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Foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, is leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution to offer Nigerians an additional channel to connect with the Bank for enquiries, service requests and access to other basic banking services. This is in line with the Bank’s continued efforts to enhance service delivery and offer superior banking experiences to customers.

Over the years, GTBank has been at the forefront of establishing a wide range of value-adding touch-points through which customers can access banking services and interact with the bank on all account-related enquiries at any time of the day. The Bank was the first financial institution in Nigeria to set up a fully interactive contact centre in 2006 and has, since then, led the finance sector in driving customer interaction across online and social media platforms.

Following the launch of the Whatsapp Business Solution, GTBank is leveraging the platform to bring financial services closer to customers, whilst offering them more channels to bank, make enquiries and have their service requests treated promptly. Once fully operational, the Bank’s WhatsApp service will enable customers to chat with GTBank on their mobile phones and request for basic banking services using the advised prompts. All service requests will be treated instantly, depending on the internet connection of the user.

Commenting on the Bank’s service channel on WhatsApp, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “At GTBank, we are passionate about driving constant interaction with our customers to learn more about how we can serve them better as well as to provide them with the financial solutions that can add real value to their lives. By leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution, we are continuing to expand our service channels as part of our commitment to making banking, cheaper, faster and readily accessible to customers wherever and whenever they choose to bank.

GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African 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. The Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry as revealed by its return on equity (ROE) of 35.4% and cost to income ratio of 38.1% evidencing the efficient management of assets and operational efficiency. In recognition of its innovation and hard work, the Bank received over 20 international awards in 2017.

BUSINESS

Senate Orders CBN To Suspend ATM Card Maintenance Charges, ATM’s To Dispense N40,000

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the suspension of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks.

This was after a motion on “illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts” was raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the plenary session on Wednesday.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, saying: “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”

The issue generated much debate on the floor of the Senate and after much deliberations, a few resolutions were made.

The Senate directed the committees on banking insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

It also mandated the committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to invite the CBN Governor to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

The lawmakers urged CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers accounts, just as they called on the CBN to instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.

The Consumer Protection Council was called upon to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian banks.

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Reasons To Bank With Zenith Bank [VIDEO]

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BUSINESS

UBA Shows Resilience As Gross Earnings Hit N375billion, With Group Profit Of N79billion

Gbemileke Ajayi

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United Bank for Africa Plc, the pan African financial institution with presence in 20 African countries has announced its unaudited 2018 Third Quarter Financial Results, with impressive growth in Gross Earnings, which berthed at N374.8 billion, an 12.3 percent increase when compared to N333.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

According to the report filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) on Tuesday, UBA’s net operating improved 1.7 percent year-on-year to N227.7 billion, when compared to N224 billion achieved in the similar period of 2017.

Amidst inflationary pressures and uncertainties undermining the business environment in Nigeria and a few other countries in Africa, UBA’s operating expenses only increased by 2.3 percent to N149.1 billion, compared to N145 billion recorded in the same period of last year. The low cost profile can be better appreciated when put in the perspective of double digit inflation rate in Nigeria. Overall, the Bank posted a Profit Before Tax of N79.1 billion whilst Profit After Tax stood at N61.7 billion. This profit performance puts the Bank’s annualized return on average equity at 16% and 20% at pre-tax and post-tax profit level respectively.

The Bank continues to maintain a very strong balance sheet, with Total Assets of N4.51 trillion, an impressive 10.8 per cent year-to-date rise over the N4.07 trillion total asset recorded as at December 2017. Another strong indication of the growth of the Bank and more so, acceptance of the franchise across Africa is the remarkable 16.2 percent year-to-date growth in Customer Deposits, which grew to N3.18trillion, compared to N2.73 trillion as at December 2017. The shareholders’ fund remained very strong at N509.3 billion, even as the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, moderated the Group’s equity by 3.8% year-to-date.

Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, said; “We achieved a number of strategic imperatives during the quarter and committed more investments in the future of the business – building a solid foundation for sustainable and superior return to our shareholders”

Uzoka said that he is pleased that the Bank’s Virtual Banking Chatbot, Leo, which debuted on Facebook earlier in the year, was successfully launched on WhatsApp during the quarter. “This new channel offering, which enables our customers to fulfil their banking transactions through simple chat commands, is another premier initiative in our suite. The early pay-offs are quite compelling – recent customer acquisitions and broader transaction volume growth are exciting leading indicators that reinforce our confidence in these novel channels,” he said.

“Our franchise is increasingly renowned for financial solution and I am happy with the consistent growth in our businesses across the continent. We have grown balance sheet by 11% year-to-date to over N4.5 trillion. Notwithstanding the statutory-induced cost growth, our earnings proved resilient, as we recorded nine-month profit before tax of N79 billion. Notwithstanding the macro-risk arising from upcoming elections in Nigeria, our single largest market, we are confident of finishing the year strong,” Uzoka concluded.

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that despite the relative volatility in the third quarter of 2018, especially in the face of U.S. interest rate hikes and concerns over global trade war, which has disrupted the interest and exchange rate environment in many African countries, the bank remains on track to deliver its earnings target for the year.

He said “We remain committed to our five-year plan of working down CIR to 50%, which we consider to be a normalised medium-term CIR. Overall, we closed the third quarter with a post-tax RoAE of 16% and the Group remains well capitalized and liquid, as reflected in the Group’s capital adequacy of 21% and Bank’s liquidity ratio of 53%.”

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has presence in the global financial centres; London, New York and Paris. UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.

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