By Dipo Olowookere
A multi-year partnership deal has been signed between Western Union Company and Liverpool FC of England.
The deal will see Western Union, a leader in global payment and money transfer services, become an official principal partner and the official money transfer partner of Liverpool FC.
They will also become the club’s first-ever official shirt sleeve sponsor – with the Western Union logo appearing on LFC shirt sleeves.
As the official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC, Western Union will use its global cross-border digital transfer and payments platform to provide money transfer capabilities to the club. Western Union will offer fast, easy digital payments and money transfers for Liverpool Football Club and its fans, linking them to their home communities or to virtually anywhere in the world.
“The businesses of Western Union and Liverpool FC are both driven by our passion for bringing communities together, whether that be through moving money or delivering the excitement of football experiences,” said Jean-Claude Farah, President of Global Payments at Western Union.
“This partnership goes far beyond a badge on a shirt, as we will be bringing our digital money transfer expertise to better connect Liverpool FC and fans around the world,” Farah added.
Billy Hogan, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director at Liverpool Football Club said: “Western Union is an instantly recognisable brand with a truly global footprint and we are absolutely delighted to welcome them as our first ever Shirt Sleeve Sponsor and official Principal Partner. We are very much looking forward to working with Western Union through this partnership to create new experiences and opportunities for our fans both in the UK and abroad.”
The two organizations mirror each other in their storied histories and truly global followings. Just as football powerfully transcends borders and brings people together, Western Union has a 160-year global brand history of connecting customers across more than 200 countries and territories. The 125-year-old Liverpool football club has more than 700 million active followers globally across television, social and traditional media.
“We are proud to celebrate a sport that unifies billions of people worldwide, and to work with a partner that so closely shares our values,” said Elizabeth G. Chambers, Chief Strategy, Product and Marketing Officer at Western Union. “Our customers are digitally-savvy and on-the-go, moving not just money but their human capital – their cultures, values and sporting allegiances. Like us, Liverpool FC has an active and diverse global following who want to be a part of something bigger and we can help them achieve this.”
Western Union continues to drive its ambitious digital expansion in countries across the world, and will harness its deep cross-border and fintech capabilities to improve the payments experience for the club as well as LFC fans, suppliers and business partners. Whether close to home or far afield, they can look to Western Union to help move money when, how and where they need it.
Western Union’s logo is the first to appear on the sleeve and sixth to appear on the shirt, since the inception of Liverpool FC.
The partnership will see Western Union benefit from a diverse range of LFC marketing and promotional rights, including digital and social media support, pitch side LED messaging, and branding across Anfield stadium, its fan lounge and the Club’s media channels.
Also included are exclusive hospitality and conference opportunities, and access to International pre-season tours, Liverpool FC players and Legends.
To celebrate the launch of the partnership, Western Union will be offering Liverpool FC fans in the UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden a fee-free* money transfer promotion, running from August 10 through until the end of August.
The Western Union patch will be available free of charge to all LFC fans that have purchased a 2017-18 Liverpool FC shirt and will be available in-store and online from Sunday 27th August. Full details will follow on www.liverpoolfc.com.
Polaris Bank in Safe Hands, No Need to Panic—Management
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.
Wema Bank Refutes Dud Cheque, Forgery Allegations
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.”
Advans Nigeria Becomes Most Innovative Microfinance Bank
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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