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Five Win in Heritage Bank’s YNSPYRE, CREAM Platform Promo

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Heritage Bank’s YNSPYRE

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Five fresh winners have emerged in the monthly draw organised by Heritage Bank and CREAM Platform under the YNSPYRE Initiative.

The event took place last Friday in Abuja in the presence of officials of the financial institution and the premiere creative reward platform in Nigeria.

The Heritage Bank’s YNSPYRE Initiative rewards subscribers who dial the *745*463# code with lots of cash and other prizes.

The winners went home with N200,000 each, while a popular artiste in the country, Mr Oladapo Oyebanjo, otherwise known as D’Banj, promised to fully support their businesses and passion.

Some of those that won at the digital draw such as Blessing (an entrepreneur), Justice Isaac Precious (a footballer and musician) and John (a caterer) expressed joy for emerging winners.

Recall that recently, Heritage Bank doled out N1 million to one Damilola Adeyemi, a winner of an online giveaway competition to celebrate the bank’s product, YNSPYRE, ambassador, D’Banj, which heralded the launching of the YNSPYRE Account.

The CREAM Platform is chaired by D’Banj, who was physically present at the event. Others were the Heritage Bank Regional Executive, Abuja and North, Mr George Okoh-Oboh; popular Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh; popular musician, Mr Easi (real name Isaiah Ediae) and other top officials of the bank.

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In his remarks, Mr Okoh-Oboh described the partnership between Heritage Bank and CREAM Platform as a game-changer for the creative industry in Nigeria.

“It’s been a smooth journey and the Bank has also set aside certain funds for the creative industry because we believe that is needed to support our youths.

“And so what we have done is to be able to put this out there so that we can select very talented youths working with D’Banj and once they meet certain criteria, we will be able to lend across to them as a bank.

“So, the funds have already been set out and waiting this launch which we are having today. So it’s quite an interesting story for the bank and it’s a great day for us today,” he said.

On his part, D’Banj said that the CREAM Platform has built a strong reputation for producing some of the brightest talents in the country over the last couple of years.

He explained that the purpose of the platform was to have a creative hub for Africa where people can upload their contents, be discovered and get funding support from Heritage Bank.

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He said the platform would enable Nigerians to discover their talents in areas such as entertainment, entrepreneurship, music, arts and other areas in the creative industry value chain.

D’Banj expressed optimism that the creative industry if properly harnessed, has the potentials to reduce the level of unemployment in the country, boost wealth creation for the people and help the country generate the much needed foreign exchange.

He noted that with the creative industry accounting for one of the highest exports from Nigeria, the time has come for operators in the sector to be supported with the finances.

“This year will make it five years that the platform was launched and our main aim is to create a gateway to the creative hub of Africa. With so much talent in the country and the hub in the continent, we saw it as a platform for people to have that access to become whatsoever they desire.

“And it’s no news that Heritage Bank is our partner to provide the access and financial help that you will need,” the music act said.

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“The creative industry is one of the biggest exports in the last three years now whether you are looking at music, fashion, movies. But we need that financial help, that financial backing.

“So, for a long time, we have been discussing with Heritage Bank to see how we can get the funds and get that help to the people.

“And today is going to be the first time that we are actually rewarding the customers. Heritage Bank went further to help us create the ‘YNSPYRE’ Product.

“This product is for the youths and the creative industry to help ease access to funding contents uploaded on the CREAM Platform,” he added.

In her comments, Ms Dikeh urged D’Banj and the bank to create more awareness about the product to enable many people to take advantage of the initiative.

She said as an advocate of youth empowerment, the initiative would help to harness the potentials of the youths and stimulate the much-needed development of the creative industry.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Banking

London Stock Exchange Lists Ecobank $350m Sustainability Bond

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ecobank retail bank

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The $350 million sustainability bond issued by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of the Ecobank Group, has been listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The green bond was admitted on the LSE on Wednesday at a virtual ceremony to open the market for the trading day and celebrate the successful listing of the tier-2 environment-friendly notes, the first by a financial institution in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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The bond, which matures in June 2031, has a call option in June 2026 and was issued with a coupon of 8.75 per cent with interest payable semi-annually in arrears.

An equivalent amount of the net proceeds from the notes will be used by Ecobank to finance or refinance new or existing eligible assets as described in the bank’s Sustainable Finance Framework.

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The tier-2 issuance is the first to have a Basel III-compliant 10NC5 structure outside of South Africa in 144A/RegS format.

It was gathered that investor interest for this sophomore Eurobond issue was global, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, achieving a 3.6x oversubscribed order book of over $1.3 billion at its peak.

The joint lead managers and book runners in the transaction were Citi, Mashreq, Renaissance Capital and Standard Chartered Bank.

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“The strong global interest in our issuance reflects investors’ confidence in Ecobank’s strategy and our commitment to sustainable financing.

