CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF NIGERIAN BANKS (A CASE STUDY OF FIRST BANK PLC)


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ABSTRACT
The study examined the impact of corporate governance and financial performance of Nigerian banking industry using First Bank Plc as case study. Board composition, board size, CEO’s duality status and number of shareholders were proxies for corporate governance and return on asset, return on equity and net profit margin were proxies for financial performance. The objectives of the study were to examine the impact of corporate governance variables on return on asset, return on equity and net profit margin. Secondary data related to the variables of interest were obtained from the annual financial statement of the sampled bank between 2011 and 2016. The data obtained were subjected to the statistical techniques of descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation analysis and regression analysis. The results amongst others, indicated that corporate governance has significant impact on return on asset, return on equity and net profit margin. Furthermore, it was found that board size negatively impact on financial performance while board composition and number of shareholder positively impact on financial performance. The regression coefficient of CEO’s duality status was not obtained because the sampled bank has different persons occupying the positions of CEO and board chairman within the period estimated. To this end, the study suggests amongst  others that companies should ensure that majority of their board members are independent, meaning that the directors are not employees of the companies and do not depend on it for their livelihood so that they can fearlessly and honestly monitor the activities of the CEO and other executive directors. This will also help to limit the possibility of the CEO and executive directors to exploit the company to their own advantage.




CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1      BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The growth and development of every economy depends on the country’s financial system. In Nigeria, the banking industry practically commands the financial sector. The industry has undergone series of restructuring all geared towards protecting deposit funds, maintaining and ensuring soundness of banking and improving the welfare of employees and stakeholders. The banking sector has been bedeviled with internal (workers and investors) and external (public and depositors) dissatisfaction culminating to image problem. As a result, most banks have sort for improved techniques like information and communication technology (ICT), total quality management strategies, corporate governance strategies, repackaging and rebranding, to compete more effectively to solve these problems and as well to enhance their financial and corporate performance (Akintoye, 2010; Adekunle, 2013).

Corporate governance has been an issue of global concern long before now. However, it came to limelight in the 1980s as a result of the fallout of the Cadbury report in the United Kingdom, which concentrated on the financial aspects of corporate governance. Immediately followed suits, the issue of corporate governance transmitted across all developed and developing countries (Akpan & Rima, 2012). Proper governance of companies is now as crucial to the world economy as the proper governance of countries and will converge in associated issues of competitiveness, corporate citizenship, social and environmental responsibility. The governance of banks becomes even more prominent considering their role in financial intermediation in developing economies. Commercial banks are the main providers of funds to enterprise and where there is thin or absence of good capital market, their failure becomes the failure of system. Simpson (2009) notes that the impact of the failure of the banking system can have immense cost, as it has been repeatedly been seen that bank failure cost developing countries up to 15% of their GDP and losses that outweighs aids received.  The major challenge of world’s economy today is not in the area of manufacturing modern equipments that will help fight government rebellions or any such crises that may occur in the economy. However, solving the problem of governance can help to totally strengthen an economy and improve the living.........


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