Third 3rd Stakeholders Conference 2024

By Olushola Okunlade

Stakeholders in the banking industry for the first time arguably have gathered under one roof to discuss consumer experience issues that affect accessing banking and financial products and services in Nigeria under the theme “Building Bridges: Collaborative Solutions for Trusted Banking and Financial Services Experiences” at its 3rd National Stakeholders Conference 2024.

The conference aimed to close the bridge by promoting a collaborative approach to solving industry challenges and enhancing the overall customer experience in banking and financial services in the country.

At the press conference, Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) assured Nigerian players in the banking industry that they could meet the recapitalisation exercise.

The association noted that the release of the much-anticipated circular of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the banking sector recapitalisation is a welcome development. It should be recalled that at the first announcement of the planned recapitalisation by the CBN Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, ACAMB, as a key player in Nigeria’s banking sector, had, alongside other critical stakeholders, affirmed support for the recapitalisation.
This support underlines ACAMB’s belief that while Nigerian banks are globally regarded as safe, resilient, and thriving, there is always room for growth.
Consumer Protection Agencies Will Continue To Play Crucial Role In Safeguarding Public Interest ACAMB President Consumer Protection Agencies Will Continue To Play Crucial Role In Safeguarding Public Interest ACAMB President

Speaking at the 2024 ACAMB stakeholders conference, ACAMB President, Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa said in a world where financial landscape is continually involving, our mission in ACAMB and the larger banking and financial remains clear to foster transparency, prioritise consumer welfare and industry excellence. We need to educate consumers and foster their ability to make well informed decisions about banking and financial services by creating a platform for open and constructive dialogue among consumers and regulative bodies. Consumer Protection Agencies will continue to play a crucial role in safeguarding the public interest, ensuring fair practices, and nurturing the culture of transparency”.

Bolarinwa also observed that as Nigeria seeks to aggressively unlock its innate potential to become a global emerging economy, banks must also stand ready to play their crucial role of financial intermediation.

The CBN circular on the review of the minimum capital requirement for commercial, merchant, and non-interest banks over the next 24 months has laid to rest any anxiety about the intention, process, and possible outcome of the new recapitalization exercise.

The import of the recapitalization announced is that Nigerian banks are safe and reliable, but the apex bank, in its developmental mandate, is leading the banks to strengthen their capacities to meet competitive domestic and global financial needs.

This overarching theme that runs through the circular and its explanatory notes, according to him, further affirms the soundness of the banking sector, in line with several rating reports on Nigerian banks by leading local and international rating agencies.

“We commend the CBN for the thoughtfulness it has put into the announced modality for the recapitalization. ACAMB particularly notes the distinctive definition of the new minimum capital base for each category of banks as the addition of share capital and share premium, as opposed to the previous use of shareholders’ funds.

“We urge the public to take note of this change. As it stands, banks are on the same page, and as such, there is no need whatsoever for any fear, as the banks have the capacity to meet the recapitalization in line with allowable options stipulated by the apex bank.

“All facts point to a win-win for the Nigerian banks, the financial market, and the economy under this recapitalization,” Bolarinwa stated.

Consumer Protection Agencies Will Continue To Play Crucial Role In Safeguarding Public Interest ACAMB President Consumer Protection Agencies Will Continue To Play Crucial Role In Safeguarding Public Interest ACAMB President

With their background of good returns and liquidity, banking stocks are the toast of domestic and foreign investors.

“This pedigree, coupled with the resilient performance of banks despite economic challenges, will come to the fore as investors know that recapitalization means stronger banks and better returns.

“The banking industry will continue to work with financial authorities to build up the economy. This recapitalization will put Nigerian banks in better stead to support the strengthening of the economy, the expansion of the real sector, and the building of bigger banking brands that can compete continentally and globally,“ the ACAMB president stated.

Banks will continue to cooperate with the CBN in the implementation of the recapitalization programme.

ACAMB will also be engaging all stakeholders to ensure balanced and factual representation as the recapitalization progresses.

ACAMB reassures all depositors and shareholders to keep their businesses with the Nigerian banks without fear, Rasheed Bolarinwa emphasised.

Also speaking, the President and Chairman of the Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Professor Olanrewaju Pius Oladeji, appreciated that, particularly the leadership of the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks, stressing that as the first point of contact with potential customers, ACAMB members communicate a bank’s values and drive its perception and long-term reputation.

Banks, in their bid to position themselves as future-ready players, he stated, often align their brand with long-term strategies. These strategies are, in part, implemented by the dedicated professionals “seated in this room today.“

He said the theme of this year’s conference, “Building Bridges: Collaborative Solutions for a Trusted Banking and Financial Services Experience,” is not only timely but also essential.

“Indeed, a closely knit collaboration between bankers and the distinguished professionals represented in this room has the potential to significantly shape the banking industry by deepening the culture of trust upon which customer loyalty, investor confidence, and the overall stability of our financial system rest.

“Furthermore, throughout history, collaboration has been lauded as a clear gateway towards success, “ he stated.

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