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Banking Sector

EFCC Warns Banks Directors Against Election Financing, Forex Malpractice

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Achike Udenwa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, has warned financial institutions against fraudulent election financing, foreign exchange malpractice, and money laundering.

Bawa gave the warning on Thursday Thursday during an interactive session with managing directors of banks in Nigeria at the Lagos Zonal Command of the commission, Bawa said it was important to bring the financial institutions in the country up to speed with the evolving policies in the Commission.

In a statement by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujiaren, Bawa was quoted as saying the commission would want to play more emphasis on prevention than enforcement.

He said it was important to bring the financial institutions in the country up to speed with the evolving policies in the Commission, in line with the United Nations’ categorization of the fight against corruption vis-à-vis prevention, enforcement, and assets recovery.

“At the EFCC, we want to place more emphasis on prevention. We want to lay less emphasis on enforcement, which is investigation and prosecution and put our energy more on prevention and asset recovery.

“In addition, some of the issues we have identified include foreign exchange malpractices and fraudulent election financing.

“As you all know, in 16 to 18 months, Nigeria will be preparing for another round of elections, and the government will not want what happened in the past to repeat itself,” Bawa said.

The EFCC boss said it had become necessary to put bankers on their toes, particularly as the 2023 general elections approached.

Bawa also stressed that the “new EFCC” under his leadership believes that the financial institutions have an important role to play in the Commission’s efforts to rid Nigeria of economic and financial crimes.

He charged the bankers to comply with the guidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the issuance of Personal Travel Allowance, PTA, and Business Travel Allowance, BTA, to their customers.

You need to ensure full compliance with regard to knowing your customers and ensuring that you do not give opportunities for foreign exchange malpractices,” he said.

The commission boss, however, disagreed with the allegation of a cat-and-mouse relationship between the commission and financial institutions in the country.

He said that by September 1, anything that would happen or has happened within the industry would be done by the books.

“The Commission will ensure that any banker complicit in any such financial fraud will face the full wrath of the law.

“It is better to have fewer banks complying with the laws of the land than to have multiple banks not complying with the laws,” he warned.

Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Group Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa, described the engagement as “a very unique gathering”, adding that the new leadership of the EFCC was seeing things from a new prism.

“We see a very positive and engaging relationship ensuing between us and the EFCC, and this has been a warm and intelligent engagement with the EFCC.”

Also speaking, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director of Heritage Bank, assured the EFCC of continuous support in its fight against corruption and called for a regular engagement with bankers.

Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, also pledged support for the EFCC war against corruption, noting that “it is a collaborative effort.”

[NAN]

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Banking Sector

We Are Not Affiliated With Access Capital Investment Platform, Access Bank Warns

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Access bank

The management of Access Bank Plc has issued a disclaimer in respect of the Access Capital Investment Platform which has been circulating.

The bank, which dissociates itself and its subsidiaries from the investment platform noted that the online investment entity has been soliciting members of the public to invest in its Access Capital Investment products promising mouth-watering returns on investment.

“By this disclaimer, Access Bank Plc wishes to dissociate itself, affiliates, subsidiaries and/or proxies from the activities, contract, claims or business engagements of Access Capital Investment Platform”, the bank said.

The bank further stressed that “Access Capital Investment Platform is not an affiliate nor subsidiary of Access Bank Plc and it would be at the risk of anyone who invests in any of the Access Capital Investment packages/products, as Access Bank Plc would not be responsible for any loss, damages, refund whatsoever that may arise therefrom”.

According to Access bank, relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies have been notified of this disclaimer.

Investors King reports that there are lots of fake investments platforms in Nigeria. These platforms offer unsuspecting members of the public investments return that are too good to be true.

Most times, they offer fake – but often convincing – opportunity to make a profit after they hand over a sum of money. They pretend to be representing a legitimate and trusted investment group and pressurize their victims into making a rushed decision.

Usually, these fraudsters use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to lure people into investing in cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange and binary options and often have convincing social media profiles or websites with fake reviews. Some of them even pay people to write fake reviews for them.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq warned the beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme not to participate in any unverified investment scheme.

