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Banks, FinTech Partnership Key to Drive Financial Inclusion – Expert

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As financial technology (FinTech) gradually seeps into the growth strategies of traditional banks, expert have expressed concern that the two components would need to work together in order to drive financial inclusion in the sector.

The basis for this concern is stemmed from the global best practices where Fintech, the term coined for financial services technology, has become an extremely fast-growing industry worldwide. Its growth has enabled banks in Europe and the US to innovate and develop products to suit customers’ lifestyles.

According to Sola Fanawopo, MD/CEO of eMaginations, and organizer of Ennovators Breakfast Series (EBS), Nigeria is not an exception in the FinTech upsurge.

He said the global investment in FinTech is reported to have reached as high as $80 billion between 2010 and 2016.

“For some time after the global and local financial crisis, traditional banks have laid emphasis on regaining customers’ trust. I am happy that banks have realised the potential of FinTech and are now slowly joining the startups in the race. That is why it is heartening to know that a Nigerian call itself FinTech bank”.

He explained that in large part, FinTech firms are becoming “disruptors” for good, and that the secret to maintaining the banking industry is to nurture the startups through which new technology is birthed. To grow the banking industry, he asked, “Should banks engage FinTechs for competitive advantage, should banks build, partners or acquire FinTechs?”

According to him, bank chiefs and FinTech founders such as Muhammad Jibrin, MD/CEO, of SunTrust Bank, Yele Okeremi, MD/CEO of Precise Financial Systems, John Obaro, MD/CEO of  Systemspecs and Uzoma Dozie, Group MD/CEO, Diamond Bank, would join other speakers at the Oriental Hotel, venue of EBS in March to examine how banks and FinTech should relate. “This edition of EBS will examine if the banks and FinTechs are friends or foes”, he said.

Fanawopo said EBS now in its seventh year is a quarterly cerebral breakfast event conceived to bring the Dreamers, Drivers, and Doers (3D) of technology business in ICT industry across Africa together with the objective of sharing key information that would promote business, impact lives, and birth new business relationships.

“As technology evolves, everything in the world is changing. The way banks, telcos, insurers and others sectors service customers is changing. This will continue to change as technology innovations emerge. EBS examines the preparedness of African firms to meet these changes”.

 


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Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Financial

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

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Mrs Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, has said the Federal Government sacked some past members of the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) as they indulged in corruption.

FG Sacked IST Members over Fraud- Ahmed

Inaugurating the new members, the minister charged the new members to eschew corruption and be forthright.

Bar. Azi Amos Isaac was appointed as Chairman for a five year term and Bar. Nosa Smart Osemwengie, was re-appointed as member for a second term of four years.

“The problem with the tribunal has been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and series of complaints bordering on maladministration.

“This has been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment not only for the Ministry of Finance but for the government in general,” Ahmed said.

The new chairman, Azi, assured the finance minister that, “the teething issue of restiveness has been addressed since he assumed duty,” adding that, “The place is calm and the staff have become very supportive.”

Azi said since 2003, the tribunal has “given judgment in the value of assets worth over N844 billion and that from 2017 to date, they have given decisions in monetary value totalling over N28bn.

“It has not failed in its adjudicatory responsibility.

“It has carried out its assignment with candour and integrity and intends to improve on what has been on ground.”

 


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CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned transfer of foreign exchange (forex) from one customer to another.

CBN Bans Customer-to-Customer Forex Transfer

According to the apex bank, forex cash lodgements into domiciliary accounts can only be done by the account owners henceforth.

An internal memo available in the media space explains that the new guidelines are necessary to review the utilisation of inflows into customers domiciliary accounts.

The circular states: “Forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until the legitimacy of funds is established.

“They can have unfettered access by telegraphic transfers up to a limit of $40,000 monthly for payment of medical bills, school fees, subscription to professional bodies subject to existing CBN guidelines.

“Transfers from one customer to another is prohibited. Transfer within related companies is allowed subject to a limit of $50,000 per month.”

It recommended that proceeds from non-oil exports should be sold to banks, used for repayment of dollar term loans, and self-utilisation for trade transactions for LC, bills and Form A.

Also oil export proceeds from E&P companies are to be used to pay contractors and service providers employed by the oil companies in addition to the recommended uses for non-oil FX proceeds.

Offshore forex inflows from other Nigerian banks and internal account to forex transfers sourced from offshore inflows are to be used for trade transactions subject to eligibility for E-Form M.

“Upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access, subject to a maximum of $50,000,” the document read.

“Utilisation for trade transactions subject to processing of eligible trade transactions using E-Form M. Payment for services must be backed with demand note from offshore beneficiary and other regulatory documents.

“Related party transfers are allowed to the maximum of the inflow received. The transfer request should be backed by a signed instruction from the account holder.” Payment of government fees and levies are also allowed to the maritime, oil and gas, aviation. government parastatals and export processing zones.

 


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Stanbic IBTC, Standard Bank, Listed Among Top African Corporate Brands

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and its parent company, Standard Bank, have emerged amongst the top winners of the 2020 Tech Times’ Africa LinkedIn Corporate Brand Awards.

The Stanbic IBTC Group emerged the second position in the category, with total votes of 3,515, out of 24 firms nominated for the award. Standard Bank placed the fourth 2,494 votes.

Nominations for this award opened to the public on July 1, 2020 and closed on July 14.

Shortlisted nominees were announced on August 24 while voting commenced immediately and voting ended on September 8, 2020.

The Corporate Brand Awards was instituted by Tech Times’ Africa, an online platform for leading technology, innovation, and startup stories.

Expressing his delight on the awards, Dr Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, said that both Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank had been deliberate and consistent in making a remarkable impact in Africa’s financial sector.

“Our sincere appreciation goes to the organisers of the Africa Corporate Brands Awards and to every member of the public who voted. This is a reflection of the high level of trust and confidence that the public has reposed on us,” he added.

Dr Sogunle further said that Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC would remain relentless in portraying the organisation as one of the most influential corporate brands in Africa.

He stated: “Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and Standard Bank have relentlessly contributed to driving the growth and development of the African financial ecosystem. These awards affirm our efforts, and we are encouraged to raise the bar continually.”

The Africa Corporate Brand Award is designed to identify and recognise outstanding companies. It also projects their achievements and impacts on African society and the world at large.


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