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Access Bank, 27 Lenders Develop Global Banking Principles

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  • Access Bank, 27 Lenders Develop Global Banking Principles

Following the development of the Global Principles for Responsible Banking (GPRB) by Access Bank, 27 other global banks and other financial institutions have now become early endorsers of the principles.

The banks include Caixa Bank, Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo (Ccofide), DGB Financial Group, GLS Bank, KB Financial Group,KBC Group, Keystone Bank, Natixis, Qatar National Bank, Standard Chartered , and Zenith Bank .

The GPRB was launched for public consultation in Paris three weeks ago by the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) (Egypt), Access Bank (Nigeria),Banco Pichincha (Ecuador), Banorte (Mexico), Barclays (United Kingdom), BBVA (Spain), BNP Paribas (France) and Bradesco (Brazil). Others are Caixa Bank, CIMB Bank (Malaysia), Commercial International Bank (CIB) (Egypt), Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo (Ccofide), DGB Financial Group, First Rand (South Africa), Garanti Bank (Turkey), GLS Bank and Golomt Bank (Mongolia).

Also in the list are Hana Financial Group (South Korea), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (China), ING (Netherlands), KB Financial Group, KBC Group,Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group (Kenya), Land Bank (South Africa),National Australia Bank (NAB) (Australia), Natixis, Nordea (Sweden), Piraeus Bank (Greece), Qatar National Bank, Santander (Spain) and Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea).

Societe Generale (France), Standard Bank (South Africa), Standard Chartered Plc, Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Westpac (Australia), and YES Bank (India).

The principles will first be available for signature in September 2019, but until then banks and stakeholders can signal their support for and join the initiative by becoming official endorsers of the Principles. The global principles will align the banking industry with, and scale up its contribution to society’s goals as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

By adopting the principles, Access Bank and the other institutions have signified a commitment to help promote the uptake of the principles among their members and networks. As a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Access Bank is a leading partner on the initiative.

Speaking after the announcement, Group Managing Director/CEO Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, explained that as a member of the UNEP FI, sustainability is an important global platform for the bank, especially in achieving sustainable growth through socially-responsible corporate practices.

“At Access Bank, we have stayed committed to ensuring that we place priority on not just being a profitable venture but also one that is deeply concerned about the planet and the people. With specific guidelines that have been developed, applied, and with rigorous monitoring, we can all ensure that we build a sustainable and prosperous future, achieve long-term business and financial benefits while driving urgent action that reduces the risk to the environment,” he said.

Access Bank’s Head, Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan said: “In order to continuously increase on impact through sustainability practices, we will consistently align our corporate strategies with ideas and activities that contribute to our customers’ needs, proactively engage and partner with relevant stakeholders in order to achieve Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks to which the country remains committed.”

Head, UNEP FI, Eric Usher, said: “Today we welcome the first official endorsers of the Principles for Responsible Banking. I am delighted that the Principles are already gathering support as we know that we need to see urgent action to address climate change and the other social and environmental challenges the world faces.”

UNEP FI Banking Lead Simone Dettling added: “The Principles for Responsible Banking provide an actionable framework for banks of any size and at any starting point to align their business strategies with society’s goals. We commend the first group of endorsers for taking this important step, and call on banks around the world to endorse the Principles and help develop the sustainable banking system of the future.”

The European Banking Federation, Natural Capital Coalition, SITAWI Finance for Good, the Spanish Banking Association, the European Association of Co-operative Banks, the European Sustainable Investment Forum, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation and the Spanish Savings Banks Confederation also officially endorsed GPRB.

The GPRB set the global standard for what it means to be a responsible bank and will ensure that banks create value for both their shareholders and society. They provide the first global framework that guides the integration of sustainability across all business areas of a bank, from strategic to portfolio to transaction level. The transparency and accountability mechanisms in the Principles require signatories to manage what matters most, set public targets and report back on progress.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Launches N127.1bn Public Offer and Rights Issue on June 20

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Fidelity Bank Plc, Nigeria’s sixth-largest bank, is set to open its public offer and rights issue to investors on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

In preparation for this significant financial event, Fidelity Bank will host a “Facts Behind the Offer” presentation at the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) on the same day.

This presentation is expected to provide detailed insights into the bank’s strategy and the opportunities presented by the public offer and rights issue.

Under the rights issue, Fidelity Bank will offer 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N9.25 per share. These shares will be available to existing shareholders in the proportion of 1 new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of January 5, 2024.

