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Oromia Bank Goes Live with Upgraded ICSFS Solution

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Oromia International Bank, a decade-old private commercial bank, has gone live with an advanced core banking solution.

ICS Financial System (ICSFS), a company from the United Kingdom, developed the system that works for interest-free, corporate internet, retail and mobile banking services. The system was fully implemented last month after the duo signed the agreement two years ago.

ICSFS secured the project after vying with seven other companies. FLEXCUBE and ICSFS both passed the technical evaluation and demonstration stages.

After discussing the proposed systems by the two companies with foreign banks that have already implemented their systems, OIB decided to procure the solution developed by ICSFS, according to Wolde Bulto, Vice President of Oromia International Bank, which has 32.1 billion Br in assets and 2.4 billion Br in paid-up capital.

To get training on how to use the system, 40 staff members of the bank traveled to Asia and Europe. The bank officials also traveled to Nigeria and Lebanon, where the same system is being used, checking on how those banks are managing the system.

CBS Solution, that was developed by Indian technology firm Infrasoft Technologies Ltd. The old system was developed five Years age.

“It was implemented when the Bank had a relatively low level of transactions compared to recent times,” according to Wolde.

Currently, the Bank has around 1.5 million active customers and 267 branches across the country.

“Thus, our bank had to search for a new system that could speed up its operations,” Wolde told Fortune.

The old system took two to three hours to process end-of-day transactions, and the new system reduced this to less than 30 minutes. The monthly closing process, which required spending a night, is now done in 45 minutes using the new system.

The software suite future-proof banking activities by providing a broad range of features and capabilities with more agility and flexibility, to enrich customer experience, according to a statement from ICSFS, a company that was established in 2004 and provides business and technology solutions for financial institutions.

The new system also upgrades the Bank’s interest-free banking software. The solution is designed and developed in line with the principles of Shari’ah law in compliance with the accounting and auditing procedures of Islamic financial institutions.

Oromia International Bank, which operates with 5,000 employees, is one of the first private banks that launched interest-free banking window service in Ethiopia.

“After the implementation of the new system,” Wolde said, “it showed a performance gain that significantly enhanced our client’s banking experiences compared to the old system.”

The Bank also launched several electronic banking initiatives, such as a bank card called Oro-Card (ATM and PoS), a mobile banking solution dubbed Oro-Cash, an agent banking project called Oro Agent, and an internet banking programme called Oro-Click.

Commencing operations in 2008 with subscribed and paid-up capital of 279.2 million Br and 91.2 million Br, respectively, the Bank has mobilised 26.5 billion Br in deposits in the recently ended fiscal year. It also disbursed 17.4 billion Br worth of loans and advances.

 


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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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