Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc reacted to news making the rounds in which it was alleged that the House of Representatives (HoR) ad hoc committee on the recovery of “unclaimed funds”, asked “Stanbic IBTC, first bank to hand over 97 billion naira to the government”N1.2trn Unclaimed funds.

In a statement on Friday, the Bank said its attention had been drawn to news reports alleging “83 billion naira” of what were called “unclaimed funds” had been discovered at the Bank, in connection with the hearing by the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives on the recovery of “unclaimed funds”.

Stanbic IBTC said the reports do not reflect the facts.

“It is important to make it clear that the allegations made in press articles against the Bank are misleading and do NOT represent the facts.

“The Bank has provided all information requested by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee and continues to work with the House committee to provide any additional information the committee may require. For the avoidance of doubt, the Bank has no further obligation with respect to any purported “unclaimed funds”.

Stanbic IBTC Bank said it would continue to be transparent and ethical in its business practices, “and we remain committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity in all of our dealings.”

Context:

The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Recovery of N1.2 Trillion Naira of Unclaimed Funds from Banks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) uncovered a further N83 billion with Stanbic IBTC and N14 billion additional with First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

During the committee’s continuing hearing on Wednesday, it was revealed that more than 2 million operational bank accounts with First Bank did not have a Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The committee, while expressing disappointment at the bank’s inability to adhere to established rules for financial transactions, insisted that the bank take immediate action to return the money in question to government coffers.

It has been revealed that N3.2 billion of the total sum Stanbic IBTC owes the government was in accounts without BVN.

In response, the bank’s Executive Director, Risk Management, Kola Lawal, explained that he was hearing about the figure for the first time despite his earlier remarks to the committee.

Lawal pleaded for more time from the consultants on the committee before they make a decision on the matter.

But lawmakers insisted the committee was seeking public funds from the hands of individuals and businesses to augment government to fund the annual budget and reduce external borrowing.