Multi-billionaire business mogul, President of the Dangote Group and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Monday, August 15, 2016, led other dignitaries to flag off Nigeria’s first full-fledged technology bank, SunTrust Bank.
According to a report by Premium Times, SunTrust Bank is the first regional bank to receive a new license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 2001 and the first full-fledged financial technology bank in Nigeria. It is also the first commercial bank that runs minimal branches and focuses on electronic channels by offering telephone, mobile and internet banking services.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, Aliko Dangote who chaired the event, said Fintech Bank is a welcome development in this era of cashless economy, adding that SunTrust Bank will help the country harness its potential in the digital world.
The business magnate said further that technology-driven platform would distinguish the bank and make it the most cost-effective bank in the country with fewer personnel and attendant lower overhead cost.
“SunTrust bank has elements that appeal to me in its Fintech strategy driven by its focus on technology. SunTrust has recognized that the old model of business expansion via a network of expensive branch premises is obsolete. What you need now is to sit down at home and do your banking transactions thereby saving money and time,” the businessman said.
The Oba of Onitsha and Obi of Lagos at the event
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, applauded the bank, saying the present cost of running banks in the country was high and that if the bank brings it down, it would succeed.
“It is uncommon courage to go into business now that everyone is going out and it takes triple courage to go into banking business. However, the situation in the country is full of opportunities for those that can see beyond the present,” the monarch said.
On his own part, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, urged the management of the bank to put the interest of the country and the masses first in all its dealings, and to distance itself from the fraud and insider abuse that is prevalent in the Nigerian financial industry.
The Chairman of SunTrust Bank, Charles Onyema Ugboko, explained that the bank would use technology to drive the financial inclusion goal of the CBN, saying the bank’s target was to bring financial services to 40 million unbanked Nigerians.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Muhammad Jibrin, noted that with over 90 per cent of financial services being executed electronically, banking had moved from physical branches to a technology-driven sector.
“Most customers of tomorrow will not be the ones that go to the banking hall, so we need to be able to respond positively to the needs and expectations of the customers of tomorrow, and that is at the heart of our vision and strategy as tomorrow’s bank today,” he said.