FIRST Bank of Nigeria Limited has received ‘The Best Retail Bank in Nigeria Award’ for the fourth consecutive time at the just-concluded Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards in Singapore. The award organised annually by the Asian Banker magazine, is renowned for its rigorous and transparent process in selecting outstanding financial institutions in retail banking.
The Asian Banker said that the First Bank had continued to dominate the retail space with more than 40 percent of the market share in retail customer deposits, adding that it remained the largest retail lender in the country with more than 20 percent market share in gross loans, with increased customer and deposit base in 2014.
The bank also saw a 17 percent cost-to-income ratio, earning a profit of $752,770 in 2014, with total assets amounting to $7.8 billion, the statement said. First Bank was said to have grown its credit cards issuance by 350 percent in 2014, in addition to launching credit products for individuals and small businesses.
According to the statement, First Bank is now focusing on using its mobile banking business to offer banking services to the unbanked population in the country. Folake Ani-Mumuney, First Bank’s spokesperson, and group head, marketing and corporate communications, said the award is an indication of the effectiveness of the bank’s various transformation programmes, which are aimed at raising the bar in developing and delivering unique retail financial products to all levels of customers.
According to her, the bank has put in place a robust retail banking strategy that enables it to review its retail products and processes to ensure that the needs and lifestyles of customers are met. “We are delighted that this award and indeed our recent ranking as the most valuable bank brand in Nigeria is an indication of the recognition of our modest achievements in recent time”, she said.
Ani-Mumuney added that the bank had continued to deepen its retail dominance with the launch of innovative products and services, tailored to suit the changing times and ever growing customer base. “Emerging the ‘Best Retail Bank in Nigeria’ for 2015 after a stringent three-month evaluation process is a clear indication of the effectiveness of our strategy with regards to sustaining business services and retail financial products which, has helped to positioned our customers as first at all times.”
LCCI Wants Skye Bank to Reduce Interest Rates
SKYE Bank Plc. has restated the commitment of the bank to building a virile and mutually beneficial partnership with its customers and business partners, irrespective of the challenges in the operating environment. Timothy Oguntayo, group managing director of the bank, stated this in Lagos, when the bank held a business roundtable, which focused on distributive trade.
The programme brought together leading players in the distributive business sector. Oguntayo, who said the forum was organised as a relationship deepening platform to enable the bank know and understand the aspirations of the businessmen and receive feedback from them, noted that the meeting would also help the bank to fashion solutions to the challenges facing the businessmen.
He told the businessmen and enterprise owners that the bank would remain committed to its core values of service excellence, integrity, continuous learning, partnership and trust, noting that the bank remained committed to its vision of being a leading and first class commercial bank in the country. The Skye Bank boss listed some of the initiatives implemented by the bank in recent times to serve customers better to include the launch of a customer service charter; its information technology transformation upgrade and the recent acquisition of Mainstreet Bank Limited, among others.
Muda Lawal, director-general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, lauded the bank for developing and improving the capacity of its customers through seminars and workshops, and urged it to continue to do more. He, however, called on bank to reduce lending rates to manufacturing companies and businessmen for them to continue to be in business, adding that high interest rates were disincentive to businesses.
In addition, he advised banks to go out for long-tenured funds so that they could also in turn lend on long term basis to companies, thereby reducing the pressure on companies to pay back within a short period of time.
— Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT