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SunTrust Bank Grows Deposits by 432% to N4.2b

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SunTrust Bank Grows Deposits by 432% to N4.2b

SunTrust Bank Grows Deposits by 432% to N4.2b

By Dipo Olowookere

Despite the 2016 recession that led to severe macro economy challenges, the SunTrust Bank recorded growth in customer deposits through its broad range of unique financial services and products to individuals, small businesses, corporation and the government.

During the year, the company effectively managed its interest expenses that impacted positively on its Net Interest Income.

In the 2016 financial statements released by SunTrust Bank, its customers increased deposits by a whopping 432 percent, pushing the financial firm to declare an impressive pre-tax profit of N343 million, an increase of 160.3 percent over the N131.9 million reported in 2015.

This is a sign of absolute confidence in the management of the technology-driven new bank, which is showing the lead in the banking sector in Nigeria.

It was observed that the banks’ income tax expense moved from N10 million to N130.6 million to leverage profit after tax gain of 74.6 percent to N212.7 million from N121.8 million in 2015.

With growth in profitability, Earnings per Share (EPS) gained 12.5 percent to N0.18 in 2016 from N0.16 recorded in 2015.

Following the above, return on equity (ROE) moved from 1.2 percent to 2 percent.

The bank focuses its lending activities to the SMEs, Retail Consumers, and Emerging Corporates. It also explores other specialized development finance activities, including the agricultural value chain.

It will be recalled that the bank’s Chief Executive, Mr Muhammed Jubrin, recently assured operators in the small and medium scale enterprises sector that his bank will focus on the small businesses by availing financing and thus ensuring that the sector plays its pivotal role in the economy.

“In line with our strategy, we are going to drive SMEs transactions certainly… and part of our strategy is retail banking, we want to create a retail bank of choice and certainly SMEs is the engine room for the growth of any economy and to provide financing services, to support the SMEs will be the only way, we can support the growth of the economy and particularly in line with the vision of the CBN and the current administration,” Mr Jubrin said.

On the focus and strategy of the bank, the CEO said, “Over 90 per cent of banking transaction are being transacted electronically worldwide.

“Banking is no longer where you go to… the only financial institution that can stand in the future is no longer those with physical branches but only by banking services that will be driven by technology and therefore most customers of tomorrow will no longer be interested in going to the banking halls…

“We are a financial technology bank that will bring banking to your home rather than make you come to us…We will be everywhere but we will be nowhere…we will have the minimum branches required to operate as a bank but we will drive financial services through technology,” he assured.

Commenting further on the operations of the bank, the CEO explained that, “We will offer telephone, mobile and Internet banking underpinned by the traditional banking ethics of probity and integrity.”

The bank’s competitive edge will be the strong reliance on technology and the bank will be encouraging customers to access its services from the comfort of their homes and offices and as such the bank will not be engaging in a proliferation of branches.

“Our services will be available to our customers 24 hours daily, seven days a week and from anywhere in the world where there is a good Internet service.

“Even our data centre is outsourced, this way we will not have the overbearing requirement to put on the generator at our locations,” he explained.

By adopting a branchless strategy, SunTrust will save the N100m-N120M required to build a modern branch and the about N2.5m it costs to run the generators at a typical bank branch.

Customers of SunTrust are encouraged to use any bank ATM because the bank will not be charging them the fee charged by other banks for using ATM machines belonging to other banks.

According to the CEO, “we will not be emphasising physical security as we are making serious investment in cyber security instead.”

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

Polaris Bank in Safe Hands, No Need to Panic—Management

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Polaris Bank Rewards Customers

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The management of Polaris Bank Limited has urged its customers and members of the public not to panic over reports that the financial institution has been sold to a new investor, Mr Auwal Gombe, in the sum of N40 billion.

It was recently reported that efforts are being made to hand over the lender to the businessman, who is said to be an ally of former military president, Mr Ibrahim Babangida, after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationalised the defunct Skye Bank Plc into Polaris Bank in 2018.

In a statement issued on Friday in Lagos, the bank described the report of the purported sale as not only “speculative” but done to deliberately “create panic” among its customers and the banking community.

The company said the CBN established it and injected funds for its operations, it has bounced back to profitability, with a solid balance sheet, saying there is no cause for alarm as the bank was in safe hands.

“Stakeholders may recall the regulatory intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank by the CBN and the subsequent injection of capital via the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) through a bridge bank process, which birthed Polaris Bank in 2018.

