• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Expectation high as Brent Mortgage Bank commences operations

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Brent Mortgage Bank Limited, formerly Skyfield Savings and Loans, is one of the primary mortgage institutions recently licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as state mortgage bank.

Monday this week, the mortgage bank made a high profile entrance into the nation’s bourgeoning finance market with a promise to boost home ownership in Nigeria.

Expectations are very high on the coming of the mortgage bank, considering the housing deficit of over 16 million, a situation the bank intends to reduce through creation of mortgages and making affordable houses available to Nigerians.

Speaking at the official unveiling of the bank’s new corporate identity in Lagos, Muri Salami, board chairman, said the new platform would not only herald a new beginning, fresh perceptions and bigger opportunities, but would also open a new chapter in the life of the organisation.

The bank will remain true to its core value of integrity by playing by the rules, he said, saying “Brent Mortgage Bank Limited would comply with the new CBN guidelines for the sector to letters. In governance, performance and growth, we want to be the reference bank in the mortgage industry.”

Kola Abdul, managing director/CEO of the bank, described the unveiling ceremony as dawn of a new era, saying the bank was now in good stead to empower home ownership in Nigeria. “We want to be the benchmark for other mortgage banks in the country by leveraging on the efficiency and trust we have built over the years,” he said.

Skyfield, which was incorporated and licensed in 2002, has been on a spirited rebound after years of decline occasioned by the instability that rocked the finance industry in recent years. The bank’s recovery received a boost in 2010, following the reconstitution of its board and management including the appointment of Kola Abdul, an astute banker and seasoned administrator.

The Abdul-led management team was not only able to weather the storm that hit the nation’s economy in the wake of the capital market burst and rumble in the money market, but had in the last four years introduced an efficient and effective processes and procedures that had successfully repositioned the bank.

Abdul attributed the success achieved by the bank in the last four years to the management’s avowed commitment to sound corporate governance, as well as strict adherence to international best practices and professionalism in its dealing with all stakeholders. He also pointed to the bank’s understanding of the market and the risk tolerance measures it had put in place as factors that sustained the steady recovery.

“We always take risk-adjusted decisions and refuse to join the bandwagon,” he said.

According to the CBN, total assets and liabilities of Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs) increased by 6.2 percent to N369.6 billion at end-June 2013, compared with N348.1 billion at end- December 2012. The paid-up capital and loans/advances also increased by 10.7 percent and 6.9 percent to N69.6 billion and N129.3 billion, compared with N62.9 billion and N120.9 billion, respectively, at end-December 2012. Aggregate reserves and deposits, however, decreased by 26.5 percent and 3.7 percent to N8.6 billion and N164.8 billion, respectively, compared with N11.7 billion and N171.1 billion at end-December 2012.

Investible funds available to PMBs during the review period amounted to N46.0 billion. The funds were sourced largely from increase in other liabilities (N16.7bn), reduction in investments (N14.3bn), increase in long-term loans (N8.2bn), and paid-up share capital (N6.8bn). They were used mainly to increase other assets (N22.8bn), loans/advances (N8.4bn), and reduce deposit liabilities (N6.3bn).

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE