First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has commenced a nationwide customer forum to educate her customers on the recent cashless policies of CBN; and solicit suggestions aimed at improving the Bank’s services, in its bid to step up engagement with customers across all segments.
With a growing emphasis on Cashless Banking to provide safer financial services to customers, FCMB recognizes the need to significantly increase access to a range of financial services, including savings accounts, payments, transfers and other products and services for its customers and the unbanked population.
The regional meetings held in Abuja, Kano, Onitsha and Port-Harcourt with overwhelming attendance recorded active participation from the Bank’s customers and select clients.
The excitement expressed by participants in the regions was an indication that the initiative was very timely.
The regional forum was also used to explain the programmes of the Bank to the customers including effective banking services.
Some of the questions asked at the forum centered on the new banking policies by CBN; how they will affect local traders as most of their businesses are being transacted in rural areas.
Customers also wanted to know about the charges intra and inter-bank transfers attract and how ready the Bank is in handling the volume of e-transactions that the cashless policy will bring.
Commenting on the need for FCMB to hold regular regional interactions with her customers and clients, Ikechukwu Kalu, group head, Marketing & Communications said: “our customer is the reason we are in business, hence the Bank’s commitment in maintaining regular contact and ensuring that information elicited through these engagements are structured into our strategic and tactical initiatives so we can be better for our customers. We take the voice of the customer seriously and we believe that information sharing is of utmost importance to the growth of our brand. The interactions in the four locations provided quality education on the CBN cashless policy and a good platform for us to receive feedback from our customers on product and services and e-channels”.
He encouraged customers to avail themselves of the cash-less inclined products of the Bank such as FCMBOnline, FCMBMobile, FCMB FlashMeCash, ATMs, Points of Sale (POS) etc as they are simple to use and secure.
Kalu said “the Customer forum along with our other effective communication platforms have been created to engage our customers and clients regularly to further strengthen our commitment to them and increase service delivery across our channels. In our efforts to serve and support smaller businesses, we have in recent times, boosted our Retail Banking expertise, as well as developed a portfolio of cash-lite and mass market banking products to ensure that all fragments of the Nigerian population, regardless of their socio-economic status, have access to the excellent services being offered by FCMB”.
Kalu who also assured the Bank’s clients that FCMB had adequate capital to support them to expand their businesses for the development of the economy, explained that the Bank had adopted strategies and put dedicated staff and resources together to meet the demands of its clients.
He stressed the need for the clients to in turn be loyal and supportive to the Bank to boost effective and efficient service delivery to customers.
The nationwide customer forum initiative is one among many, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) under the leadership of Mr. Ladi Balogun, its group managing director / chief executive officer, has lined-up to take banking to the grassroots and meet the needs of its customers to consolidate its inroad in the retail space.
With its recent restructuring into a holding company (FCMB Group Plc) which provides additional level of governance for the bank, FCMB is now better focused to shareholder and customer value.
SEC, EFCC Partner Against Ponzi Schemes
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are committed to strengthening the partnership between the agencies with a view to tackling the menace of Ponzi schemes in the country.
This commitment was restated during a courtesy visit by Mohammed Danladi, the Kano Zonal Head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to his EFCC counterpart, Sanusi Aliyu Mohammed on Tuesday.
The SEC Zonal Head described his visit to EFCC as an effort to solidify the already existing relationship between EFCC and SEC.
“This visit is nothing more than to solidify the existing relationship between EFCC and SEC which dates back to the inception of EFCC. We are here to renew that relationship, foster it and fight the common enemy together”, he said.
Mr. Danladi expressed concern about his Commission’s challenges dealing with operators of wonder banks which are on the rise especially in the northern part of the country.
According to him, “the operators of the illegal scheme are taking advantage of the financial illiteracy of the public to defraud them in the name of investment”.
He added that most of the Ponzi scheme operators avoid SEC registration because they know they would be monitored.
In his response, Sanusi Mohammed, the EFCC Zonal Head, suggested a joint operation between the two agencies to curtail the spread of Ponzi schemes and prevent the public from falling victims of the scam.
Mohammed further assured the SEC of the Commission’s continued support as the two agencies share common objectives to fight financial crimes. “As long as the mandate of EFCC and that of SEC remain, you cannot separate the SEC and EFCC. We will continue to work together institutionally, “he said.
“Where the SEC’s main concern is to make sure investors are protected from losing their investments, the EFCC’s concern is the protection of the general public from the activities of fraudsters, which are one and the same,” the Zonal Head added.
