Sterling Bank set to expand retail banking operations

Sterling bank, on Thursday, disclosed plans to increase its footprint in retail banking through investments in technology and other initiatives.

The Group Head, Branding and Communications, Mr. Henry Bassey disclosed this during a courtesy visit to THISDAY’s head office in Lagos.

Bassey said: “We have come from an amalgamation of five investment banks and the reality is that we need to start playing actively in retail. Our retail journey started a couple of years ago so one of our clear objectives for 2017 is to be big on retail.”

He added: “On our branding and marketing, we have identified that we would hold on to three key pillars – football, fashion and film – and we are going to use this pillar to connect with our customer. Our marketing strategy, we want to be thought leaders in the space of agriculture, education, transportation. We are already doing quite a bit in that space. So the idea is to really look at how we can explore the opportunities.”

Furthermore he spoke on the plan to attract the unbanked by leveraging on technology as well as the focus of the bank through the eyes of the branding and perception.

Bassey added: “Because we have come from five investment banks, with retail, if you look at Nigeria’s population today, you can arguably say that 70percent is below age 35 so the plan is then to also look at the unbanked.

“Beyond the unbanked is where we would see solutions that are tied to mobile and beyond just looking at mobile is where you would see solutions that literally have to do with data or no data.

“We are saying that if we are going to win the war on retail, we are going to have to appeal to a younger demographic and in appealing to this demographic the pillars I mentioned become extremely critical.  Export is also another area we are looking at and also forging strategic alliances and partners in this area.”

Furthermore, he said: “To this drive, technology is very critical; about a year ago we invested in one of the very best technologies that exist in the world, it’s called T24. T24 is used by the very best in a global scale and there are only two banks in Nigeria with this technology. The reason we have paid a premium to invest in T24 is because of the scalability opportunity. So it has opportunity to scale and so we are currently using it and as we scale we would maximise its other features.” – Thisday.

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