The fear and uncertainty surrounding the sale of Keystone Bank Limited has created anxiety among its employees as many of them now look out for new jobs in order not to be caught unawares, our investigation has revealed.
Earlier this week, the biggest of the three nationalized lenders after 2009 financial crisis, Keystone Bank Limited, was announced to have been sold by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to some unknown local investors at undisclosed amount.
In a statement made available to newsmen, AMCON referred to the new owners of the bank as a consortium of local investors called Sigma Golf Nigeria Limited and Riverbank Investment Resources.
But the manager of bad assets failed to inform the general public on the total amount payable for the sales of the bank and the initial amount paid. Also, the statement did not disclose the sale price or any financial details, as well as the faces behind the investment firms buying the bank.
However, our investigations showed that the some employees of the bank have been on the lookout for better job opportunities with other lenders as their fate remain uncertain, as the new owners are set to take over.
A staff of the bank who pleaded anonymity disclosed that some of them who do not want to be suddenly without job have started to look for jobs since the announcement was made.
“I have submitted my CV to a couple of banks and I hope to secure a job with any of them”, the source disclosed.
The three lenders that were nationalized in 2011, Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB, were recapitalised by AMCON and changed their names to Mainstreet Bank, Enterprise Bank and Keystone Bank. Two of the banks have since been sold.
AMCON was set up in 2010 to absorb non-performing loans in exchange for government bonds, after the central bank injected $4 billion to rescue nine lenders from collapse seven years ago.
It is worthy of note that before the end of 2015, the Corporation had completed the sale of Mainstreet Bank purchased by Skye Bank Plc, while Heritage Bank bought Enterprise Bank.
In view of this, there had been anxiety over the sale of Keystone Bank, but AMCON at the beginning of 2015 said the sale of the bank would commence during the second quarter of the year but failed to carry out the sale till the recent announcement.
Recall that AMCON had during the last quarter of 2014 completed the sale of Enterprise Bank and Mainstreet Bank to Heritage Bank and Skye Bank Plc, respectively for a combined sum of N181.1billion, after bidding processes that lasted for several months.
Heritage Bank won the bid to acquire Enterprise bank for N56.1billion, while Skye Bank was announced as the winner for Mainstreet bank with a bid of N125 billion.
While Heritage Bank won the bid for Enterprise Bank, Fidelity Bank emerged the reserved bidder after a bidding process that involved over 20 buyers.
Cedar One Investment Partners Limited and Fidelity Bank emerged as the first and second reserve bidders respectively for Mainstreet bank.
However, all the aforementioned processes and measures were put in place when the two other bridged banks were sold, unlike now that Keystone bank is being sold.