By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, has admitted that financial technology (fintech) companies pose big threats to the banking industry in the country.
Mr Emefiele raised this alarm at the investiture of Mr Uche Messiah Olowu as the 20th President and Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) over the weekend.
The apex bank chief called on bankers in the country to address these threats to avoid crisis in the financial sector.
“In our industry we have common threat, the threat posed by fintech. I call on CIBN to up its ante. As far as advocacy is concerned, it should be your major focus, to find lasting solutions to the threats posed by fintech,” Mr Emefiele, who was represented at the event by his deputy in-charge of Economic Policy, Mr Uche Nnanna, disclosed.
Immediate past President of CIBN, Mr Segun Ajibola, admitted also that banks face huge threats from fintech companies.
“The threat is real, just as the environment is growing globally. Banks should, from time to time, identify those risks, evolve ways of managing and mitigating these risks so that when the risk crystallise, the negative impact on such bank will not be too phenomenal.
“This is what we cannot as a country avoid today and that is why we are pleading and preaching EMR, which will help to identify the problem before they arise, enable you to police your system in a way that it will not become vulnerable to all forms of risks,” he said.
Mr Ajibola said further that, “Banks and corporate institutions should buy into them, invest and deploy them so that the negative impact of this risk on the banks, corporate institutions and Nigerian economy will not be devastating.”
For the new CIBN chief, Mr Olowu, “We are the managers of resources of money should bring to bear ethical conducts in our behaviour.”
He promised to enthrone ethics, professionalism and transparency in the banking industry, stressing that the sector lacked proper skills-set, but assured of taking certifications on enterprise risk management as major focus.
“It is a new dawn for banking in Nigeria because we are playing at the global stage as chairman of global banking education standards board.
“So, it means we have to up our ante in terms of right knowledge, skill and quality to our stakeholders and also have proactive intervention policies to the government and the judiciary,” he disclosed at the ceremony.
Mr Olowu noted that his tenure would focus on five key strategic areas, which include rules and standards, skills and competences, research and advocacy, technology and resources, and brand visibility.
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