Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

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Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

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Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

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Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

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BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

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Categorized | Banks

Access wins case against former executive

Posted on July 31, 2012

One of Nigeria’s largest banks has won a ruling in London’s High Court against a former executive, who is now liable to pay the bank more than £600m in damages.

Access Bank, which acquired Intercontinental Bank last year, brought legal action in the High Court against Erastus Akingbola, the former managing director of Intercontinental Bank.

    Mr Akingbola was removed from his post in 2009 after an investigation into the bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which later had to rescue Intercontinental – at the time one of Nigeria’s largest banks, employing 20,000 people.

    Intercontinental was one of eight stricken lenders bailed out by the Nigerian central bank following a debt crisis caused partly by loans to speculators in equities.

    The civil lawsuit brought by Access alleged there were unlawful share purchases – spearheaded or at least known about by Mr Akingbola – whereby Intercontinental bought its own shares in order to bolster its stock price.

    It was claimed that Intercontinental eventually owned approximately 25 per cent of its own share capital, and when the Nigerian stock market collapsed in 2009 the bank was left owning worthless shares.

    Mr Akingbola had denied there was an unlawful scheme or that he was part of it.

    The legal action was brought in London because at the time the lawsuit was issued, the former managing director was living in London.

    Access also claimed that Mr Akingbola “misappropriated the claimants’ monies” and paid it to various companies owned directly and indirectly by him and his family. It also alleged he made two transfers to a law firm that were used to buy luxury property in London. He had denied these claims.

    Mr Justice Burton ruled in favour of the bank and added on the unlawful share purchase allegation: “The claimant’s case is proved.” He said that the amount claimed by the bank was “well over half £1bn”.

    The judge called the defendant “a most impressive man” but added: “I have no doubt that all the staff in the bank were in awe of him and of his authority and that, although he was plainly not a ‘details’ man, leaving it to others to put into effect what he instructed, I do not accept or believe that anything major in the bank could have occurred or did occur without his knowledge.”

    Segun Osuntokun, a partner at the law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, who acted for Intercontinental, said: “This judgment is a significant result for Access but is also a testament to the continuing efforts of participants in and regulators of the Nigerian banking sector to sanitise and restore a sense of accountability to Africa’s most exciting and dynamic banking sector.

    “This judgment sends a strong message to international investors in Nigeria that it is no longer ‘business as usual’ in its banking sector.”