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Published On: Sun, May 18th, 2014

Sterling Bank MD lauds CBN’s reforms

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Sterling-BankFrom Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank PlcYemi Adeola has lauded various regulations introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulators into the banking industry , saying they have brought sanity to the system.

Adeola, when interviewed immediately after Sterling Banks annual general meeting in Lagos, stated that through those policies, foundation for a sustainable industry has been laid adding such policies have saved the system from crises in the recent time.

“In my opinion, if some of the regulations were not put in place, there would have been crisis in the sector. I believe that the foundation for a sustainable industry has been laid and there is a need to relax some of the stringent rules. The time is ripe to give banks and other financial institutions a bit of a breather to enable them conduct their businesses and support the growth of the economy. Having done an excellent job in stabilizing the industry, banks should be allowed to exercise discretion in running their franchises to support economic growth”, he said.

According to him, Sterling Bank is committed to pursuit of sustainable growth , aimed at returning huge returns for investors.

“The truth is that in banking, it is important to maintain a steady growth. Aggressive growth sometimes leads to crisis. A cursory look at banking industry developments over time, provides ample evidence of this. Sterling Bank is committed to the pursuit of sustainable growth. Two years ago we paid 10 kobo in dividends, last year we paid 20 kobo and this year, we paid 25 kobo. Clearly, Sterling Bank has demonstrated a steady and sustained trend”, he assured.

Speaking on measures put in place to safeguard 5,000 point of sale and 700 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) planned to be introduced by the bank against technological challenges, he note that the bank will continue to improve on efficiency of the devices and enlightening of its customers .

“The technology challenge is a nation-wide problem. It is not different from the challenges we all face when we make calls on our mobile phones. The challenges are there and all the players in the sector are affected. However, rather than stand still and do nothing, it is better to start and work towards improved efficiency. If you ask me, we need to continue to create awareness. We also need to let customers know that it is not only about the POS terminals and ATMs. Today we have telephone and internet banking and a lot of people are still unaware that these services exist. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to create awareness about these services. We need a totality of all these channels for this economy to move from the predominantly cash economy it currently is, to a near cashless economy”, Adeola said.

 

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