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Boardroom Crisis Rocks Embattled Heritage Bank, As MD, Akinola George-Taylor Gets Indicted



Heritage Bank is allegedly in the middle of a ragging boardroom storm likely to worsen the already crisis-ridden financial institution.

According to information reaching, the trouble currently bedeviling the bank involves its current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Akinola George-Taylor, and some board members.

Already known to be hovering on the verge of a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Liquidity Ratio (LR) crisis, the latest development coming less than a year into the appointment of the new management is going to cause the bank more harm than good.

Upon his appointment as the bank’s new boss, succeeding Ifie Sekibo, many had expected George-Taylor, who joined the lender as Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer on September 12, 2022, to lead the bank to prosperity without in-house crisis, especially as he had been tagged “the chosen one”.

As the bank’s founder and pioneer Managing Director, Sekibo needed a trusted and loyal hand, but could hardly find it among existing staffs, hence he looked outside and found what he was seeking in George-Taylor.

The leadership chart and direction of the bank were made crystal clear to the new boss whose loyalty was thought to be unflinching.

Interestingly, barely a year after retiring from leading the bank’s affairs having served out his 10-year tenure in September 2022, it is more crisis that is troubling Heritage Bank.

While the bank’s fortunes have not improved as it continues to seek seemingly elusive new investors, allegedly instigated internal crisis, in an attempt to rid the bank of those suspected to be loyalists of some board members, and employ new hands is the allegation that has been brought against George-Taylor.

The move, an inside source disclosed is all in a bid to oust some existing board members said to be at loggerheads with the CEO.

The bank’s chief is said to be enjoying the support of a top shareholder of the bank whom sources say is allegedly determined to solely take over the bank and get rid of the owners.

The crisis is said to have cost at least 70 senior staff members their jobs, while several others were asked to resign. Besides those who were forced to leave, a source said that some resigned voluntarily over poor working conditions.

The situation is said to be so bad that the disengaged staffers were said to have been sacked without being paid their accrued entitlements and allowances.

“I can tell you that there is war at Heritage Bank as we speak. Over 70 persons have been asked to go, while some were asked to resign. Mind you, those who were asked to go have not been paid any compensation,” said a management staff who preferred anonymity.

“The mission of the new managing director is to ease out those who are loyal to some board members whom the Managing Director is not in tune with, so he could employ his people,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Heritage Blank is not new to crisis,  as there have been several calls for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to withdraw its operational license. Aside from this, the bank has witnessed several attempts of a hostile takeover.

Once prided as a Nigerian lender with 200 branches, 177 ATMs, 57 Cash Centres, and 2000 POS terminals in 26 states, Heritage Bank is now a shadow of the dream it once aspired to achieve, especially with most of its branches looking abandoned and under lock and key, while customers lament the inability to access their funds.

In her reaction to the allegations, the Head of Corporate Communications at Heritage Bank, Ozena Utulu, told the Witness thus; “These things are not true, there is no boardroom crisis at the bank. Of course, organizations everywhere restructure from time to time.”

Additional Information from The Witness


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