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Stanbic IBTC Anchors Sustainability Strategy on Four Pillars

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Stanbic IBTC IDE

**Cuts Carbon Emission by 1.67 tonnes

By Dipo Olowookere

In order to improve societies for humanity and advance sustainable development, the United Nations (UN) came up with some Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), which countries, organisations and others were advised to key into.

As a responsible corporate firm, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, a member of Standard Bank Group, came up with a strategy to achieve these goals.

The company designed its sustainability strategy and anchored it on four pillars; building environmental resilience, expanding business model and innovation, enhancing social relationships, and strengthening leadership for sustainability governance.

These sustainability pillars are aligned with the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.

Recently, Stanbic IBTC released its 2020 Sustainability Report and it highlighted its environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, which cut across corporate social investments (CSI), environmental and social risk management practices, and performance.

The report also highlighted the progress Stanbic IBTC had made across the four sustainability pillars, and seven Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) impact areas wherein the group had confidence in achieving significant outcomes.

It further reflected that Stanbic IBTC made significant carbon emission savings, and reduced its total carbon emission by 1.67 tonnes in 2020. Hybrid solar systems were deployed in its branches and off-site ATMs.

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Additionally, a 30 per cent reduction in paper use was achieved in its Go-Green branches initiative that contributed indirectly to a decrease in tree-felling for paper production.

Stanbic IBTC conducted waste audit exercises across three head office campuses to quantify the amount and types of waste generated at the locations for better waste management insight.

As part of the group’s sustainability governance in the year 2020, Environmental and Social Risk awareness training was conducted to educate its staff on the importance of Environmental and Social Risk management.

In the year, Stanbic IBTC and its parent brand, the Standard Bank Group, partnered with UN Women to promote women’s economic empowerment through climate-resilient agribusiness.

Over 3,000 entrepreneurs were trained in business sustainability. New School Money, an initiative on financial literacy for young people, was also shown to have impacted the lives of young people.

It was revealed in the report that a total of N109.4 million was donated under its employee volunteerism scheme and was channelled towards its three CSI pillars: health, economic empowerment, and education to help achieve qualitative healthcare and education, and sustainable economic empowerment.

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Other initiatives aligned to the SDGs included a partnership with GB Foods to boost productivity and the donation of foodstuff to charitable organisations in the fight against hunger.

Stanbic IBTC also helped provide medical facilities and supplies to hospitals and community health centres in terms of health and wellness.

At the same time, efforts in curtailing the coronavirus pandemic cost the organisation over N345 million in funds and relief material donations.

Other initiatives included the donation of educational facilities to different schools and learning centres and the award of scholarships to exceptional students across the country.

In support of gender equality, Stanbic IBTC established lactoriums in its offices to help working mothers’ transition back to work after maternity leave, and thus enhanced the inclusion of females in the workplace.

Furthermore, at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown, Stanbic IBTC put a debt relief programme in place to alleviate the potential cash flow constraints its clients faced due to the pandemic. Forbearances were granted to clients on a total exposure of N78 billion as at 31 December 2020.

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“The Sustainability Report has highlighted our shared values in 2020 and is expected to help our key stakeholders better appreciate our long-term priorities to ensure financial, social, and environmental sustainability in our business operations.

“Our sustainability ambition is to become the leading financial institution driving sustainable finance solutions in Nigeria, and we have defined a sustainability strategy that is anchored on four pillars to achieve this,” the CEO of Stanbic IBTC, Mr Demola Sogunle, stated.

“As the leading end-to-end financial services organisation, we have a duty to set the standard in the way we address environmental, social and governance issues.

“We are proud to report that we are making significant progress, and we will continue to build on our 2020 milestones,” he added.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Banking

FSDH Merchant Bank Sells N23.6bn Commercial Paper

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FSDH Merchant Bank

By Dipo Olowookere

Commercial paper worth N23.6 billion is to be raised by FSDH Merchant Bank Limited for its short-term working capital requirements and other general corporate purposes.

The note is being floated by the financial institution under its N40.0 billion commercial paper programme, Business Post gathered.

The sale of the N23.6 billion is being offered by FSDH in three series, series 3, 4 and 5, according to details of the issuance seen by this newspaper.

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Subscriptions for the commercial paper commenced on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, and is expected to wrap up on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, but this is expected to be extended because of the two-day public holiday declared by the federal government on Tuesday and Wednesday for Eid-el-Kabir.

The series 3 CP is with a maturity of 116 days, with a coupon rate of 8.74 per cent, the series 4 note comes with a 188-day tenor with a coupon rate of 11.10 per cent, while the series 5 paper comes with a 270-day maturity and a coupon rate of 11.65 per cent.

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A commercial paper is an unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued for the financing of accounts payable and inventories and meeting short-term liabilities.

Maturities on commercial paper rarely range longer than 270 days and are usually issued at a discount from face value and reflects prevailing market interest rates.

