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Our First Bank loan is being serviced, reduced by 30% – Honeywell Group

The Honeywell Group has said that its loan with First Bank is being serviced as the conglomerate had reduced the facility by 30% in the last two and half years.

This was disclosed by the Group in a statement issued on Sunday.

According to the statement, the company and the bank have had a professional business relationship since 1975, which preceded the group’s investment in the bank over a decade later.

According to the Honeywell Group, the credit facilities accessed from First Bank were granted after due negotiations, with the necessary documentation and in line with regulatory policies and industry standards.

The Group further explained that following agreed terms, its facilities are adequately secured with First Bank with collaterals in place at over 170% of forced sales value and 230% at open market value.

It stated, “In 2015, First Bank under the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria, drew our attention to a 2004 circular (BSD/9/2004) which requires that insider related facilities must not exceed 10% of paid-up share capital.

Based on this directive we subsequently entered negotiations with the bank to agree on an appropriate repayment structure and the final negotiated position was duly approved by the CBN.

In addition to the above, First Bank, on the directive of CBN, requested additional security in the form of FBN Holdings Plc shares held by the Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr Oba Otudeko citing a 2001 circular. This was duly provided through an authorisation to place a lien on the shares.”

Honeywell Group has continued to meet all its obligations on its facilities with the bank according to agreed terms and has reduced its exposure by nearly 30% in 2.5 years. The facilities were charged at market rate and the bank continues to earn significant interest therefrom.”

TheNewsGurue.com, TNG reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier directed Honeywell to fully repay its obligations to First Bank within 48 hours, warning that failure to do so would cause the CBN to take regulatory measures against the insider borrower and the bank.

The apex bank had noted in a letter last Wednesday that First Bank had yet to comply with regulatory directives on divesting its interest in Honeywell despite several reminders.

Also, the CBN asked First Bank to forward evidence involving the divestment of interest in Honeywell Flour Mills and Bharti Airtel Nigeria Ltd within 90 days.

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