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[MUST READ]: Dear Bank….. Good Service Does Matter !!!




A couple of weeks ago, I paid a visit to my bank to raise a bank draft as payment for goods I planned to receive from a major Nigerian FMCG I distribute for.  As I stepped into the banking hall I knew it was going to be a very ‘long thing’ to get the draft because of the large crowd of angry looking customers I met waiting to be served.

I joined the queue and noticed that the bank cashier was engrossed in a conversation with her colleagues, seems totally oblivious to the growing impatience of her waiting customers. I instinctively knew the bank was having some sort of system challenge and asked the dude ahead of me on the queue if he knew what was going on. His answer confirmed my fears…’They say their network is down’. Well, since it was important I submit the payment draft that day, I had no choice but to wait and hope the issue would soon be resolved.

As time passed so did our patience and after 2 hours comments like ‘stupid bank’ ‘all they know is to collect money from people’s accounts’ were being murmured audibly. The situation was not helped by the lack of reliable information regarding how long it would take to fix the problem, the seemingly lack of empathy by the bank staff and to make matters worse, the banking hall was unpleasantly hot as the few functioning air conditioners seemed incapable of addressing the amount of body heat being generated in the enclosed space.

It wasn’t long afterwards before we heard madam teller scream at the person in front of the queue in frustration, ‘Madam, I told you, the system is down. They are working on it and I do not know when they will finish. If you can’t wait, go and come back later’. The crude nature of this response was too much and several angry customers confronted her with some harsh words, which she proceeded to respond to in kind with more venom. Before long it was a shouting match with almost everyone getting involved.

‘Is this a bank?’ someone said aloud and I couldn’t but wonder how a financial institution registered on the Nigerian Stock Market could offer such crappy service in today’s digital age.

An hour later (3 hours and 25 minutes after I walked into the bank) and the system came back online to cheers from the waiting customers and smiles of superiority from the staff. It was a scene reminiscence of people shouting ‘Up NEPA’ when the electric authorities provided power in the late 80ies. I heard ‘Next customer’, walked over to the counter and the cashier said ‘Yes!’.  ‘No greeting, no apology for the delay…. Nothing’.  So, I handed over my cheque with the instruction to issue a draft clearly written behind it. She looked at the cheque, scrutinized my handwriting and signature, then smiled suddenly and responded ‘Your cheque leaf is old and not NUBAN compliant’. At this point, all I could say was which one is NUBAN complaint again now?. She completely ignored my response and went on to narrate one long story about bank policy which I didn’t even hear. I was livid and let her know in very clear terms what I thought about her, the bank and all their policies. As my voice grew louder, the Branch Manager appeared from her high tower to calm the storm. ‘It is now this one knows she will appear. ‘Rubbish!’ exclaimed one customer. She apologized and instructed the cashier to treat my transaction. I then witnessed a miracle of biblical proportions as a transaction that was earlier impossible due to bank policy now became possible. I let out a big sigh of relief and waited humbly for the cashier to conclude my transaction. It took another 30 minutes before I was handed my draft and I rushed out of the banking hall before some other evil would rear its head.

On my way out, I could not help but wonder how most banks in Nigeria offered poor service. I mean it’s a no-brainer that excellent service is the hallmark of any successful organization regardless of their financial standing. Lost in thought, a gentleman interrupted my contemplation saying ‘the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know. All banks in Nigeria are the same, they offer crappy service and debit you with hidden charges to grow their profit’. I smiled, shook my head and bid him adieu as I pondered on the truism of his words.

Last week, I accompanied a friend to a Zenith Bank branch to perform the same transaction, having introduced him to the distributorship business. Mentally prepared for another harrowing experience we cleared security and entered the banking hall. Banking halls are banking halls in Nigeria and I was expecting to be greeted by a large group of customers in a room where the air conditioning unit was not working. Oh! Was I wrong; the hall was well lit, quiet and the ambience was indescribable. The staff were professional and the transaction was done in record time. For the first time in a long while, I was reluctant to leave the banking hall and step into Lagos’s harsh sun. I began pondering what I had been doing putting up with the inefficiencies of my own bank for so long and asked what it would take to open a Zenith Bank account. The requirements were straightforward though I had to come back the next day with the documents I didn’t have on me then.

