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GTBANK: A boost of excellent service to agriculture

Guaranty Trust Bank has extended its established culture of excellent service to farmers across the country thereby contributing to efforts to unlock the economic potential of the agricultural sector.

Through its participation in the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, a lot of small and medium farmers now enjoy and leverage on the multiple award winning excellent service delivery of the bank to boost their capacity, increase production and employ more Nigerians.

“Guaranty Trust Bank believes strongly that Agriculture holds a lot of economic promise. As all stakeholders begin to de-risk the sector, we believe the profitability potentials inherent in the sector will be enough to attract financing and make it a sustainable profitable business for banks like ours”, said Segun Agbaje, Chief Executive of the Bank

Based on this strong believe, GTBank has moved to contribute significantly to the development of the agricultural sector.

•Agbaje, GMD/CEO, GTBank

Under the CACS, the bank has disbursed N5.55 billion in loans to eight (8) commercial agricultural projects across the country. The funds provided by the bank have been utilized for almost all aspects of agriculture from crop to animal farming to fishery.

Commending the CACS initiative, the bank said, “CACS has performed better than the previous schemes because it provides finance for the country’s agricultural value chain (production, processing, storage and marketing).

Beneficiaries of CACS have been performing satisfactorily and are happy since they pay lower interest rates under the scheme than commercial rates that would otherwise have been applicable.

Besides it contribution through CACS, GTBank have extended facilities to hundreds of customers of the bank in various aspects of the Agriculture value chain.

Established in 1990, Guaranty Trust Bank has grown organically to become one of Africa’s foremost financial services groups with operations spread across all Anglophone West African countries (Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone) and the United Kingdom. The Bank has an asset base of over N1 trillion, shareholders funds of over 190 billion Naira and employs over 5000 people.

 Culture of Innovative Services

Over the years, the bank has established a reputation for innovative and excellent banking services.

The bank is accredited with such innovations as the introduction of online banking in 1990, making it possible for customers to access their accounts and conduct transactions from any branch in the bank’s network.

In 2006, the bank launched GTConnect, a fully interactive service contact centre that allows customers conduct 90 per cent of banking transactions via phone from anywhere in the world.

In 2009, the bank launched the GTCrea8 student account to enable undergraduates take greater control of their finances and encourage financial discipline in the future leaders of tomorrow.

The bank’s other innovative products and solutions include an E-branch, where customers can perform transactions electronically with no human interface; Drive Through banking, a service which enables customers to withdraw funds and make enquires from the comfort of their cars as well as GTBank- On-Wheels, a fully mobile banking branch.

The bank’s internet banking platform is a notch above its contemporaries in that it is enabled to support inter-bank transfers.

The bank also offers excellent debit and credit card services. Guaranty Trust Bank is credited with being the first company to issue a Naira denominated MasterCard – an innovative card solution that can be used in over 210 countries worldwide to make payments and receive cash in the local currency of any country when abroad. Customers of the bank are kept abreast of transactions on their accounts through GeNS, the bank’s SMS and electronic transactions.

Recently, Guaranty Trust Bank introduced its mobile money product in a world-class partnership with MTN to the Nigerian Market. This development is pursuant to an approval-in-principle granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria for a pilot roll-out of mobile money services.

The GTBank Mobile Money service is designed to be a convenient, secure and affordable way of sending money using a mobile phone. The service, which is currently available to all MTN subscribers can be accessed with any mobile phone as long as the subscriber has a duly registered Mobile Money enabled SIM card.

Services offered on the platform include; phone to cash transfers, scratch card upload, phone to phone transfers, airtime purchase amongst others.

Commenting on the partnership, Agbaje said “counting on GTBank’s robust Banking and IT infrastructure and MTN’s expertise in the communications industry, the mobile money partnership has gone a step further in bring banking services closer to the population – especially the unbanked who are more likely to have a cell-phone than a bank account”.

A distinctive feature of the GTBank Mobile Money service is its capacity to allow subscribers whose SIM Cards have been duly registered in line with Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) recent directive, to send cash to recipients that do not have mobile phones or bank accounts.

All the recipient needs is to visit the nearest accredited MTN agent to cash out the funds.

To subscribe for this service, any MTN subscriber can send the SMS, “Money” to 400 and follow the instruction prompts. Subscribers who do not have a Mobile Money enabled SIM can effect a SIM swap at any MTN authorized dealer or Connect centre.

Prior to this and in apparent response to the growing patronage of its services particularly its electronic banking services, GTBank recently upgraded its information technology to enhance quality of its service delivery.

In a statement announcing the upgrade, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Segun Agbaje said: “Conscious of our reputation as a listening bank, we have always sought new ways to serve our customers better.  Operationally, these efforts centre on providing convenient and affordable services, without compromising quality.

Many times, this has entailed the introduction of cutting-edge technology to ensure our customers can access banking service comparable with what is obtainable internationally. It is in this vein that we recently migrated to a new technology platform called the Superdome server.

This enterprise upgrade had been carefully planned with the aim of improving our service delivery in line with projected growth in our customer base.

Unfortunately, this project may also have caused some inconveniences to our customers who have remained loyal and supportive over time. We however assure that the rewards and dividends will be reaped in the form of more secure, stable and efficient banking services.

“For over 10 years, the Superdome — HP’s flagship, high-end Integrity server — has powered some of the world’s most demanding, mission-critical environments and is suited as the solution of choice for enterprise-class customers who require high availability, rich virtualization capabilities, and long-term investment protection.”

AWARDS

In recognition of its innovative service culture, GTBank has over the years been a recipient of several awards for superior financial performance, customer service delivery, excellent share performance and management efficiency. The bank was recently adjudged the 2011 Most Customer-Focused Bank in Nigeria (Corporate) by KPMG.

Also recently, the pre-eminent international finance magazine, Euromoney, for the third consecutive year named the bank “Best Bank in Nigeria.” Highlighting how the bank emerged the winner of the award, Euromoney Editor, Clive Horwood said: “Although the bank is only 20 years old,  it is the flagship institution for the sector, employing up-to-date banking practices and technology to grow organically into one of the country’s five biggest banks.

With its London share listing, GTBank remains the firm favourite in terms of transparency, corporate governance, risk management and consistency of profitability.”

Speaking at the event, Agbaje, attributed the award to a conscious adherence to the principles of professionalism, financial excellence and integrity by the Bank, which have translated into the development of a strong, stable and profitable brand that the public is willing to associate with.

He also reiterated that the award is testimony to the dedication and efforts of all GTBank staff in ensuring that the Bank continually sets new heights in banking excellence in Nigeria and other countries where it operates.

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