The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expanded the banking space in the country with the issuance of banking licenses to three new players in the industry.
With the additional licenses, the numbers of banks operating in the country have increased to 23 from the previous 21, according to a report on the regulatory bank’s website.
The new operators are; Titan Trust Bank Limited, TAJ Bank Limited and Globus Bank Limited.
While two of the newly licensed banks will operate as commercial lenders, the third one, TAJ Bank Limited was licensed to operate as a non-interest bank.
Before the banking reform of 2005, instituted by ex-governor of the CBN, Charles Soludo, Nigeria has as many as 89 banks operating as commercial and merchant banks. With the reform, which hikes minimum capital base to 25 billion naira from 2 billion naira, the number reduced to 24 universal banks.
However, subsequent alignment and take over by the regulators led to further consolidation in the operations of the banks, leading to a downward reduction in the number of operators.
The newly licensed TAJ Bank Limited has joined Jaiz Bank as only two operating as a non-interest bank in the country.