Oreoluwa Adesakin, First Bank Staff Jailed for Stealing N49m
Oreoluwa Adesakin, a staff of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has been convicted for fraud and handed a total term of 98 years in prison by Justice Muniru Olagunju of the Oyo State High Court.
But she will spend just seven years in jail.
Adesakin was found to have committed financial fraud against First Bank to the tune of N49,320,652.32.
She also stole $368,203.00 belonging to the bank, which she converted to her personal use.
Adesakin, before she was busted by the bank and sacked, was its Money Transfer Operator, saddled with the responsibility of effecting payments through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram platforms.
The convict was prosecuted by the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a 14-count charge, bordering on stealing, forgery and fraudulent accounting.
One of the counts read: “That you Oreoluwa Adesakin sometime between the months of May, 2013 and November, 2013, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of First Bank PLC stole the sum of N25,974,116.13 (Twenty Five Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, One Hundred and Sixteen Naira, Thirteen Kobo) from First Bank PLC MoneyGram Payment Naira Account, property of First bank PLC.”
She pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Usman Murtala, prosecution counsel, presented every vital document and witnesses which nailed the convict.
Justice Olagunju noted that the EFCC presented incontrovertible evidence against the convict and did a diligent investigation and prosecution.
He thus pronounced Adesakin guilty of all the counts.
He sentenced her to seven years in prison without an option of fine on each of the 14 counts. The sentencing will run concurrently.
Apart from the jail term, the convict is also to restitute the First Bank, through the EFCC, all the money she stole.
The convict was arraigned April 4, 2014 by the EFCC following a conclusion of investigations against her which arose from a petition from her former employer, dated December 18, 2013.
The bank alleged in the petition that Adesakin fraudulently manipulated its Moneygram accounting and withdrew N49,320,652.32 and another $368,203.00 for herself, which the bank only uncovered while reviewing its internal account.
The EFCC was also able to establish that the convict used part of the proceeds of her crime to acquire landed properties in different parts of Oyo State.
CIBN Recertifies NDIC Academy as Bankers Training Provider
Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has recertified the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Academy as a training service provider for various professionals in the banking industry.
The council also renewed the academy’s accreditation for the next three years, effective from June 2020.
Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, said the recertification followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since it initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.
The recertification, according to Mr. Saubana Ogunpola, Head of the five-man CIBN Accreditation Team, followed the exemplary performance of the NDIC Academy since its initial accreditation in 2016 and the satisfaction of the stringent conditions for the recertification.
He noted that there would be periodic monitoring to ensure that quality standards are being adhered to.
Mr Ogunpola commended the NDIC for its consistent efforts toward meeting the high standards for the benefit of the banking industry and the larger economy.
He described the NDIC’s readiness to subject itself to the rigors of the Institute’s accreditation process as a testimony of its Management’s commitment to capacity development for all stakeholders.
In his reaction, Mr. Umaru Ibrahim, managing director/chief executive, NDIC, described the recertification as another milestone in the NDIC efforts to consolidate the position of the Academy as a center of academic excellence in the nation’s banking industry and on deposit insurance in Africa.
Mr Ibrahim disclosed that the Academy had so far trained a total of 13,368 participants cutting across the NDIC’s workforce.
“It had also trained 135 participants from relevant stakeholders, including the EFCC, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
“On the international front, 19 employees from sister deposit insurance agencies in other African countries had benefitted from the expertise of the Academy,” the managing director noted.
He stated that the NDIC Academy has been designated to host the African Centre for Studies on Deposit Insurance System (ACSDIS) recently established by the Africa Regional Committee (ARC) of the International Association of Deposit Insurance (IADI).
Mr. Ibrahim reiterated that with the recertification, the NDIC Academy is positioned to fulfill the NDIC’s goal of serving as a center of excellence for capacity building on Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
He added that the NDIC prides itself on establishing the highest standards of professionalism and competency among its staff through the NDIC Academy and other human capital development initiatives, including the Chartered Banker/MBA program at Bangor University, Wales in partnership with the CIBN.
The NDIC boss emphasized that the Corporation places high premium on capacity building and continuous high level training of its staff to achieve the NDIC mandate of deposit guarantee, bank supervision, bank distress resolution and liquidation.
“The ultimate goal would be to enhance depositor protection and public confidence in the nation’s banking system,” he said.
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