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Standard Chartered launches second wave of digital-only retail banks across four African markets

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Standard Chartered today announced the start of the second phase of its digital-only retail bank across Africa. In response to growing consumer demand for innovative banking services on the continent, the Bank will launch its digital solution in four key markets during the first quarter of 2019 starting in Uganda in January, followed by Tanzania in February, with Ghana and Kenya to follow.

Following the successful launch of Standard Chartered’s first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire last year, the second phase builds on the original CDI platform that onboards clients in under 15 minutes and provides 70 of the most common service requests. The updated digital bank provides enhanced services including QR code and P2P payments, loan and overdraft facilities, and instant fixed deposits. Clients will be able to enjoy the convenience of banking on the go, anytime and anywhere, along with a consistent online experience.

The roll out will also see the Bank engage in strategic local alliances to create an appealing lifestyle banking proposition to provide clients offers across shopping, travel and dining.

Commenting on the second phase of the launch, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said:“We are thrilled to launch the second phase of our digital-only retail banks across other African markets. The Bank continues to make strategic and sustainable investments in technology – this complements our innovation agenda, as well as enhance our digital offerings and client experiences. Digitising Africa and facilitating access to financial services remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region.”

Africa’s banking market is the second-fastest-growing and second-most profitable globally. The retail banking sector is a locus of new business models which are emerging in response to low levels of banking penetration and heavy use of cash in the Sub-Saharan continent.

Commenting on the launch of the digital bank in Uganda, Governor, Central Bank Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile said “There will continue to be disruption in the Banking sector. Institutions that fail to keep up might lose out and at the very worst be pushed out of business in the long run, however, this disruption to bank business models works in the interest of customers and the general populace. I therefore congratulate Standard Chartered Bank on unveiling this revolutionary digital initiative as I believe that with such innovations, we are making significant progress in embracing technological changes and digitization to help us achieve stable and long-term growth.”

To support the digital bank roll out across the four markets, aimed at driving digital adoption amongst new and existing clients focusing on young digital natives, the Bank will also launch a marketing campaign dubbed ‘//BEUNSTOPPABLE’, Bank on the go! The campaign will run across traditional and social media to remind consumers that banking should not stop them from doing what they love to do, and when they want to do them.

In Uganda, Standard Chartered has also partnered with popular Ugandan entertainer and comedian Anne Kansiime to drive awareness of the new digital bank in the market. As part of her role, Anne will be promoting the bank’s digital banking capabilities and will lend her voice and image rights through a series of Marketing and Community engagement activities over the next 12 months.

The Bank’s digital services are available by downloading the Standard Chartered mobile application via the Google play store or Apple store.

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Banking

FIRSTBANK: INSPIRING KINDNESS, EMPATHY WITH SPARK

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What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Asked renowned philosopher, writer and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in one of his writings while highlighting the importance of the simple yet impactful act.

According to a health fact sheet produced by the Random Acts of Kindness Organisation, being altruistic increases one’s oxytocin, also called the ‘love hormone’, makes one happy, increases lifespan and stimulates the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that heals one’s wounds, calms down, and makes one happy. The fact sheet further notes that being involved in acts of kindness decreases pain as it produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller, reduces anxiety, stress, depression and blood pressure.

Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, recently conducted a series of studies that observed how witnessing kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus. He concluded that “by emphasising empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.”

Another study conducted by Oxford University researchers and which found out that just seven days of small acts of kindness will make one happier, also attests to the scientific evidence that altruism is beneficial.

Nigeria’s oldest financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which is this year celebrating its 125th anniversary, has an initiative aimed at restoring the fading age-long culture of being one’s brother’s keeper called SPARK. An acronym for Start Promoting Acts of Random Kindness, the initiative is also to reawaken the spirit of showing kindness which soci0-economic circumstances have forced many people to neglect.

The initiative, which is an integral part of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) Week, saw its employees and external stakeholders supporting humanitarian causes through crowdfunding. The staff members and others were encouraged to make small contributions/donations in aid of people who were in critical needs.

With the belief that a small act of kindness goes a long way in changing the world, staffers and other well-meaning Nigerians warmly embraced the initiative promoting compassion and being charitable. Through the Bank’s CR&S week people’s lives are positively impacted. Senior management executives led their subordinates to distribute essential commodities to orphanages across the country while old people and people living with disabilities also benefitted.

Having earlier encouraged its employees who made donations to also participate in nominating those they thought were deserving of acts of random kindness nominations based on the criteria of community/individual’s emotive story and the significance of the individual/community need, 10 beneficiaries eventually emerged last year. Among these was Baby Ijeoma, who was in dire need of cardiac surgery to correct her congenital heart disease and forestall irreversible and life-threatening complication and who got over N1.5 million assistance.

Also, Mrs. Mary Pius, a widow with five children and fruits seller who was unable to send her children to school, received support while Lawal Seun, a boy and the third child of a blind woman in Ondo town whose husband abandoned with the four children some years ago, returned to secondary school courtesy the SPARK initiative.

As previously done, FirstBank is activating SPARK again this year with more activities added to bolster the impact of the CR&S week and to serve as a platform to implore Nigerians about the long-cherished value of showing empathy and compassion on the four main areas: Education and Scholarship Fund; Welfare Fund for Mothers; Welfare Fund for the Old and Disabled, and Orphanage Support Fund.

