Why Did HSBC And UBS Closed Down All Operations And Offices In A Brutal Exit From Nigeria?

HSBC and UBS were once some of the most notable international banks in Nigeria alongside Citibank and Deutsche Bank. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in November 2018, released data to the media and the general public with information that 2 notable international banks, HSBC and UBS Nigeria, had exited the Nigerian market. Earlier in 2018, HSBC released a report indicating that Nigeria’s economy would virtually collapse if Muhammadu Buhari is re-elected president in 2019. In response, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) began investigating HSBC for corruption and Buhari’s spokesman released a statement saying “Our fight against corruption has meant that many financial institutions, especially banks, that fed fat on the proceeds of corruption are no longer able to do that.” UBS on the other hand, has been operating in Nigeria for less than 5 years, unprofitably and within the period of a bad economic recession. The below are the top 2 most plausible reasons why 2 internationally established banks, HSBC and UBS, boldly exited Nigeria:

  1. Buhari’s Era of Anti-Corruption, Economic Recession and Increasing Foreign Debt has been largely regressive to the market. According to Nigeria’s Minister for Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, the Buhari Administration cut down massively on frivolous spending and many organizations have been badly hit by the policies put in place since 2015. Affected organizations include both HSBC and UBS Nigeria.
  2. International Investors are looking away from Nigeria. With companies like Jumia, Konga, Etisalat and Intercontinental Hotel Lagos falling significantly below expectations, investors are very much less inclined to invest in Nigeria. The poor power supply, high poverty rate and under-developed infrastructure also make doing business in Nigeria very difficult. Over the last year, foreign direct investment to Nigeria has decreased by approximately 30%. These factors have also affected both HSBC and UBS Nigeria.



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