Heritage Bank Holds Investors Forum In Lagos
By Dipo Olowookere
The maiden edition of Investors Forum of Heritage Bank Plc has taken place in Lagos and the financial institution used the occasion to roll out its global aspiration to stakeholders present at the event.
For those very conversant with the banking sector, they will agree that Heritage Bank Plc has indeed lived up to its slogan of being the ‘Timeless Wealth Partner’ to its investors and customers.
During the forum, which was held at the Orchid Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, the bank took stakeholders through a journey of all the transformation activities that have made since inception till date.
Inside venue of the occasion, words like “We have a story, how we started and where we are going”; “All that defines us!”; “Whatever our purpose, we all desire to succeed;” “We all desire to leave a legacy of success;” “Welcome to history in the making,” and “We are a service organization in the business of banking!” resonated with joy.
Heritage Bank Plc, formed under the operating licence of the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria (SGBN), is renowned for pioneering a number of banking initiatives in Nigeria.
Heritage Bank, which began full operation on March 4, 2013 as a regional bank with only about 11 branches, became a national financial services provider at the acquisition of Enterprise Bank Limited with over 160 branches.
According to the management team, today, the bank is said to have a physical network of over 160branches, referred to as experience centres; 418 automated teller machines (ATMs) and over 1,630 points of sales (POS) devices all over the country. It is the first bank in Nigeria to be ISO certified in less than two years of operation and holds the record of introducing ATM machines nationwide.
Heritage Bank is also said to be one of the first financial institutions in the country to commence the SME Clinic initiative; and convincingly, it said, in the coming years, it will establish itself as the bank of choice for its customers’ needs and prospects. According to the bank, “We intend to provide a platform for your investment to grow.”
Mr Adetola Atekoja, a director of the bank, who represented the chairman, Mr Akinsola Akinfemiwa, in his speech during the forum stated that the business combination with Enterprise Bank Limited in September 2015 was a commendable success. This is reflective of the commitment of our people, support of our customers and the degree of investors’ confidence in the bank, he remarked.
The director said that over the last three years, the bank has committed its efforts and resources to the building of an enduring and resilient banking franchise in spite of the challenges in the macroeconomic space. “In the midst of the stormy realities presented by events within the political and economic environment, we have continued to pursue our strategic aspiration of not only making the bank stable but stronger.”
He said, “Our ambition to emerge as a systemic important bank remains the underlying essence of our next growth phase strategy. The foundational element of our strategy – People, Partnership and Process will be recalibrated to match the rapidly changing needs of our customers especially as we deploy a full steam retail banking franchise.”
He added that the bank is on a growth track and are not unmindful of the headwinds facing the domestic economy, but remain very optimistic that the Heritage brand will continue to surf over the current economic tide through collective efforts to remain an enduring institution.
While reiterating the lender’s commitment to continually deliver high quality and sustainable earnings, Atekoja said the Board and Management are confident that the financial institution will continue to grow by appealing to key client segments, especially, in the retail space, as an important and growing market. “Heritage Bank’s outlook is bright and we expect to surpass our past year’s performance,” he said.
Divisional Head, Strategy and Execution, Mr Segun Akanji, who expanded on the benefits derived from the merger with Enterprise Bank, noted as follows: access to the market; acquisition of critical mass of customers; access to distribution and a very visible presence across the country, helping us to expand our list of customers.
“Once the combination was concluded, we had to come up with a kind of strategy that would support the business with a wider coverage that is why the foundational evidence of Heritage Bank really thrives on three pillars: People, Partnership and Processes.
“We believe that interaction with people; having the technology that will help support services to customers and ensuring that that partnership adds value to what we do, that is one of the key pillars and driving force of the bank called Heritage Bank.”
Mr Akanji explained to the forum that Heritage Bank is not limiting itself to the Nigerian shores alone, as their next level of maturity is bursting into the global financial scene, especially considering that the Nigerian economy is one that thrives on trade finance.
“We will create opportunities that will spur up our economy to other markets where we find opportunities that will help customers to secure wealth and build businesses that are also global.”
Kuda Increases Women in Product Team by 87%, Engineering Team by 144%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A financial technology (fintech) company operating in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, Kuda, has disclosed that it has continued to give equal opportunity to its male and female employees.
According to the Chief People Officer at Kuda, Ms Rosie Hewat, “Over the past year, we have increased the number of female hires by 133 per cent, grown the number of women on our Product team by 87 per cent and increased the female members of our Engineering team by 144 per cent.”
She further said, “We’re also proud to announce that the ratio of female-to-male employees at Kuda is now 1:1,” noting that these deliberate equity-promoting initiatives have made Kuda remain “a workplace of reference.”
Ms Hewat noted that to promote equity and raise advocacy for women’s inclusion and visibility, Kuda came up with a month-long series of activities to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day is a global event celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point for giving proper attention to the rights of women and issues about their well-being, such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and protection against violence and abuse. The global theme for this year’s IWD is Embrace Equity.
Built around the theme, the goal of Kuda’s IWD activities is to seek more opportunities for women to make progress in their personal and professional lives, as well as to reposition women for economic growth and success in careers and businesses.
