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Brandishing Stanbic IBTC’s Impressive Gender Equity Scorecard

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Recently, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC announced the promotions of several of its women to top executive roles across the Stanbic IBTC Group.

These included the promotions of Wunmi Ehis-Uzenabor as Executive Director, Operations, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management; Busola Jejelowo as Executive Director, Investments, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management; Emi Agaba-Oloja, Executive Director, Stanbic IBTC Trustees; and Sakeenat Bakare, Executive Director, Business Development, Stanbic IBTC Insurance.

These promotions which were in line with Stanbic IBTC’s corporate governance structure and succession policy further showcased the financial institution’s posture as an equal opportunity organisation. Both male and female employees are privileged to rise as far as their skills, talents, and dedication permit them”.

Stanbic IBTC has always been forward-looking in terms of its recruitment and succession policies. Having held the belief that females are as talented as their male counterparts and can contribute immensely to businesses and the society’s growth if given equal opportunity. The belief was underscored at the commencement of operations by Stanbic IBTC many decades ago.   

Over 30 years ago, when Atedo Peterside conceived the idea to establish an investment bank, one that would be matched as the best in the industry, and transform the investment and corporate banking landscape in years to come, he realised the importance of engaging the best hands and minds. He set to work to achieve that and opted for a gender-balanced workforce as he employed as many females as males in senior management roles. 

Sola David-Borha was appointed Head, Credit and Marketing Department; Oluwande Muoyo was appointed head of the Treasury and Financial Services Department; and Angela Omo-Dare became the Company Secretary and Head, Legal Services of legacy IBTC. 

These appointments were against the grain. At that time, the financial services industry, particularly the investment and corporate banking sector was male-dominated, with C-suite and D-level executives being mostly men. Atedo was however determined to redefine the industry, and he knew that only the best would help him achieve his objectives, irrespective of gender. Thus, he built a reliable team consisting of both male and female players. The tradition was established at the commencement of the business to give both genders equal opportunity in recruitment, on-the-job training, human capital development, promotions, and remuneration.  

His foresight was handsomely rewarded. In five short years, legacy IBTC had become the leading investment and corporate banking company in the country and successfully displaced industry giants in merchant banking of that era.

More than 30 years later, and having gone through a series of transformations, including mergers and becoming a holding company, Stanbic IBTC still maintained that equal opportunity legacy. 

Employees of the organisation are exposed to quality and regular training to update their knowledge and skills, starting from its graduate training academy. New intakes are exposed to the institution’s work ethics, core values and executive training programmes here in Nigeria and overseas.

Sola David-Borha rose through the ranks to become the Chief Executive of the Bank and later of the Holding Company before moving on to a higher role with the mother brand, Standard Bank Group. Yewande Sadiku rose to become Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Capital, the Group’s investment banking arm and later Executive Director, overseeing Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC before she took up a government appointment. 

Bunmi Dayo-Olagunju was also Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management before becoming the Executive Director, Operations of the Bank. Other top females in the Group included the Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers, Titi Ogungbesan; an Executive Director with the pension subsidiary, Nike Bajomo;  Oyinda Akinyemi and Olusola Carrena as Executive Directors in Stanbic IBTC Capital, among others. Today, the Stanbic IBTC workforce is highly symbolic, with 57% men and 43% women. 

This legacy has continued to help the business attract and retain the very best. The benefits have been immense in terms of growth as staff show a rare dedication to duty and a hunger to help transform the Stanbic IBTC brand into the leading end-to-end financial services institution in the country. The commitment has consistently been reflected in the Group’s market share across the gamut of the financial services industry and the institutions’ bottom line.  

Over 30 years later, Stanbic IBTC had remained at the forefront of gender equality and inclusion, as shown by its employment and succession legacy. But more importantly, it continued to demonstrate its belief in a gender-balanced representation in all areas of society through women-focused initiatives. In 2020, for instance, it temporarily changed its logo colour from blue to magenta to celebrate the UN Women HeForShe brand.

 Stanbic IBTC has created an environment where women feel appreciated and are rewarded accordingly. “For us, achieving gender inclusiveness is not only a fundamental human right but also a business imperative,” said Sogunle.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Expands Its International Money Transfer Network, Reinforces its Commitment to Customer Service

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In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has increased its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), targeted at easing the accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner. With over 750 branches across the country, customers can receive money from the nearest FirstBank branch closest to them.

Over the years, FirstBank has been in partnership with Western UnionMoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs which include Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflow into the country, thereby putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the world.

Beneficiaries can receive remittance in US dollars in any of our over 750 branches spread across the country. Customers without an existing domiciliary account can have dollar account automatically created for their remittances. You can also receive inflow directly into your account through Western Union.

In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.

Reiterating the Bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo said “at FirstBank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses and debt servicing.

We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are, across the world.”

FirstBank pioneered international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of promoting cross border payments in the country, having started the journey with Western Union Money Transfer. The Bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.

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Banking Sector

Global Banking Sector Grows 40% Reviving Pandemic Losses in Just 12 Months

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In 2020, the global banking sector took a hit following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which was reflected in the overall market capitalization. However, with the ongoing global recovery, the banking industry has regained most of the losses incurred during the health crisis. 

According to data acquired by Finbold, in just 12 months between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, the global banking sector’s market cap has surged 39.62%, adding €2.1 trillion from €5.3 trillion to €7.4 trillion. On the path to recovery, the market cap slightly plunged in 2020 Q3 to €5.2 trillion before gaining 17.3% the next quarter.

