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Executive Director, Service Bank, Heritage Bank, Mr.  Niyi Adeseun; Director, Mr. Tony Madojemu; Director, Mr. Oladele Oyelola; Director, Mr. Adetola Adekoja, who represented the Chairman of Board, Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa OON and Executive Director, Lagos/South West & Corporate Banking, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, at the bank's first Investors Forum in Lagos...on Friday

Executive Director, Service Bank, Heritage Bank, Mr. Niyi Adeseun; Director, Mr. Tony Madojemu; Director, Mr. Oladele Oyelola; Director, Mr. Adetola Adekoja, who represented the Chairman of Board, Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa OON and Executive Director, Lagos/South West & Corporate Banking, Mrs. Mary Akpobome, at the bank’s first Investors Forum in Lagos…on Friday

Heritage Bank Plc indeed lived up to its slogan of being the ‘Timeless Wealth Partner’ to its investors and customers when recently it took them through a journey of all the transformation activities that have made the bank what it is since inception till date, ‘a single bigger and better financial institution’.

And so, within the walls of the Orchid Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, resonated these words: “We have a story, how we started and where we are going”; “All that defines us!”;“Whatever our purpose, we all desire to succeed;” “We all desire to leave a legacy of success;” “Welcome to history in the making,” and “We are a service organization in the business of banking!”

It was the maiden edition of the Investors Forum of the Heritage Bank Plc, a bank formed under the operating licence of the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN) and noted for pioneering a number of banking initiatives in Nigeria.

Heritage Bank, which began full operation on March 4, 2013 as a regional bank with only about 11 branches, became a national financial services provider at the acquisition of Enterprise Bank Limited with over 160 branches.

According to the management team, today, the bank is said to have a physical network of over 160branches, referred to as experience centres;418 automated teller machines (ATMs) and over 1,630 points of sales (POS) devices all over the country. It is the first bank in Nigeria to be ISO certified in less than two years of operation and holds the record of introducing ATM machines nationwide.

Heritage Bank is also said to be one of the first financial institutions in the country to commence the SME Clinic initiative; and convincingly, it said, in the coming years, it will establish itself as the bank of choice for its customers’ needs and prospects. According to the bank, “We intend to provide a platform for your investment to grow.”

Adetola Atekoja, a director of the bank, who represented the chairman, Akinsola Akinfemiwa, in his speech during the forum stated that the business combination with Enterprise Bank Limited in September 2015 was a commendable success. This is reflective of the commitment of our people, support of our customers and the degree of investors’ confidence in the bank, he remarked.

The director said that over the last three years, the bank has committed its efforts and resources to the building of an enduring and resilient banking franchise in spite of the challenges in the macroeconomic space. “In the midst of the stormy realities presented by events within the political and economic environment, we have continued to pursue our strategic aspiration of not only making the bank stable but stronger.”

Said he: “Our ambition to emerge as a systemic important bank remains the underlying essence of our next growth phase strategy. The foundational element of our strategy – People, Partnership and Process will be recalibrated to match the rapidly changing needs of our customers especially as we deploy a full steam retail banking franchise.”

He added that the bank is on a growth track and are not unmindful of the headwinds facing the domestic economy, but remain very optimistic that the Heritage brand will continue to surf over the current economic tide through collective efforts to remain an enduring institution.

While reiterating the lender’s commitment to continually deliver high quality and sustainable earnings, Atekoja said the Board and Management are confident that the financial institution will continue to grow by appealing to key client segments, especially, in the retail space, as an important and growing market. “Heritage Bank’s outlook is bright and we expect to surpass our past year’s performance,” he said.

Divisional Head, Strategy & Execution, Segun Akanji, who expanded on the benefits derived from the merger with Enterprise Bank, noted as follows: access to the market; acquisition of critical mass of customers; access to distribution and a very visible presence across the country, helping us to expand our list of customers.

“Once the combination was concluded, we had to come up with a kind of strategy that would support the business with a wider coverage that is why the foundational evidence of Heritage Bank really thrives on three pillars: People, Partnership and Processes.

We believe that interaction with people; having the technology that will help support services to customers and ensuring that that partnership adds value to what we do, that is one of the key pillars and driving force of the bank called Heritage Bank.

Akanji explained to the forum that Heritage Bank is not limiting itself to the Nigerian shores alone, as their next level of maturity is bursting into the global financial scene, especially considering that the Nigerian economy is one that thrives on trade finance.

“We will create opportunities that will spur up our economy to other markets where we find opportunities that will help customers to secure wealth and build businesses that are also global.”

BIG STORY

Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.

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COVID-19: CBN Issues Directive To Banks, Reduces Interest Rates

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced interest rates on its facilities through participating in Other Financial Institutions (OFIs).

The rate has been slashed from 9 to 5 percent per for one year, effective March 1, 2020.

This was contained in a circular to banks on Wednesday by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo.

Similarly, CBN intervention facilities obtained through participating OFIs, Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Banks, among others would be given a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments.

This is also effective on March 1, 2020.

OFIs have equally been granted leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okoroafor, said the decisions were part of the bank’s efforts to cushion the effects of coronavirus on Nigerians, businesses and regulated institutions.

He assured that the CBN would also continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN for the month of May will be held on Thursday.

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BUSINESS

GTBank Celebrates Children’s Day

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