- Heritage Bank Eyes 1, 000 Agent Banking Partners
Heritage Bank Plc, has taken steps to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) initiative to curb the unbanked Nigerians in the rural areas by 20 per cent by 2020, thereby offering financial services to the nooks and crannies of Nigerian communities; providing access to underserved markets.
The policy was sequel to a research conducted by an international agency, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFINA) in 2008 which showed that about 74 per cent of Nigeria’s rural community was un-banked. Against this backdrop, the CBN therefore initiated the policy with the aim of reducing the figure by 20 per cent by 2020 to ensure greater participation in the nation’s financial sector.
Heritage Bank which launched the programme about two years ago, revealed, during the signing up of two agents’ corner shops, that it would bring onboard 1, 000 agent partners by the end of this year.
The two corner shops opened over the weekend High Rise Business Centre in Simawa community behind Redeemed Convention Camp and Layeni Folayemi Enterprises in Omu Ijebu, both in Ogun State.
As at June this year, the agent base had grown at an average rate of 50 new agent sign ups monthly bringing the total number of active agents to about 450 and growing. This lends credibility to the consistency of the service and how it is changing lives and empowering Nigerians across the country.
At this steady growth rate of approximately 17.5 per cent new agent per month, it can be said that hitting the long term vision of 100, 000 active agents in five years is well within reach.
However, to this effect, the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, explained that the bank has continued to set standard in the launching of ‘Corner Shop’ to cater for the need of traders and artisans at different locations across the country.