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Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service Provider has been bestowed with the inaugural Nigeria Sustainable Banking Award convened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) “For Sustainable Transaction of The Year in Agriculture.”

The award which was in recognition of its outstanding success and leadership in Nigeria’s sustainable development in 2017 was presented to the bank recently during the Bankers Committee meeting held in Lagos.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo in recognition of the award said, “We are highly honoured to be awarded by the regulator as one of the most supportive financial institutions to the Agric sector, which is a key sector of the economy and this validates the hard work and success story of the bank to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.”

According to him, Heritage Bank has continued to compliment the efforts of CBN by making funds available to both individuals and corporate organisations in their efforts to increase agricultural output.

He explained that the bank has taken the front seat in financing critical agricultural projects in several states in the country, especially in Oyo, Kaduna and Zamfara States.

Specifically, Sekibo explained, “The Award is in recognition of what we are doing with Biase Plantations Limited (BPL) a subsidiary of Wilmar International in supporting Oil Palm industry and Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL) involved in aquaculture and reforestation projects.

“Being a Bank with sustainability as part of our DNA, our relationship with BPL that has sustainability as one of its core values provides a natural fit. The project is being implemented in full compliance with all relevant national legal requirements in Nigeria, following best international management practices, including compliance with requirements of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).”

The bank’s Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Olugbenga Awe explained further that the Heritage Bank is currently implementing an Outgrowers Scheme that is sustainable, fair, adapted to the local context and that will positively impact on the lives of the rural poor.

“The objective of the Outgrowers Scheme is to improve the livelihood of rural people, increase the product supply of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) to BPL and to help close the palm oil deficit in the Nigerian market with commitment to the ‘No Deforestation and No Exploitation policy’,” he said.

Awe also expressed the excitement about the prospects of working with CBN to expand the Anchor Borrowers Programme to cover cash crops such as Oil Palm and Cocoa.

According to him, our track records and experience in this field will be leveraged to offer a seamless rollout.

He, however stated that Heritage Bank was not only actualizing its vision of partnering with individuals, organisations and governments to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations, but is also playing a crucial role in helping to achieve the government’s ambition of diversifying the economy.

BUSINESS

Union Bank Shines At Sustainability, Enterprise And Responsibility Awards (SERAs)

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Union Bank has won the Best Company in Environmental Excellence Award and the peoples choice Award for the Most Outstanding Company in CSR/Sustainability’at the 2018 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs). The awards were presented at the SERAS ceremony which took place recently at the MUSON center in Lagos.

Following an extensive vetting process that included an on-site inspection of applicants’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability projects and initiatives, Union Bank was nominated across seven award categories including The SERAs Innovation Prize, Best Company in Education and Best Company in Sustainability Reporting.

Commenting on the two awards received by the Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Head Corporate Communication, and Marketing at Union Bank said:

Corporate citizenship is a core pillar of our brand and business strategy. We are committed to being a sustainability champion in Nigeria and we are always improving our business operations, social engagement and innovation practices to ensure beyond compliance, we are leading the charge to deliver a sustainable future for Nigeria. We thank the SERAS team and all members of the public who recognise the work we are doing.”

Now in its 12th year, SERAs is an annual project organized by TruContact CSR, which aims to promote and raise awareness about the roles organizations to play with an emphasis on their responsibility towards stakeholders and the social development of Africa. The theme for this year’s edition was ‘Poverty Eradication through sustainability: Turning Challenges into opportunities’.

As part of its Citizenship and Sustainability efforts, Union Bank represents Nigeria on the global financial inclusion working group at the World Economic Forum. The bank is a member of the Business Call to Action (BCtA) group and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and has recently published its first UNGC Communication of Progress report.

Union Bank also publishes an annual Citizenship, Sustainability and Innovation report which highlights its strategic approach, initiatives and impact made in these areas within the last year.

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BUSINESS

GTBank Maintains Leading Position As Best Bank In Nigeria; Wins Bank Of The Year, Sierra Leone

Peter Okunoren

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Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has won the award for “Bank of the year Nigeria” for the second year in a row at The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards, regarded as the industry standard for excellence within the global banking sector.

Guaranty Trust Bank Sierra Leone Ltd, a subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, was also recognized as the “Bank of the Year Sierra Leone” at the event, which held on November 29, 2018, at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, London, United Kingdom.

The Banker, a publication of the Financial Times, is the world’s leading monthly journal of records for the banking Industry, with over 90 years expertise in publishing developments in the banking industry in Africa and on the global scale. The Magazine’s Bank of the Year Awards celebrates leading financial institutions within the global banking sector who are setting new industry standards and driving innovation in financial services and customer experience.

Receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director/CEO of GTBank said; “We are honoured to be recognized as the 2018 Bank of the Year in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. These awards serve as further motivation for us as we continue to go beyond traditional banking services by creating innovative digital services that are less about us as bank and more about our customers and how we empower them with everything that they need to better their lives.”

He further stated that “Our vision has always been to create an oasis in the financial services industry that leads, not only in earnings and returns on equity but also in maintaining world-class corporate governance standards and pushing the bounds in service delivery and customer experience. These awards reflect our sustained commitment towards this vision, which we will continue to pursue, driven by our passion for excellence and guided by our founding values of hard work, discipline, and integrity.”

Alongside its record for consistent year-on-year growth, GTBank is widely regarded by industry watchers as a trailblazer in the banking industry due to its many innovations in digital and financial services.

Recently, the Bank launched Habari, Nigeria’s largest platform for music, shopping and lifestyle content and the first mobile platform created by a financial institution in the country that focuses on enabling people’s needs and lifestyle rather than providing regular banking products.

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BUSINESS

GTBank Launches “Habari”, Nigeria’s Largest Online Platform For Music, Shopping, Lifestyle Content and More

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Leading African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has announced the launch of Habari, Nigeria’s largest platform for music, shopping, lifestyle content and more.

Unveiled on Friday, November 23, 2018, at a special event attended by renowned personalities in the entertainment, media and technology sectors, Habari offers users direct access to the largest catalogue of local and foreign music online, a seamless shopping experience and an exciting way to connect with friends, amongst other features.

Built around the everyday lives of customers, Habari is the first mobile platform in Nigeria created by a financial institution that focuses on enabling people’s needs and lifestyles rather than providing a limited bouquet of regular banking products.

The mobile application is open and free for all to download, does not require mobile banking details and offers a wide range of services, all of which are accessible to anyone regardless of where they choose to bank.

Habari is also very simple to use and is designed with a clean user interface as well as a seamless navigation experience that ensures everything, from the music to listen to, to the bills to pay, are just two clicks away.

Among the exciting services available on Habari are its catalog of local and foreign music, the largest ever in Nigeria, carefully curated videos that range from short engaging self-help kits to captivating full-length movies, and books that cut across all literary genres.

Habari also offers an end-to-end shopping experience that allows users to buy goods and services directly from over 10,000 small businesses.

On Habari users can also shake their phones to find and connect with friends, split bills, transfer and receive funds as well as pay for utilities, subscriptions, and other services.

Commenting on the launch of Habari, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “By reimagining the role of banking and driving innovation in how we serve customers, we have built a platform that is less about us as bank and more about our customers and everything they need to enable their lifestyle.”

He further stated that “Habari is not a mobile banking application; it is the start of our journey towards building a platform that connects our customers to everything that they need, and which continues to evolve with their lifestyle. We are excited about this journey and we are confident that our customers will see in Habari a simple, smart and exciting digital experience that adds value to their lives, every day.”

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry.

The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service, quality, and innovation.

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