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Heritage Bank’s “The Refinery,” CBN, 25 Others Receive CIBN’s Certificates of Accreditation

Peter Okunoren

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) yesterday official presented Certificates of Accreditation to Heritage Bank Plc Academy known as “The Refinery” and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Learning Centre.

The Institute via a Zoom virtual platform also accredited more 25 Educational Training Service Providers (ETSP), which is in accordance with its role as the Accreditation Agency for the implementation of the Competency Framework released, as part of the strategy to redirect the banking industry towards the path of entrenching a sequenced competency development programme and build capacity for the stability of the financial system.

The Institutions include Crown Agent UK; B. Adedipe Associates Limited; Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI), United Kingdom; The Nigerian Stock Exchange X Academy; Mactay Consulting Limited; Knowledge Beyond Limited; Brideswell Consulting Limited; Ultravantage Solutions; EdgeEcution Global Resources Limited and Katalyst Consulting.

Others are Michael Stevens Consulting; NLP Nigeria Limited; Procept Associates Professional Services Limited; Don Mitchell & Co Limited; Bode Zakari Management Consultants; Success for ALL Limited; Edcof Educational Services Limited and Kloverharris Limited.

The Refinery supervised by the Bank’s Human Capital Management Group was accredited by CIBN after assessing and evaluating its syllabus, curriculum, and structure by a panel of technocrats and seasoned bankers set up by the Institute, which according to the chartered institute aligns with the Competency Framework of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the professional paper standard of CIBN.

Speaking during the presentation, the CIBN President, Bayo Olugbemi said the event marks yet another significant milestone in the annals of the Institute and our continuing quest for the strengthening of the intellectual resources and capabilities of the human capital in the banking and finance industry. He stressed that apart from efforts towards addressing competency challenges, thereby enthroning a minimum standard for practitioners in the banking industry.

He applauded Heritage Bank for setting a high standard of learning facility in which its structure and curriculum “is next to that of CBN’s training institute,” whilst stressing that the bank’s training school is the best in the Nigerian banking industry and at par with international best standard.

He equally informed the gathering that the Certificates of Accreditation presented to Two (2) Bank Academies and Twenty-Six (26) ETSPs bringing the total number of institutions under the Programme to Nineteen (19) Bank Academies; Seventy-Five (75) Educational Training Service Providers; Sixty-Nine (69) Solicited Accreditation; Six (6) Unsolicited Accreditation.

Ifie Sekibo, the MD/CEO of the bank, has described Heritage Bank as a forward-looking business whose strength lies in the ability to spot and mold talents into great professionals.

Sekibo, represented by the Executive Director, Jude Monye explained that the word “The Refinery” was chosen for the purpose of refining its employees to emerge as gold and harness the required skills to excel in their job functions.

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.

“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.

Meanwhile, about 300 employees who are fresh from universities across and outside the country with diverse academic backgrounds and impressive academic records underwent rigorous training in an intensive 12-week academic (practical and theoretical) programme with over 30 courses in Port Harcourt.

The Refinery is a tailored learning experience Institute with the perfect blend of technologies, techniques, and methodologies to optimize 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.

BUSINESS

Fidelity Bank Wins SME Support Bank of the Year 2020, Aigbe Emerges Outstanding Corporate Communications Personality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Fidelity Bank Plc has added yet another accolade to its burgeoning collection of awards. The bank, in recognition of its unflinching support for Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, clinched the award for the ‘Outstanding SME Supporting Bank of the Year’ at the 2020 Marketing & Advertising Award for Excellence ceremony which held on Friday at the D’Podium International Centre in Lagos.

According to the organizers, Marketing Edge, the bank’s nomination and subsequent emergence as an award recipient were a product of a review and assessment of its intervention and provision of long-term financing support for MSMEs across the country.

Receiving the award on behalf of the bank, Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Mr. Charles Aigbe thanked the management of Marketing Edge for the recognition. “Our long-running support for the growth and development of small businesses in Nigeria stems from our recognition of SMEs as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria and the world at large.” He noted that the bank had developed a strong multifaceted SME banking platform, driven by its tailored, low-cost transactions banking offerings backed by the requisite one-on-one and cluster focused advisory services and hand-holding support.

Also, on the night, Aigbe was honored as the Outstanding Corporate Communications Personality of the Year’. He was bestowed with the award, in recognition of his contributions to the growth, development, and continuing evolution of the Nigerian marketing and brand management business even in the face of daunting challenges.

Marketing Edge, one of Nigeria’s foremost Brand and Marketing Communications publications, also acknowledged the huge strides that the bank has made in product development, brand recognition, and reputation as well as integrated marketing communications credentials.

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BUSINESS

Customer Service Week: UBA Hinges Customer Satisfaction On Innovation, Optimisation and Upgrading of Banking Platforms

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has said that the recently embarked transformation of its processes is to ensure that customers’ expectations are not only met but surpassed while enjoying seamless and world-class banking services.

In ensuring this, the bank has embarked on several initiatives that include streamlining and automating its processes, upgrading technology, training, and rewarding staff excellence all towards ensuring that customers enjoy the very best of services.

UBA’s Head of Operations, Alex Alozie, who explained this during a virtual media parley on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, to mark the 2020 Customer Service Week, said the bank has intensified its focus on putting the customer first whilst still reaffirming its leadership position.