The IWD activities planned to stretch the entire month of March include a showcase of the impact that Kuda has made in promoting gender equity from 2022 to 2023. The showcase will also include the company’s further commitment to gender equity.
“As an equal opportunity-promoting organisation, we are passionate about promoting a healthy work environment where everyone, irrespective of gender, can aspire, reach the top of their career and realise their personal goals.
“We have always been intentional about building an organisation where gender equity is an obvious norm, and we are excited to report that we have made progress with reflecting this core essence, particularly within our Engineering and Product teams. This is a part of our growth process, and we will continue to work towards building the type of workplace we dream of,” she stated.
She revealed that over the past year, steps taken by Kuda to promote gender equity include fine-tuning its school-to-workplace internship programme aimed to imbue young engineers and product managers with the requisite skills for career progression.
Other steps include the development of a recruitment model that incentivises peer referrals, offering more opportunities for product management trainees to become product managers at Kuda, and the expansion of the Engineering and Product teams to onboard more women into leadership roles.
More progressive initiatives are being championed by the company’s woman-led Diversity, Inclusion and Equity committee.
Ms Hewat disclosed further that the company, in 2022, bolstered career growth for 20 young women it sponsored to the Africa Girls in Tech boot camp.
The programme, in partnership with Africa Agility, afforded the beneficiaries opportunity to learn tech and product skills and helped them get internships at tech startups or start freelancing.
Ecobank Takes Financial Planning Education To Schools
Ecobank Nigeria last week embarked on financial education for Secondary School students across the country on personal financial management, including savings, budgeting, and investment being part of activities to commemorate Global Money Week (GMW).
Tutoring the students of Comprehensive School Management and Technology, New Layout, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Bolaji Lawal, reiterated that, “Saving is the act of putting money aside for future use.
“There are different ways to save, like putting your money in a savings box or through savings groups, but the recommended way is in a bank account. You can save for short-term goals such as buying clothes, buying books or long-term goals such as going to university, buying a car, etc.”
Mr Lawal further advised the students on the investment avenues such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, stating that the choice of investment should align with their financial plan. The interactive session saw the students asking questions which were promptly responded to.
The Ecobank Nigeria Managing Director, who was represented by the Branch Manager, Abakaliki, Mr Chris Igili, explained to the students and staff of the school how to earn and make money, the various investment channels and the need to donate for positive social impact, amongst others. He emphasized that sound financial planning guarantees a fulfilling future.
The 11th edition of GMW with the theme, Plan your Money, plant your Future, which took place between March 20 and 26, saw other Senior Management staff of Ecobank Nigeria tutoring and mentoring students across several schools in major cities across the country, including Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and Yenagoa.
Global Money Week is an annual global celebration initiated by Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), with local and regional events and activities aimed at inspiring children and youths to learn about money, saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and becoming entrepreneurs. It is also aimed at empowering the next generation to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens.
Stanbic IBTC Commends Customers for Embracing Savings Culture
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Customers of Stanbic IBTC Bank have been applauded for embracing a savings culture despite tough economic climes.
This commendation was made recently at the live draw for the Reward4Saving Promo Season two held in Lagos, where 70 more customers who met the minimum saving criteria across seven regions were rewarded with cash prizes.
The promo, launched in 2022, aims to encourage a savings culture among customers and reward the same habit. The campaign is open to all Stanbic IBTC Bank customers who have saved a minimum of N10,000 in their Stanbic IBTC Bank savings account for 30 days. The cash reward prizes range from N100,000 to N2 million.
As part of the bank’s effort to ensure a transparent and fair process, regulatory officials and the media attended the selection of winners through a live draw.
While speaking at the event, the Head of Consumer Clients at the lender, Ms Sadiya Ojo, reiterated the bank’s commitment to continue to reward its customers for their dedication and loyalty.
She also assured that the company would continue to provide innovative financial solutions that meet its customers’ needs.
“Stanbic IBTC has rewarded over 700 customers with N100,000 since the commencement of the Reward4Saving Promo Season two. We still have one monthly draw, one quarterly draw, and the grand finale before the promo ends.
“We actively encourage customers to build healthy financial habits and get more money as a reward for succeeding,” Ms Ojo said.
On his part, the Head of Data Enablement and Insights at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Kolawole Adebayo, appreciated the regulatory authorities’ support and guidance in ensuring a fair process, noting that deploying technology enables the selection to be made through best practices.
“We carry out these draws using computerised technology. We see all the processes, from client transactions to data collection, applying all the business cases presented to the point where the algorithm pushes data into the draw machines.
“All of these are without human manipulation too. This process speaks to the transparency in our process to give every qualified customer an equal chance to be winners,” he said.
To participate in the promo, customers can download the Stanbic IBTC mobile app, dial *909*37#, visit the web portal or any Stanbic IBTC Bank branch or an @ease agent to open an account or @ease wallet and save at least N10,000 for 30 days.
The Reward4Saving Promo is one of the many initiatives introduced by Stanbic IBTC to reward its customers and encourage a savings culture in Nigeria.
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