Commercial banks and merchant banks appear to be increasingly reliant on the Central Bank of Nigeria for liquidity, with borrowing from the central bank growing in the final eight months of 2022.
Commercial banks and merchant banks borrowed a total of N12.46tn from the CBN during the first eight months of this year, according to CBN figures.
In the first eight months of 2022, financial institutions borrowed N6.96tn from the central bank, indicating a 79% rise.
Commercial banks and merchant banks use the Standing Lending Facility window to access lending from the apex bank, and the Standing Deposit Facility window to deposit cash with the apex bank.
According to findings, banks during the first eight months of 2023 accessed the SLF window against the backdrop of CBN’s tightening monetary policy stance.
The apex banking regulating body has the SLF, a short-term lending window for commercial banks and merchant banks, to access liquidity to run their day-to-day business operations.
The CBN data obtained by The PUNCH revealed that between January and June this year, commercial banks and merchant banks borrowed N10.25tn from the CBN via the SLF window, an increase of 138 per cent Year-on-Year from N4.3tn borrowed during the corresponding period of H1 2022.
According to CBN data, the first-quarter amount of N4.95 trillion was greater than the half-year figure for 2022.
According to the monthly breakdown, commercial banks and merchant banks borrowed N528.16 billion from the CBN in January, but the sum fell to N453.7 billion in February 2023.
It increased by 776.22 percent in March to N3.98 trillion, the second highest after N4.47 trillion in April 2023.
The CBN figures, on the other hand, revealed a N590.29bn and N235.06bn borrowing for May and June 2023, respectively.
Furthermore, SLF’s figure was N908.43bn in July and N1.3tn in August.
Commenting on the development, a former Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr, Muda Yusuf, said, “This is a reflection of liquidity pressure some of the banks are going through. The facility is typically short term. This may not necessarily indicate that the banks are stressed or unstable. Meanwhile, the recapitalisation of banks is long overdue. The minimum capital requirements of N25 billion is no longer adequate, if discounted for inflation.”
Also, a financial expert at Chapel Hill Denham, Tajudeen Ibrahim, said, “The development points to lack of liquidity on the part of banks. Monetary policy has been tightening and this has led to low liquidity. It is cheaper for banks to borrow from the CBN. This development is not positive but negative. We cannot continue to tighten because it will reflect of economic growth.