So, I’ve been a Zenith Bank customer for almost a week now and it’s nice knowing some banks are aligning with international best practices in service delivery. To my old bankers, I say…Yes, Good Service does matter. Please don’t call me… I’m going to my Zenith.


‘That Business, E No Go Spoil For Your Hand’ — At Union Bank, There’s A Loan For Everyone




Nigeria we hail!!

If you remember that famous line from the award-winning televisioncommercial released last year by Union Bank, then you’ll be excited to learn that spin-offs have been released as part of a follow-up campaign. This should come as no surprise after the short film emerged the most watched Nigerian ad on YouTube in 2018!

This time, the TV and radio ads follow the lives of themain characters from the original commercial – the photographer, ‘keke’ driver, and the mother – who represent relatable characters in our daily lives. Union Banksalutes their focus, tenacity and drive as they hustle and grind to make ends meet in Nigeria of today.

The‘grind’ is something we all identify with. Every day, it’s a struggle to rise above the challenges oferratic power supply, insecurity, bad roads, corruption andpoor governance.

To make things even worse, the average Nigerian is unable to access loans or credit facilities that could help thembreak out of the vicious cycle. Loans seem to be reserved for the already well-to-do who can provide collateral to back their applications, and for salaried workerswho can show pay slips as proof of income.

However,a recent Future of Work report, states that only 25% of Nigeria’s 85 million workforce are in paid employment. How do the other 75% support their hustle?

At Union Bank, we believe lack of credit facilities should not be on the list of frustrations Nigerians face. We believe that everyone – yes, everyone – deserves to have acredit ‘lifeline’.

And that’s why our loans are not limited to salary earners alone; because we truly want to support the grind of every day Nigerians struggling to keep their heads above water in these tough times.

So, whether you’re thatguy trying to grow his transportation business to the point where he can propose to his boo and support a family; or that young mother giving her all to take care of her children, or even that upcoming photographer hustling to make ends meet, with Union Bank, that business no go spoil for your hand.

We have a loan for everyone. Talk to us about the best option for you.

For more details, or call 01 271 6816.

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Heritage Bank Gets CIBN Nod On Established Academy, Trains 300 New Intakes




In line with its commitment to ensure greater efficiency and boost its workforce, Heritage Bank Plc has received a nod from the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for its establishment of a full-fledged learning and development institute, with the training of 300 new employees.
The Institute dubbed “The Refinery” being supervised by the Bank’s Human Capital Management Group is currently training 300 new intakes who are fresh from universities across and outside the country with diverse academic backgrounds and impressive academic records, in an ongoing intensive 12-week rigorous and thorough academic programme at the school, in Port Harcourt. 
The Refinery is a tailored learning experience Institute with the perfect blend of technologies, techniques and methodologies to optimise training experiences, which will help employees succeed in ensuring that the bank’s business stays ahead of the curve with the banking sector along with Heritage Bank’s target goals.
Having visited The Refinery in Port Harcourt during the ushering in of the new intakes, the Group Head, Learning and Development of CIBN, Babatunde Apena in his commendation stressed that Heritage Bank’s training facility is the best in Nigerian banking industry and at par with international best standard.
According to him, despite the training facility still undergoing various upgrades for accreditation, it stands out as one of the best in the industry.   
The MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, has described Heritage Bank as a forward looking business whose strength lies in the ability to spot and mould talents into great professionals. 

He noted that the Refinery was established to train, nurture and arm young employees with the right skills needed to fast-track development and enable teams to flourish.

Sekibo further explained that at the Academy, “we hire young graduates who want to advance their skill levels, which will lead to a direct and indirect improvement of life for their families and communities that will culminate  toward more productive, resourceful persons.”

