SEC suspends BGL board, constitutes interim body

The Securities and Exchange Commission has intervened in the operations of BGL Plc, a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange by suspending its board and appointing an interim management for the group.

Our correspondent gathered on Sunday that SEC intervened in the operations of the group after investigating some complaints made against it.

Sources with knowledge of the matter said the commission, in the course of its investigation, had written to the group seeking clarification about the complaints before reaching a decision to replace the management.

Details of the complaints and the real reasons behind the appointment of an interim board and management for the group could not be ascertained as of the time of this report as officials of BGL and SEC could not be reached.

All the three telephone lines provided by BGL on its website were said to be only available on Mondays to Fridays, while an email sent to the group was not replied to.

However, a reliable source at SEC confirmed the development, saying that further details would be made available on Monday.

“I can confirm to you that it is true that SEC has appointed an interim management board, headed by Mr. Oladipo Aina for BGL,” the source said.

According to the source, other members of the board are Mr. Abubakar Ambursa, Mrs. Hafsat Rufai, Ms. Temitayo Siyanbola and Ms. Tonne Ladipo-Ajayi.

Our correspondent gathered from another source that the development was likely to be connected to the liquidity challenges being faced by BGL, which led to the complaints.

The intervention of SEC is believed to be an effort to save the group, which provides advisory services and products to clients, including governments, corporations, financial institutions and high net worth individuals, from going under.

It was also gathered that the constitution of the interim management board would pave the way for a detailed investigation of the accounts and operations of the group.

SEC is the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market and its actions are backed by the Investment and Securities Act.

Founded in 1993, BGL Plc – formerly Banc Guranti Limited – said on its website that it had commenced operations as a bank holding company, with the aim of acquiring distressed or underperforming institutions in the banking sector.

It has since expanded its business lines to become a leading financial services group with four subsidiaries.

The group attributed its success over the years to “values and principles, which put our clients at the centre of everything we do, and the level of professionalism that permeates right through the organisation.”

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Source : Punch

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