Alozie said that in line with this year’s theme, the ‘Dream Team’, which embodies UBA’s core goals, the bank has recorded considerable milestones in its journey.

He said, “In the last one year we have embarked on an intensive drive to transform our services across all service touchpoints including but not limited to banking halls, channels – internet, mobile, USSD, etc in Nigeria, Africa, and territories where we operate. We have ensured that our customers enjoy self-service, where they can carry out their transactions seamlessly on their devices, without visiting the banking hall. This has further boosted customers’ confidence as the services provide ease and convenience, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Honestly, I will say that the pandemic brought out the best of us. With newly improved products like UBA Connect – where our customers can carry out transactions from anywhere in the world – and our recently improved Mobile App, our uptime has improved significantly, and our branch operations have also recorded considerable improvement. All these are the outcome of the transformation journey which we embarked upon,” Alozie noted.

He added that there have been cases of failed transactions, and the bank has taken relevant corrective and preventive actions for service improvement.

UBA’s Group Head, Marketing and Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, pointed out that the bank is focused on being more intentional in the quality of service delivery to customers. She added that strategic initiatives have been implemented to deliver a differentiated experience to customers across all service touchpoints.

According to her, UBA is keen on meeting the demands of today’s diversified customer base by focusing on innovation, process re-engineering, experience optimization, and technology upgrade, etc. This is all in our effort to improve our service delivery, improve our customers’ satisfaction, and deepen our market share.

“Apart from this, we have also embarked on thoroughly equipping our people to deliver exceptional service, while also leveraging on data for insight to guide business decision making. We are no longer a one-size-fits-all organization, as we now personalize services based on individual specific demands; this is largely because we know that the customer is the only one that matters, and we tailor all our activities in line with their expectations,” Nwoga noted.

Customer Service Week is celebrated annually all over the world and recognizes the importance of customer service and seeks to show appreciation to the staff who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-one million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries.

With a presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance, and ancillary banking services.

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BIG STORY

Access Bank Plc Announces Strategic Update And Transactions In Furtherance Of Its Vision To Be Africa’s Gateway To The World

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Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank” or ‘’the Bank’’) announces today that it has received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Approval-in-Principle for the Bank’s restructuring to a holding company (“HoldCo”).

The proposed HoldCo structure would enable the Bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiencies, talent retention as well as robust governance. Further details regarding the HoldCo structure will be communicated to the market in due course.

Access Bank also announces definitive agreements to bolster its market position in Mozambique and enter the South African market. This follows the recent transaction with Cavmont Bank in Zambia and further embeds the Bank’s presence in the SADC region, one of Africa’s most important trading blocs.

These transactions will result in a more connected African banking network that builds on Access Bank’s existing foundation and enhances its value proposition to stakeholders, including customers and employees. Shareholders will benefit from the economies of scale of a larger banking network, including the associated cost efficiencies arising from the Bank’s federated IT system and the replication of investments in innovative products across a wider range of markets.

A broader and connected Africa network remains a core strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification, which will further enhance profitability and risk metrics. Through these transactions, Access Bank will be well placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services, further leveraging its presence in key global trade corridors in the UAE, the UK, China, Lebanon, and India.

Strategic Entry and Acquisition in Mozambique

Access Bank announces that it has received regulatory approvals to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, S.A. (“Access Bank Mozambique”).

Access Bank also announces that its subsidiary, Access Bank Mozambique, has entered into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited (“ABC Holdings”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara”) to acquire African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique), S.A., (“BancABC Mozambique”) for cash, in a combination of definitive and contingent consideration.

This transaction will be funded from the capital invested by the Bank in Access Bank Mozambique and will result in the Access Bank Mozambique becoming the 7th largest bank in the country, up from the 20th. As an enlarged business, Access Bank Mozambique will have an enhanced capacity to play a more impactful role in the growth of the Mozambican economy, particularly in the emerging oil and gas sector, an industry that Access Bank has deep experience in.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions precedent.

 

Strategic Investment in South Africa

Building on its strategy of delivering a robust banking operation that connects key African markets, Access Bank has entered into a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings (“GroCapital”) to invest in Grobank Limited over two tranches. The first is an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, increasing to a majority stake in the second tranche. Both tranches are subject to various regulatory approvals and the overall transaction subject to Grobank’s shareholder approvals.

GroCapital, whose shareholders include the Public Investment Corporation – Africa’s largest investment manager, and Fairfax Africa Holdings – a leading global investor, will retain an existing but diluted shareholding in Grobank.

A presence in South Africa will serve as a cornerstone for further momentum in delivering on Access Bank’s mission to be Africa’s Gateway to the World. The proposed transaction is expected to provide access to the largest banking market in Africa and enable Access Bank to consolidate its Southern African and broader African footprint with enhanced capabilities to fulfill the needs of multi-national clients.

Speaking on these developments Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank said:

We have consistently said that we are focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank; one that leverages our experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships towards driving sustainable impact and profitability. Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

These transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa and further our footprint for growth in the SADC region. With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers who are increasingly looking towards intra Africa growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world-class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa. Our goal remains to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent.’’

 

 

SUNDAY EKWOCHI

COMPANY SECRETARY

FRC/2013/NBA/00000005528

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