“We thank the LSE for hosting ETI today and look forward to value creation for all our stakeholders,” the Group CEO of Ecobank, Mr Ade Ayeyemi, said.

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Banking

CBN’s Digital Currency Will Deepen Financial Inclusion—FDC

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Summon CBN Governor

By Adedapo Adesanya

Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited has lauded the proposed plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce a digital currency, saying it will deepen financial inclusion in the country.

In a new report, FDC explained that most central banks had indicated keen interests in developing their digital currencies in response to the threats and limitations of cryptocurrency, including poor regulation, price volatility and facilitating illicit financial transactions.

The report said, “Nigeria is set to follow the global trend as it plans to launch its digital currency by year-end. Unlike crypto, digital currencies are regulated by central banks, thus giving them some level of control over the financial system.

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“On a positive note, virtual currencies would facilitate smooth financial transactions and eliminate bottlenecks associated with the use of cash (mutilated notes, forgery, cash handling charges, shortages). It will also deepen financial inclusion and increase the velocity of circulation.”

The analysis highlighted the rising concerns of distrust in the government and its policies, cybersecurity and inadequate digital infrastructure.

“All these could limit the launch and widespread use of the digital currency in the country,” it said.

According to the report, the drop in inflation rate in May for the second straight month contradicts market reality following the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which disclosed that the country’s inflation rate fell to 17.93 per cent in May from 18.12 per cent in April.

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FDC said contrary to analyst expectations, the decline in consumer price inflation seemed to be more of a trend than a blip.

It said the headline inflation fell again in May primarily due to a fall in the food sub-index to 22.28 per cent from 22.72 per cent in April.

This is coming as the CBN last year issued a circular asking commercial banks and other financial institutions to close accounts transacting in, or operating on, cryptocurrency exchanges.

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All deals involving cryptocurrency are now prohibited with severe regulatory sanctions awaiting erring outfits.

The apex bank also asked commercial banks to identify persons and or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.

But since the apex bank announced its intention to introduce a digital currency for the country, it has been applauded.

Apart from the FDC, other analysts have submitted that the proposed CBN’s digital currency would benefit the nation, especially as the digital asset is becoming widely accepted across the globe.

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Banking

CIBN to Revamp Banking Practice in Nigeria With A-TEAM Initiative

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CIBN A-TEAM Initiative

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A strategic initiative aimed to revamp banking practice in Nigeria has been introduced by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

The new plan with the acronym A-TEAM means Accelerated Development; Technology and Digital Enhancement; Engagement for Growth; Accountability and Transparent Leadership and Membership Drive for Value.

As part of efforts for its successful implementation, the CIBN is seeking collaborations with financial institutions in the country.

Recently, the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, visited Ecobank Nigeria and he said the A-TEAM initiative will benefit stakeholders in the banking sector.

He applauded Ecobank’s consistent support for the institute over the years to ensure the realisation of its mandate of determining the standards of knowledge and skills development for those seeking to become members of the banking profession.

“We applaud Ecobank Academy as the first corporate member to become a member of the Global Business School Network and for the consistent support for the realisation of the institute’s mandate of determining the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the banking profession.

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“We, therefore, seek Ecobank’s collaboration and enlistment in our Endowment/Prize Awards in any subject of interest; support towards the renovation of Abuja Bankers’ House; support for the establishment of banking museum by donating artefacts and other relevant materials; and to participate actively in training programmes of the institute,” Mr Olugbemi said.

Further, he congratulated Ecobank Nigeria and the Ecobank Group on winning several International awards, which includes the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by Asian Banker; Africa’s Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility by Euromoney (Ecobank Group); African Bank of the Year (African Banker); Innovation in Financial Services Award from African Banker (Ecobank Group); EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2020.

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Responding, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, pledged more support and collaboration with the institute, restating that Ecobank will continue to contribute to the efforts of the organisation to become top class and remain relevant globally.

“For us at Ecobank, we are extremely proud CIBNs efforts at ensuring public discourse on the future of the Nigeria economy and the banking and finance industry.

“This is not in isolation of the ethics, professionalism, accountability, transparency, good corporate governance without losing focus of harnessing the opportunities technology has provided in the new world order. Be assured of our maximum support and collaboration at all times,” he said.

Mr Akinwuntan also identified with the efforts of the institute to raise the bar of competency and capacity building in the industry, stressing that with sound professional conduct, every banker will be held in high esteem.

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He said Ecobank was working assiduously to ensure a majority of its staff become members of the institute, adding that the bank will also provide more mentees and mentors in its mentorship programme.

“We have a medium to long term programme to ensure all Ecobank Nigeria staff become chartered members of the institute.

“At Ecobank, we take human capacity development very seriously. Some of our staff that wrote the last examinations are now chartered members of the Institute.

“We will also ensure bulk subscription of our staff. We will be nominating 30 mentors and 100 mentees to participate in the second mentorship programme,” he assured.

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