Tier 2 banks (publicly quoted) and the FUGAZ are yet to file any report, despite concluding board meetings where the directors approved the financial statements.
Why Banks Are Yet to Publish Results
Nairametrics’ findings suggest that most of the banks, including the FUGAZ, are yet to publish their audited accounts due to delays in obtaining regulatory approvals.
Nigeria’s largest bank by total assets, Access Bank, explained that the delay in publishing its audited accounts was due to the need to “ascertain the impacts of Ghana’s sovereign default” on the bank’s financial statements.
- “Access Holdings Pl trading as Access Corporation (the Corporation) wishes to notify the investing public and the Nigerian Exchange Limited (‘NGX’) of the delay in the publication of the Corporation’s Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2022. The delay is occasioned by the need to ascertain the impact of Ghana’s sovereign debt default on the Financial Statements of Access Bank Ghana.”
The bank requested an extension approval from SEC for filing to March 31st, 2023, before it submits to the CBN to approve publishing. Access Bank published its financial statements last year on March 17th.
Guaranty Trust HoldCo
GT HoldCo explained that its directors approved the accounts at the end of January, but other approvals required for it to publish the accounts publicly are being processed.
- “Kindly be informed that Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc’s (the Company) Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for the year ended December 31, 2022, were approved by the Board of Directors on January 27, 2023, and other requisite approvals required for the publication of the AFS are being processed.”
The bank further opined that the accounts will likely be published after the deadline of March 31st given to some of the banks.
- “In view of the foregoing, the Company will publish its AFS after receipt of all requisite approvals, which may be after the NGX’s regulatory filing date of March 31, 2023.”
GT Co filed its audited accounts on March 4th, 2022.
Nigeria’s largest bank by profits and net assets informed the public as far back as February that the reason for its delay was due to regulatory approvals that are still being processed. It also said it expects to submit the results on or before March 31st, 2023.
- “Zenith Bank Plc (the Bank) wishes to notify the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or the Exchange) and the investing public that in view of the need to finalize all outstanding issues relating to the component audit of the subsidiary companies, the full-year Audited Financial Statement of the bank will be submitted to the Exchange on or before March 31, 2023, after receipt of the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
Zenith Bank filed its results on February 28th last year.
Similar to Zenith, United Bank for Africa (UBA) also explained that it was awaiting regulatory approval, which is the reason for the delay. It also projects the approval will be obtained on or before March 31st, 2023.
- “This is to inform Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), our esteemed shareholders, and the general public that following the approval of United Bank for Africa Plc’s FY2022 Audited Financial Statements (AFS) by the Board of Directors, the AFS has been submitted to our primary regulators – Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and is still undergoing the review and approval process of the CBN. Consequently, the Bank is yet to submit the Audited Financial Statements to the NGX. Please be informed that the AFS will be published once we have received approval from the CBN, which we anticipate receiving on or before Friday, March 31, 2023.”
UBA published its results last year on March 4th, 2022.
The bank also cited regulatory approvals but provided further context relating to the auditing of its subsidiaries as its reason.
- “However, ETI is yet to receive regulatory approval in respect of the component audit of a material subsidiary company. Accordingly, ETI has obtained the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria for an extension of time till March 31, 2023, to file the 2022 Audited Accounts.”
ETI published its accounts last year on March 29th, 2022.
Should we be worried?
This question was also posed to Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Nigeria’s central bank to which he stated that Nigerian banks are sound and performing within prudential guidelines, amidst cases of a banking crisis in some countries around the world.
Follow this link to read more about his comments.