 

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Banking

SHAREHOLDERS COMMEND FBNHOLDINGS FOR A SUCCESFUL AGM AS MANAGEMENT ASSURRES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

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The shareholders of FBN Holdings Plc have been assured of brighter future and enhanced dividend at the 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

Speaking at the meeting in Lagos, Dr Oba Otudeko,  FBN Holdings Group Chairman, assured the shareholders that the company had mapped out strategies aimed at ensuring enhanced value creation for the future.

Otudeko said that the board and management would work together to create shareholder value and build strong foundation for the future.

“We are not resting on our laurels, and our renewed approach to synergy and innovation will be major drivers to unlocking earnings potential for our group.

“We believe that our efforts to integrate our offerings and provide end-to-end solutions for our customers will create a competitive advantage in our markets,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Urum Kalu Eke,  Group Managing Director FBN Holdings, said that the company was committed to greater exploits in the future in its drive to deliver value to its shareholders.

” I would like to reiterate our promise to you and the entire market that 2019 represents for us the year of inflection.

“All leading indicators, derived from our numbers, point to the commencement of growth across businesses, markets and indices.

“As we transition to a new strategic planning cycle post-2019, we are confident that the focused execution  of our strategy, investment in future-enabling technologies, development of our talents and our re-engineered processes to repositioning the group for ultimate benefit of the shareholders,” Eke said.

He also commended the shareholders for their unwavering support to the group over the years.

The company for the period under review posted a profit after tax of N59.7 billion compared with N45. 5 billiin achieved in the comparative period of 2017, an increase of 31.4 per cent.

Profit before tax stood at N65. 3 billion against N54.5 billion recorded in 2017, representing a growth of 19.7 per cent.

Gross earnings stood at N583.5 billion compared with N595. 4 billion in 2017, a decrease of two per cent.

Its total assets rose by 6.3 per cent from N5.2 trillion in 2017 to N5.6 trillion during the review period.

Similarly, customers deposits expanded by 10.9 per cent from N3.1 trillion in 2017 to N3.5 trillion in 2018.

The year also recorded reduction in impairment charges which declined to N87. 3 billion from N150.4 billion, representing 42 per cent drop and a proof to the improving loan book of the commercial bank.

He assured the shareholders that the board and management had restructured the entire group for more sustainable growth.

“For liquidity perspective,  you have a strong institution that would pay dividend on a regular basis.

“We have built capital buffet at the commercial bank and the other entities are well capitalised also.

“2019 promises to be a much better year than 2018; all operating entities are in safe hands with good management teams.

“NPL ratio should be at single digit by end of 2019, we will pursue recovery and when it happens the commercial bank will contribute to dividend payment,” he stated.

Eke noted that significant growth in the bottom line was due to several factors including the improved risk management processes which endured that impairment changes dropped year-on-year.

He , also, attributed the growth to implementation of servers cost containment initiatives during the period.

Also speaking, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Chief Executive Officer,  said that recovery efforts on all accounts provisioned were in progress.

Adeduntan said that the bank would ensure that no kobo would be left in the hands of third party, noting that, they bank would work harder to resolve all the legacy NPL.

He said that the number of banking agents had increased to 20,000, adding that the figure processed through  agency banking platform reached N1 trillion as at last week.

The shareholders at the meeting approved a total dividend of N9.3 billion, which translated to 26k per share.

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More Winners Set to Emerge in UBA Wise Savers Promo: N90m still up for grabs

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Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has again announced that another set of  20 loyal customers will get a chance to win N1,500,000 each, in the second edition of its quarterly drawfor the ongoing UBA Wise Savers Promo, which would hold in April at the bank’s Corporate head office.

This development more than anything is an opportunity for potential and intending customers to take their chance and add to the growing number of millionaires who have benefitted from the ongoing Wise Savers Promo as a whopping N90Million is still up for grabs.

To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save at least N10,000 each month for three consecutive months, or N30,000 for 90 days in the  promo, which will run for the rest of the year. Apart from the N30 million, won by 20 customers last month, January to be precise  another N90 million is still expected to be won by 60 more loyal customers in the remaining three quarters of the year.

Already the following winners, who cut across all regions of the country; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji, have already claimed their cash prize and are currently spreading the news so others can take advantage of the once in a life time opportunity.

Others winners doing same are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji.

The Group Executive, Digital and Consumer Banking, Mr. Anant Rao, while speaking on the forthcoming Raffle draw, noted that a lot of lives have been positively impacted, following the previous draw where 20 people went home with N1,500,000 each totaling, N90 million.

According to Rao: “there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise them as we always like to do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason for the ‘Wise Savers Promo”.

“I have been privileged to visit some of the customers who won in January, and was more than fulfilled to see happiness and gratitude on the faces of the fortunate 20 when their cash prizes were presented to them. That feeling is indescribable, to this end we are more than motivated to do more so our customers can better achieve their dreams and goals in life, I am happy this cash prize can go a long way, to this end, enjoin many more customers to participate in the promo, you never can tell, it could be you”

Head Retail Liabilities, Tomiwa Sotiloye, also explained that the promo was consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers and this was necessitated because our customers are invaluable to all that we do.

“He continued, we would continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and would continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively”. Sotiloye noted

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