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Access Bank Is Set To Open 10 ‘CLOSA’ Branches

Gbemileke Ajayi

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As part of its commitment to increase customers’ access to banking services in communities across the country, Access Bank has concluded plans to commission 10 Access ‘CLOSA’ outlets in 6 cities in Nigeria.

‘CLOSA’ branches are Access Bank Branded Cabins situated in ‘Metropolitan areas’ offering banking services to its customers. This is also a timely intervention to mitigate the effect of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Access ‘CLOSA’ branches will be located not less than 3km or more than 20km from the nearest existing Access Bank branch and will offer banking services such as cash deposits and cash withdrawals (no 3rd party withdrawals), customer on-boarding, funds transfer subject to a limit of N150,000, BVN enrolment, card issuance, card activation, cheque deposit, bills payment, and ATM services.

Speaking about the initiative, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc., Herbert Wigwe said, “Access CLOSA was introduced last year, and now, the peculiarities of the Coronavirus has made it even more important to bring banking services closer to the people. Access Bank understands that the risk of transmission is higher in congested spaces and to mitigate this risk, we will be commissioning 10 more banking outlets to serve the needs of our esteemed customers.”

“The CLOSA banking service is not being introduced to replace our existing branches, rather aid the Bank in delivering on its commitment to offer best-in-class service to our customers. We are not aloof to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and whilst we will do all that is required to ensure branches remain safe for our employees and customers in line with the protocol advised by the health authorities, we urge our customers to leverage on our digital channels in carrying out transactions,” he added.

Managed by Access Bank and Agency banking representatives, Access CLOSA branches are set to begin operations in Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kogi, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Delta, Anambra, and Kogi.

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

Gbemileke Ajayi

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