June 8, 2009

Nigeria hosts confab on retail banking

ByYinka Kolawole

Nigeria will today and tomorrow, in Lagos, play host to an international conference on retail banking which is aimed at sparking a retail banking revolution in the country.

The conference which is expected to feature presentations from leading players in the field of retail banking, from local banks and other countries such as South Africa, India, Brazil, UK and US, is being sponsored by United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) with support from other leading Nigeria banks and technology partners.

Speaking ahead of the conference, an international financial expert, Mr. Michael Lafferty, declared that Nigerian banks needed a retail banking revolution to be in the same league with their international counterparts.

Lafferty, who is the Chairman, Lafferty Group, a global financial industry research and publishing house specialising in retail banking, cards and payments and personal financial services, said within five to 10 years, most of the profits of Nigerian banks would come from retail banking and consumer financial services, just like banks in most other countries.

Also commenting on the conference, Chief Executive Officer, Global Consumer Bank, UBA, Mrs. Angela Nwabuoku, said in addition to sparking retail banking revolution, UBA also decided to sponsor the event in order to help pull together retail banking opportunities in Africa as well as reflecting the bank’s responsibility towards skills upgrade in the industry.

Nwabuoku added that the conference is targeted at consideration of different business models, potentials and approaches to market bank products while also considering ways of building customer trust and loyalty as well as providing an analysis of the customer lending opportunities in Africa.

She asserted that the partnership between UBA and Lafferty Group has the capacity to deliver a successful conference. “With over 750 business offices and more than six million customer base, UBA has come to stay as a leader in the retail financial services sector in West Africa and will definitely bring experience to bear in the conference,” she stated.