FSDH, a subsidiary of FSDH Holding Company, which started as the first discount house in Nigeria in 1993, transformed into a merchant bank in 2012 after it received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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The firm offers services such as cash management, wealth management, risk management, financing and advisory.

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Banking

Ecobank Begins Zero Transaction Fee on Rapidtransfer

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Rapidtransfer App

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The management of Ecobank Nigeria led by Mr Patrick Akinwuntan has said transactions carried out on its money transfer app, Rapidtransfer, would be free of charge for four months.

A statement issued by the lender disclosed that this zero transaction fee on Rapidtransfer is to celebrate this year’s National Diaspora Day fixed for July 25. The day is set aside by the federal government to celebrate Nigerians in the diaspora in recognition of their contributions towards the development of their homeland.

Mr Akinwuntan said Nigerians in the diaspora contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, lauding the decision of the government to celebrate them, noting that the recent launch of the National Diaspora Policy (NDP) by the government would further promote and harness the resources and capacity of Nigerians in the diaspora towards national development.

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“As a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, we are particularly pleased to work closely with NiDCOM, ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa towards the engagement of Nigerians in the diaspora on policies, projects and other initiatives geared at developing the nation.

“From our constant engagement with Nigerians in the Diaspora, we understand their peculiar needs and have created tailor-made solutions to serve them effectively,” the banker said.

He noted further that Ecobank has partnered NiDCOM on webinars, diaspora quarterly lecture series and will continue to seek other collaboration opportunities to deepen engagement with the diaspora community.

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Also speaking, the Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, said Ecobank will apply zero fees to all Rapidtransfer transactions from July 1 to October 31, 2021, thereby enabling Nigerians living abroad to send money to their loved ones affordably.

According to her, the decision to waive charges underscores the bank’s commitment to helping Nigerians abroad remit money home without placing an additional burden of charges on them, especially at this period of global economic downturn.

Rapidtransfer is Ecobank’s proprietary money transfer service which enables users send funds across borders, affordably and instantly.

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The banking app is available for use by Ecobank and non-Ecobank customers. Remittances can be received directly into the recipient’s account or as cash at any Ecobank branch.

Beneficiaries who wish to receive funds into an account but do not have domiciliary accounts have the opportunity to open in Euro, GBP or USD instantly and enjoy all the benefits that come with Ecobank foreign currency accounts.

In addition, N5 is paid on every one dollar received as cash or direct to account in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing Naira for Dollar initiative.

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Banking

Fidelity Bank, Linda Ikeji Plan Platform to Empower Women

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Linda Ikeji Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe empower women

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Efforts are being made by Fidelity Bank Plc and Linda Ikeji Blog (LIB) TV to create a long-term platform aimed to educate, support and empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Last week, the CEO of LIB TV, Ms Linda Ikeji, was at the head office of Fidelity Bank in Lagos on a courtesy call to the CEO of the financial institution, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe.

During the visit, the duo not only explored business opportunities but discussed ways to lend their voice to the ongoing conversation about women empowerment.

The two beautiful amazons and consummate professionals in their respective fields of endeavour (banking and media) agreed that one of the best ways to develop the nation was to provide an avenue for women to thrive.

“Through strategic collaborations, we can set up a forum for young aspiring entrepreneurs to have a one-on-one interaction with successful career women in Fidelity Bank. This will provide them with the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences,” Ms Ikeji said.

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The media guru, while speaking on the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship, encouraged budding female entrepreneurs to stay ahead of their time by conducting research and identifying the needs of consumers.

She praised Fidelity Bank for organising women empowerment programmes, explaining that more Nigerian women need such platforms for motivation whilst believing that there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Ms Ikeji also used the occasion to express her confidence in management’s capacity to impact positively on the growth and development of women-owned businesses in Nigeria.

In her remarks, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe, who was surrounded by top female management staff, applauded her guest’s efforts to empower young women, alluding to her 2017 initiative, which saw her tour secondary schools across the country teaching young girls about entrepreneurship. She expressed the willingness of the bank to collaborate with LIB TV for the betterment of female entrepreneurs.

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The bank chief also used the opportunity to provide a detailed insight into her seven-point agenda, which is part of plans to ensure the bank achieves Tier-One status in Nigeria by 2025.

Speaking about the bank’s efforts to positively influence women in business, the Fidelity Bank boss stated that the company’s long-standing support for the growth of women-owned businesses in Nigeria stems from its recognition of women’s ability to effectively control the hem of affairs in business.

Whilst reiterating the bank’s passion for women empowerment, she said the lender has put in place necessary measures to improve gender equality and assist women in the bank’s workforce thrive effortlessly on the job.

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One of these, she said, is the creation of a conducive workspace for all women by building a crèche for Fidelity women to enable them to take care of their children.

“Fidelity Bank is very concerned about the convenience of women in the workforce and I encourage that every work environment with mothers should have a crèche. We have just built a child-friendly environment and it would be unveiled very soon,” she said.

On a final note, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe noted that female business owners and professionals must make it a point of duty to be consistent and tenacious to succeed in business.

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