Ohiwerei Returns Keystone Bank Back to Profitability With N5.9b PBT

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Since the present management of Keystone Bank Limited under the leadership of Mr Obeahon Ohiwerei came on board in August 2017, the financial institution has witnessed significant transformation both structurally and in market competitiveness.

In a chat with newsmen in Lagos on Monday, Mr Ohiwerei explained that the bank’s current strategic focus anchors on a blend of professionalism and best-in-class yet cost-effective technology to drive customer convenience across all touchpoints.

According to him, “What was otherwise a fringe bridge-bank player has increasingly reinvented itself in the market place as medium-sized in scale yet replete with the vibrancy, innovation and forward-looking stance of any major player.”

Explaining how his team turned the lender around in a short time, Mr Ohiwerei said, “Besides re-energising our workforce across the country, Keystone Bank has invested substantially fully integrated service models that facilitate customer access to banking services across a broad range of channels.”

Speaking further, the bank chief alluded to recent successes in entrenching an audacious can-do spirit across the bank; a mind-set that is willing to go the extra mile in serving customers in the most innovative ways possible, yet undergirded with professionalism and utmost respect for corporate governance.

“Indeed, there are emerging dividends of this on-going re-engineering process. For the half-year ended June 30, 2018, the bank recorded a Profit Before Tax of N5.9 billion compared with a loss of N7.1 billion over the same period in 2017 while deposits have grown from N209 billion in August 2017 (when the new management came on board) to N358billion as at November 2018,” Mr Ohiwerei stated.

Driven by seasoned professionals drawn from leading banks in the industry, the Executive Management Team is well aware of the potential pitfalls in pursuing unbridled bank-growth, particularly in the face of pressure for turnaround performance.

However, in the words of the CEO, “we have consistently maintained an expansive yet responsible appetite for risk asset creation, striking the required balance across all key regulatory ratios without stifling growth. As such we have remained a net placer of funds in the interbank market with over the last 10months till this minute.

“One of the key elements of our revised vision statement is the word preferred and the import of it is to take us above the fray and elevate the discussion beyond traditional matrices of balance sheet size, asset base, branch spread and the like, which are still important though.

“Rather it commits us to delivering excellent services in all we do such that customers trust us and repeatedly want to do business with us.

“Growth for us is not a 100-metre dash but a marathon where we shall not only stay competitive in the short to medium term but put in place every required resource to ensure our growth is sustainable in the long term.

“We are excited about our future and cherish both our new customers and those that have kept faith with us through the years.

“At Keystone Bank, when we say #We Grow Together, our commitment is to ensure that every experience reinforces the truth that we are a professional, responsive and dependable financial solutions provider, always within reach through all our channels,” Mr Ohiwerei concluded.

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