The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sanctioned Access Bank Plc to the tune of N78 million for complacency and unethical practices in the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercises in the 2017 financial year.

The bank, which was accused of specifically failing to carry out the apex bank regulatory requirements on BVN for its customers, is expected to pay the amount of fine at a stipulated period.

According to the bank’s 2017 corporate action, made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for verification on Wednesday, other contraventions by the bank include non-disclosure of unutilized foreign exchange from CBN, non-compliance as regards bank assurance rules, CBN forex examination, among others.

Similarly, the bank, in its ordinary course of business in the year under review is presently involved in a plethora cases as a defendant, but said that the court will have no material effect on its operations.

The lender had, in its financial statement, reported that it granted various credit facilities to its subsidiary companies and key management personnel. “Key Management Personnel is defined as members of the Board of Directors of the bank, including their close members of family and any entity over which they exercise control.

Despite the regulatory sanction, the bank’s board of directors has proposed a final dividend of 40 kobo, which when added with the 25 kobo interim dividend that was paid for 2017 half year, brings the total dividend for the 2017 financial year to 65 kobo.

The proposed dividend, which is subject to appropriate withholding if approved, will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as at the close of business on Thursday April 12, 2018. Payment will be made to shareholders’ accounts on April 25, 2018.

A breakdown of the bank’s group consolidated statement of comprehensive income shows that earnings went down at both top and bottom line. For instance, interest income went down from N319,854,402 billion in 2016 to 247,286,635 billion in 2017.

The lender’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) also dropped from N90,339,456 billion in 2016 to N80,072,482 billion in 2017, while Profit After Tax (PAT) dropped from N71,439,347 billion in 2016 to N61,990,852 billion in 2017. Earnings Per Share (EPS) stood at 218 in 2017, as against 250 recorded in 2016.