She had noted, in a statement, that the ministry is aware of the current fraudulent investment scheme trending on social media and therefore, urged N-power beneficiaries not to fall victim.

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Banking Sector

Parallex Bank Limited Promises Limitless Possibilities

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Parallex Bank

The latest entrant into the commercial banking industry in Nigeria, Parallex Bank has officially launched on Friday, January 14, 2022, with the promise to redefine the banking landscape in Nigeria and Africa at large. The bank launch was graced by several dignitaries from both the private and public sector. Also in attendance were several celebrities who witnessed the unveiling of the bank’s logo.

Introducing the bank to the gathering at the bank’s headquarters in Victoria Island Lagos, the chairman of the bank, Dr. Adeola Phillips said Parallex Bank is here to make a unique statement about what innovation can do in an industry that is constantly reinventing.  She further stated that the bank will operate broadly with a competitive mindset, to disrupt the market and delight customers with very attractive offers. The goal is to empower the banking public and to drive convenient and efficient commerce through the bank digital platforms. She added that the Parallex mobile app offers customers the freedom to do much more. The app will eliminate inconveniencies and hardships often faced by customers while carrying out transactions.

Corroborating the Chairman’s claims, the Managing Director of Parallex Bank, Mr. Olufemi Bakre, popularly known as Mayor, said the bank’s promise to its customers is to be an enabler of limitless banking. He established that Parallex Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to migrate from a microfinance bank to a commercial bank. He is convinced that Parallex Bank limited will achieve more as the bank partners with customers to explore more business opportunities.

Mr Olufemi said the vision of Parallex Bank is to be the preferred financial solution provider redefining customer experience through innovation. He assured customers of excellent banking products and services stating that the bank offerings are designed to address the yearnings of Nigerians. With a strong ecosystem anchored around the customer, Mr Femi informed the guests that the bank has a robust product portfolio that is customer focused, innovative and simple.

According to him, the Parallex mobile app has unique features and benefits that are quite rare in this market. On the app, customers can choose to create their unique account numbers, increase their transfer limits, make five free transfers per day to any bank in Nigeria. They can request for free debit cards, which will be delivered to them for free. They will receive prompt responses to enquiries.

Beyond the app, Mayor added that customers will enjoy zero maintenance fees while current account holders will further enjoy up to 5% interest rate provided, they maintain a minimum average balance of N100,000.

 

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Banking Sector

Stanbic IBTC Seeks Approval to Establish a Fintech Subsidiary

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Stanbic IBTC - investorsking.com

In a bid to cut costs and turn around its declining profitability, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has announced plans to seek regulatory approval for the establishment of a Fintech subsidiary.

The new financial services unit will be called Stanbic IBTC Financial Services Limited, the bank disclosed in a statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary and seen by Investors King.

This is coming a few days after Standard Chartered Bank announced it was shutting down 50 percent of its Nigerian branches in a move to digitalise operations and reduce operating costs.

According to Stanbic IBTC, the new fintech company will operate as a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) upon regulatory approvals, including licensing by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc reported a 40 percent decline in profit in the first nine months of 2021, its lowest in four years. Profit after tax dropped from N66.2 Billion reported in 2020 to N39.9 billion in 2021. Profit before tax also dipped by 41 percent from N76.9 billion in 2020 to N45.3 billion in 2021.

Dr. Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic IBTC, who commented on the bank’s performance and plans for the future in October 2021, hinted at the bank’s plans to go digital and restructure some of its key units.

He said “in line with our core value of delivering value to our shareholders, the restructuring will advance the execution of our digital business transformation and enable us to achieve accelerated future readiness for the business and growth through effective mining of the client ecosystems propelled by a future-ready workforce. We continue to make progress in supporting the financial needs of our communities in the third quarter of 2021. Investing to advance tree planting exercise, youth, and women empowerment through donations, sponsorships and partnerships, library upgrade and renovation, hospital unit refurbishment, amongst others.”

As expected, using financial technology to deliver banking services would help Stanbic access the unbanked population, improve quality of service, enhance delivery and most importantly cut costs across the board.

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