By Babajide Komolafe
Sterling Bank is set to increase its customer base by attracting one million new customers in 2016. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola disclosed this at the annual press conference of the banks, adding the bank will also complete ongoing efforts to raise additional fund to beef up its capital base. He said, “As we get ready to go into 2016, we are focussing on four key areas strategically. The first is to improve our funding and customer counts. We intend to increase our customer base by one million new customers in 2016.”
“At this point we are adequately capitalised but we are pursuing Tier 2 capital. We are at the tail end of it and hopefully by January or February, we would have additional debt capital. In terms of equity capital, I think we are good. At Capital Adequacy ratio of 19 percent, when what is required is 10 percent, we are not under capital pressure at all.
Sterling Bank was formed ten years ago following the merger of five legacy financial institutions namely Magnum Trust Bank; Indo Nigeria Bank; Trust Bank of Africa; MBM Merchant Bank and NAL Merchant Bank.
Listing the achievement of the bank in its ten years of existence, Adeola said that the Total Assets of the bank has grown from N110 billion in 2006 to N1 trillion in 2015. He disclosed that the Bank expanded its branch network by 135 from 50 in 2006 to 185 in 2015 said plans were on to ensure that the Bank is ranked among the top six banks in the country by year 2020.
Besides, Adeola stated that the deposit liabilities of the Bank grew from N75 billion in 2006 to N583 billion in 2015 while equity rose from N26 billion to N88 billion. Similarly, the Bank’s customer base rose from 200,000 in 2006 to 1.4 million in 2015. Adeola who was supported by the Executive Director, Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Kayode Lawal and the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Yemi Odubiyi also explained that the Bank, within ten years had deployed 801 ATMs nationwide when it had none in 2006.
Speaking on the major activities of the Bank in the current year, the Bank’s Chief Executive said that “the outgoing year has been a beehive of activities and we have good reason to celebrate. The Bank was involved in a lot of activities that added value not only to our customers but with great impact on all Nigerians”.
Some of the major activities for the year according to Mr. Adeola included the organization of the first Sterling MSME Academy to enhance the capacity of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; the financing of the acquisition of 434 BRT buses by the Lagos State Ministry of Transport to improve the transportation system in Lagos State; the financing of Labana Rice Processing Mills in Kebbi to support the diversification programme of the Federal Government; the execution of an e-library project at the college of Education, Ikere Ekiti to support the education sector and the execution of two editions of the periodic cleaning exercise to support a clean environment across the country.
During this period, the Chief Executive Officer stated that the Bank was PCIDSS 3.0 re-certified, making it the third bank to achieve this status in the country; The financial institution also procured a Visa principal status, which affords it the ability to issue cards and acquire merchants directly. Other notable feats included a successful integration of its mobile wallet to the NIBSS Instant Pay platform which allows unbanked and semi unbanked customers to perform inter-bank transfers on Sterling Money; 13 additional branches were also opened and eight branches re-modelled.
He however disclosed that all the contributions of the Bank did not go unnoticed as it won the Most Innovative Bank and Best Corporate Governance awards in the West Africa Awards organized by The Banker Africa 2015; Best Bank Website of the year award by the Nigeria Technology Awards and emerged as a finalist- Best New Product/Service Recognition for Disruptive Technology/Innovation for Social Lender at the EFMA/Accenture Distribution and Marketing Innovation Awards 2015.
Mr. Adeola assured that in the coming year, the Bank will sustain its drive to become the leading consumer banking franchise, diversify its retail funding base, diversify its income streams with a view to achieving a top quartile position in all “our operating areas and enjoy a double digit revenue growth year on year”, he stated.