“The bank has since stabilised its operations following the intervention; improving its balance sheet, customer base and profitability,” a part of the notice today said.

Continuing, Polaris Bank noted that, “Whilst the intention has always been to return the bank to private ownership, such a sale would occur following regulatory approvals with formal notification to all relevant stakeholders,” expressing its commitment to “ensuring timely communication to the public in such an event.”

 “The board and management hereby reassure its customers, staff and the general public that Polaris Bank remains a stable, strong and credible financial institution, positioned to deliver sustainable value to all its stakeholders,” the statement concluded.

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Banking

Wema Bank Refutes Dud Cheque, Forgery Allegations

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wema-bank-logo

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The management of Wema Bank Plc has rubbished an allegation that it issued a dud cheque in connection with a garnishee proceeding for the payment of a judgement debt on behalf of the Bayelsa State Government.

A legal practitioner, Mr George Haliday, had accused the financial institution of issuing dud cheques but in a statement issued on Wednesday, the lender explained that the cheques have only not been cleared for payment because of the subsisting appeal at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on the garnishee proceeding which has now been decided in its favour.

According to the statement, the lawyer only ran to the Magistrate Court in Abuja to lodge a complaint about the issuance of dud cheques after he lost his case at the appellate court.

“It is very worthy of note that the judgement debt against Bayelsa State Government, which Barrister George Haliday attempted to enforce by a garnishee proceeding, thereby leading to the issuance of the cheques in question had been settled by Bayelsa State Government via a Terms of Settlement between Barrister George Haliday and the Bayelsa State Government at the Supreme Court,” a part of the statement.

Recently, there were reports that the Managing Director/CEO of Wema Bank, Mr Ademola Adebise, was issued an arrest warrant, but the bank dismissed this, saying its leader was not given a fair hearing in the matter.

“Wema Bank wishes to state that the warrant for the arrest of Mr Ademola Adebise is in violation of his fundamental rights to fair hearing as he was never personally served with any process to appear before the magistrate court nor was he represented in court.

“We are a law-abiding corporate citizen; if there was any court summons properly served on the Managing Director for his appearance in court, he would have done so without fail.

“But in this case, there was no such service extended to him or any court processes personally served on him to appear in court until a warrant of arrest was issued in absentia. We view the arrest warrant as being an infringement on his fundamental rights,” the statement said.

Concluding, the lender emphatically refuted and dismissed “in their entirety, the allegations of dud cheque and forgery levelled against our bank and the Managing Director. We also dismiss the inappropriate issuance of a bench warrant on our Managing Director.

“We are already engaging in legitimate actions to seek redress and bring all the perpetrators of these unprofessional conducts and heinous criminal acts against our Managing Director and the bank to book.”

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Banking

Advans Nigeria Becomes Most Innovative Microfinance Bank

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Advans MFB

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

More big feathers have been added to the colourful cap of Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, cementing its leadership position in the small lending business in Nigeria.

Recently, in recognition of its customer-centric credentials and innovation in product development, service delivery and brand management, the financial institution was named the Best Microfinance Bank in Nigeria at the Financial Derivatives Awards 2022.

Also, the company emerged as the Most Innovative Microfinance Bank in Nigeria in the Global Brands Magazine and World Economic Magazine Awards 2022.

The Managing Director/CEO of Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Mr Gaetan Debuchy, while reacting to the accolades bestowed on the firm, dedicated the awards to the working management and staff of the bank, promising that the bank would continue to break boundaries.

“We are excited to win these awards. It further validates our innovative approach to providing customer-centric, affordable and transparent financial services,” Mr Debuchy said.

Also, the Head of Marketing and Communication at Advans La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Mr Kayode Abraham, stated that, “Over the years, we have centred our business on customer needs and feedback, which has helped us develop financial solutions from scratch to completion. We are pleased to be recognised as the most innovative and best microfinance bank in Nigeria.”

Earlier in the year, Advans Nigeria upgraded its mobile banking app ‘Adspire’ to include users’ ability to request bank statements and control their daily transaction limit. Through the app, clients can receive notifications and share by referring their friends and loved ones.

The bank recently introduced a micro-health insurance product and an education loan to facilitate financial inclusion.

The health insurance product was designed to ensure existing and prospective clients have access to high-quality and affordable health care services, while the education loan was designed to provide working and investment capital for school owners and to assist parents in paying their children’s school fees with ease.

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