Among the Western European banks, Spain’s BBVA bank recorded the highest total shareholder return rate at 19.7% between April 2021 – July 2021, followed by Société Générale from France at 13.8%, while Banco Santander, also from Spain, ranks third at 12.1%. United Kingdom’s Barclays is the worst performer with a TSR of -8%. Data on the global banking sector’s market cap is provided by Banking Hub.

How banking sector sustained growth

The registered market capitalization is supported by the large-scale reopening of economies due to the vaccine rollout. Additionally, the banks, especially from major economies like the United States and Europe, have reaped from policies meant to cushion the economy from the adverse effects of the pandemic. Notably, the decisions by most banks to retain a low-interest-rate environment has been beneficial to banks.

Worth noting is that during the pandemic, banks found themselves in a tight spot. Historically, the banking sector has been considered the custodian of the economy but the pandemic also plunged the banks into a crisis. The banking sector’s profits were adversely affected considering they are bound to the business cycle and interest rates.

At the same time, banks also put in place measures like approaching loans with caution due to uncertainty in repaying which directly impacted profits. However, banks were tapped to facilitate the distribution of stimulus packages boosting their capital reserves in return.

Worth pointing out is that institutions like the European Central Banks allowed banks to continue using their capital buffers flexibly with a planned extension until 2022. With such moves helping banks sustain growth, it eliminates the worry of straining capital buffers while the health crisis is still impacting the banks’ balance sheets.

Furthermore, the crisis highlighted the need for banks to keep huge reserves of capital that can be activated in the wake of economic turmoil. Although most banks have historically relied on assets for future cushion, a crisis like the coronavirus calls for more capital because selling assets in such an environment is challenging.

Besides the policies, the banking sector recovery was partly aided by existing operational risk management arrangements. The pandemic tested all financial market participants and most leading banks successfully invoked business continuity plans. The plans ensured that the financial markets continued to run smoothly and orderly.

The sector’s recovery has also been accelerated by other factors like the increased adoption of pre-pandemic trends like digitalization and sustainability. Digitization of operations has been backed by consumers who are willing to conduct transactions online. At the same time, the digital shift has presented a competitive factor in the sector, with institutions that had established online presence benefiting the most.

Notably, the recovery was at some point under threat during the third quarter of 2020 amid concerns of the pandemic’s second wave. However, the sector sustained the gains with the rollout of the vaccine. Furthermore, moving into 2021, the industry appears not to be bothered by the Delta variant.

The future of the banking sector

By sustaining the market capitalization for two consecutive quarters, it can be assumed that the banking sector response to the health crisis is bearing fruits. However, it is still early to determine if the recovery is sustainable.

The rally will be tested, especially when central banks eliminate all the policies meant to cushion the economy. However, in the long run, banks will have to tailor their operations towards changing consumer behaviour.

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Banking Sector

How Stanbic IBTC is Transforming Nigeria’s Trade Landscape

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has reiterated its commitment to fostering international trade and help the nation actualise its economic growth and development goals.

The Bank said it will continue to fine-tune its three-pronged approach to facilitating trade activities for clients. These are the development of bespoke financial solutions to help boost trade for clients; sponsorship of relevant trade shows that bring together stakeholders in global trade, including exporters and importers; and organisation of seminars and workshops to provide clients and other stakeholders with industry insights and enlighten them on global trade opportunities.

“Our goal is to become the ‘go-to’ Bank as far as global trade is concerned, with emphasis on Africa-China trade. This approach is of immense value to our clients and will help us achieve our fundamental purpose, which is to drive Nigeria’s growth,” Chief Executive Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Wole Adeniyi, said.

In line with this resolve, Stanbic IBTC organised a webinar on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The webinar themed: ‘AfCFTA State of Play: Understanding Potential and Maximising Opportunities for the Customer’, emphasised Stanbic IBTC’s readiness to leverage the trade opportunities of the AfCFTA agreement to unlock business opportunities for its clients in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector as well as its corporate clients.

In 2019, Stanbic IBTC launched its Africa China Agent Proposition (now called Africa China Trade Solutions – ACTS) to boost trade transactions between Africa (Nigeria) and Asia, especially China, and help customers consummate the best business deals without having to travel to China.

According to Stanbic IBTC, ACTS will give customers exclusive access to an array of exporters in China through an accredited agent, Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co Ltd, also known as Guamao.

Stanbic IBTC has held various fora as part of its sensitisation drive on ACTS and the currency swap agreement between Nigeria and China. These fora provided insight on how best to help clients and businesses leverage the opportunity and assess the impact of the Chinese economy on trade in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

According to Wole, these workshops were geared towards deepening trade connections with the Chinese business community, thereby stimulating strong trade and business ties between Africa, with a special focus on Nigeria and China.

Stanbic IBTC Bank was a platinum sponsor of the 2021 Global Trade Review (GTR) West Africa Conference themed ‘Connecting the Region’s Trade Experts. The GTR West Africa Conference is an annual regional event for trade discussions and networking among leading practitioners in trade, export, and commodity finance to strategically explore the latest developments, strategies, and solutions needed to drive growth.

Experts have continued to commend Stanbic IBTC on this bold approach to educate its clients and investors about the benefits of AfCFTA, the Nigeria China currency swap deal, and the ACTS proposition, all geared towards helping clients unlock business opportunities.

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