According to him, any business that hopes to survive the current economic challenges must devise a creative way of harnessing the full potentials of the talents that abound among the nation’s teeming youth population.
He urged the lucky intakes that after their graduation, they should see the opportunity as a privilege to contribute their quota towards the development of Nigeria by imbibing the bank’s mantra of commitment to spreading the culture of Wealth Creation, Preserve and Transfer.
“Just as the word Refinery connotes, the Heritage Bank Plc Refinery is a Facility where crude talents or abilities are converted or ‘refined’ into ‘finished’ jewels for optimal performance.
“The training program is designed to take each participant on an enriching, rigorous and intellectually engaging learning journey to equip them with the fundamental competencies required of a professional banker. The Curriculums are structured to accommodate both Core and Non-Core Banking competencies such as finance, credit and accounting, organizational and behavioral competencies to mention a few”, Sekibo stated.
The bank’s helmsman also pointed out that Heritage Bank was assimilating the large number of new hands at a time when gainful employment was becoming hard to come by; stressing that the bank had always remained optimistic and pragmatic in deploying its resources for developmental ends. 
According to him, “In recent times, operators in the banking sector have discovered that margins are shrinking, costs are rising and yet nothing is changing. You are coming into an industry that most people think it is impossible to survive but we at Heritage Bank see opportunities in place of despair. So, therefore, your employment comes with uniqueness and promise. Everything you are about to learn at the Training School is very important to our balance as an industry and as a company as well as your progress as individuals.
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Heritage Bank Empowers ‘HB Lab’ Tech Start-Ups’ Winners With $40,000 Grants




As part of its efforts to support Nigeria’s aspiration and roadmap to become a leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) Hub in Africa, Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider has doled out $40, 000 grants to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab.

The maiden edition of Heritage Bank Innovation Lab Accelerator programme (HB-LAB) tagged, ‘Demo Day,’ is a 12-week programme, expected to provide technology start-ups seeking additional investments to progress and accelerate market introduction/adoption of their solutions with co-working and internet resources, guidance and mentorship with finch start-ups founder and seed funding. However, the bank’s commitment is to create enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial Inclusion/Intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.

At the grand finale of the programme, of the seven groups, Trep Labs-Real Drip emerged the winner with the most compelling solution won the N10million, whilst won the N5million prize, as the 1st runner-up, which is equivalent of $40, 000.

Speaking at the event, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank knew it was in the best interest of the country to pay attention to the development to the technology and industrial sector. According to him, “the future of the country lies in the hands of its youth. Our youths are talented, and Heritage Bank is committed to harnessing this talent to grow the economy.”

He noted that although in Nigeria, technology startups still account for a relatively small share of all businesses, but they have an outsized impact on economic growth, because they provide better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contribute more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

Sekibo explained further, “Newly starting up a business is part of the most difficult stage of the business, you would need to source for capital and manpower. Considering the fact that you are a new business those items are not so easy and cheap for you to acquire.

“However, the presentations we have seen today shows how gifted Nigeria is with human resources, our youths have demonstrated that the country still has a beautiful future.

“I am impressed with the start-ups, after six weeks of drilling and grooming they have been able to develop up to this point; everyone is a winner tonight as far as I am concerned.

“Based on the success of this maiden edition we are going to continue this initiative, we would go back to our laboratory and create something bigger for the upcoming editions.”

When asked what he felt about Artificial Intelligence being used in banks, he explained: “Technology has been playing a key role towards enhancing the banking sector. Thus, we saw the need to create an Artificial Intelligence product called Octopus, which has been piloted and its second edition is almost ready for launching.

On his part, the Co-founder TREP Labs, Alayande Abiola, said, “Emerging as first place and winning the ten million naira is going to help the growth of our clinical solutions.

“Now we would be able to complete our clinical trials, optimise our products development and also provide enough healthcare solutions that are battling with the country.”

Earlier, the bank’s Divisional Head Innovation and Partnership, Ikenna Imo, explained: “Twelve weeks ago we welcomed seven talented and diverse start-ups, at that time our intentions were clear that we were ready to create distinctive propositions that solves issues facing the country currently.

“Today, I have no doubts that the start-ups we have assembled after a selective and competitive process have what it takes to accomplish that.

Over the last 12 weeks, the HB Lab has hosted a number of business leaders and founders within in the tech ecosystem who shared the experiences and evolutions of their respective businesses with the aim to inspire and impart business knowledge in the young minds looking to start out their own tech-enabled businesses.

Some of the mentors at the program include; Gbenga Awe (Heritage Bank Plc), Tosin Eniolorunda (TeamApt), Abolore Salami (Riby), Deji Oduntan (Gokada), Muyiwa Faulkner (, Shile Owoka (Smile Identity), Moses Sule (Oradian) to mention a few.

Heritage Bank Plc remains committed to championing sustainable value creation, leveraging technology to ensure a culture of innovation and mutually beneficial partnerships.

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