In addition to the rights issue, the bank will also offer 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the general investing public at N9.75 per share. This dual approach is part of the bank’s comprehensive strategy to raise a total of up to N127.1 billion.

The acceptance and application period for the rights issue and public offer will commence on Thursday, June 20, and close on Monday, July 29, 2024.

This timeline provides investors ample opportunity to participate in the bank’s capital expansion.

Fidelity Bank has engaged Stanbic IBTC Capital as the lead issuing house for the combined offer. The joint issuing houses include Iron Global Markets Limited, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Afrinvest Capital Limited, FSL Securities Limited, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Iroko Capital Market Advisory Limited, Kairos Capital Limited, and Planet Capital Limited.

These firms will play a crucial role in managing the offer and ensuring its success.

The bank’s initiative to raise N127.1 billion is seen as a strategic move to bolster its capital base and ensure compliance with the CBN’s revised capital requirements, which were introduced on March 28, 2024.

This capital raise is expected to enhance the bank’s capacity to support its growing customer base and expand its operations across Nigeria and beyond.

In recent years, Fidelity Bank has demonstrated robust financial performance and growth, positioning itself as a key player in Nigeria’s banking sector.

The successful completion of this public offer and rights issue will further solidify its standing and enable it to pursue new opportunities in the competitive financial landscape.

Investors and stakeholders are keenly anticipating the outcome of this capital-raising exercise, which is poised to mark a significant milestone in Fidelity Bank’s journey toward sustained growth and stability.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Staff Following Record Financial Performance

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 11% of its workforce, a testament to the exceptional performance and dedication of its employees.

This significant move follows the release of the bank’s 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, which reported an impressive 131.5 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N124.26 billion.

The recent promotions span every level within the bank, reflecting Fidelity Bank Plc’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence across its entire organization.

This strategic initiative has garnered positive reactions from staff members, who see it as a validation of their hard work and contribution to the bank’s remarkable financial achievements.

In addition to the promotions, Fidelity Bank Plc has also concluded arrangements to raise a total of N127.1 billion through a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer. This move is part of the bank’s broader strategy to strengthen its capital base, support future growth, and enhance shareholder value.

Fidelity Bank Plc’s impressive financial performance and the subsequent employee promotions highlight the bank’s robust operational strategy and its commitment to fostering a rewarding work environment. By investing in its people and ensuring their career growth, the bank continues to build a motivated and high-performing workforce.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

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Finance

Nigeria to Receive $2.25 Billion from World Bank for Economic Growth

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The World Bank has approved a $2.25 billion funding package aimed at stabilizing the economy and assisting the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The Washington-based lender announced this approval on Thursday.

The fresh infusion of capital is designed to bolster Nigeria’s efforts to stabilize its economy, which has been plagued by years of foreign-exchange shortages and economic instability.

The funding will also focus on enhancing non-oil revenue streams and safeguarding oil revenues to ensure fiscal sustainability.

This, in turn, will help deliver quality public services and support the poor and economically at-risk communities.

Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank’s Vice President for Western and Central Africa, emphasized the importance of this financing package.

“Nigeria’s concerted efforts to implement far-reaching macro-fiscal reforms place it on a new path which can stabilize its economy and lift its people out of poverty,” Diagana said.

“This financing package reinforces the World Bank’s strong partnership with Nigeria, and our support towards reinvigorating its economy and fast-tracking poverty reduction, which can serve as a beacon for Africa.”

Since assuming office in May 2023, President Bola Tinubu has initiated a series of reforms aimed at addressing the chronic foreign-exchange shortages and stimulating economic growth.

Key measures include allowing the naira to trade more freely, significantly increasing interest rates, and phasing out a costly fuel subsidy by adjusting gasoline prices.

Also, the Central Bank has taken steps to clear a $7 billion backlog of unmet foreign-exchange obligations to industries and foreign investors.

These reforms are part of a broader strategy to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy, which has traditionally relied heavily on oil production.

Despite Nigeria’s status as Africa’s largest oil producer, low crude production levels and a lack of economic diversification have contributed to ongoing fiscal challenges and foreign-exchange shortages.

The World Bank’s funding is expected to provide much-needed support for these reform efforts, helping to stabilize the economy and improve the overall economic outlook.

The injection of $2.25 billion will not only address immediate fiscal needs but also lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

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