Fidelity Bank Plc has pledged to strengthen its electronic banking channels with a view to enhancing customer satisfaction.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank Nnamdi Okonkwo who said this on a programme monitored on CNBC Africa, also said these have helped the bank to build the critical mass of low cost deposits that would act as buffer against the tough banking environment.
He added: “The days of building cathedrals on the main road all in the name of branch network are gone. We have prototype branches that match the environment in which we operate.
“So, if for instance, I want to do a neighbourhood branch, I don’t need a cathedral. People are savvier now; they use technology, mobile banking and other e-channels. We are strengthening these distribution channels and increasing the numbers.”
According Okonkwo, the bank decided two years ago to decongest its banking hall by promoting electronic banking channels.
“As at a year ago, we are somewhere around 45 per cent but today, we are 83 per cent and that means that for every N100 that is withdrawn through our system, N83 is done through electronic channels,” he said.
Speaking on the tight monetary policy regime in the economy, Okonkwo called on banks in the country to be proactive and forward looking.
He recalled that in 1990, a similar thing happened in the industry, when the Federal Government withdrew public sector funds from banks and moved it to the central bank.
He stated that Fidelity Bank traditionally maintain liquidity ratio of between 48 and 50 per cent, adding that the bank had liquidity ration of about 38 per cent even when the Cash Reserve Requirement was moved to 75 per cent.
“We have been strong in commercial banking, retail and small and medium scale enterprises over the years.
“Remember that Fidelity used to be a merchant bank, so we also established a handshake between our corporate banking play and the retail side such that some multinationals ordinarily wouldn’t have signed on by focusing on the value chain of their downstream banking, their distributors and other vendors and so we ended up converting those,” he explained.
He said the bank is strategically present in major commercial centres such as Onitsha, Kano, Aba, and Port Harcourt.