• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

International recognition of banks, a sign of innovation, expertise

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In spite of the challenging and volatile operating environment, Deposit Money Banks were issued with awards in various categories by different organisations, both locally and internationally.

The current economic headwind is having a toll on banks’ financial profiles. Specifically, bank asset quality has continued to weaken with average impaired loans (NPL) ratios of about 6.2 percent at end-March 2016. Impairments in banks are increasing in the commercial, trading and manufacturing segments, mainly due to foreign currency depreciation and scarcity.

NPLs in the oil sector are also rising. But two weeks ago, some Nigerian banks including Access Bank Plc, GTBank, Sterling Bank, received awards in various categories during the 2016 Euromoney Awards, which held in London.

For instance, GTBank was recognised the ‘Best Bank in Nigeria and Best Digital Bank in Africa, Access Bank received the award for ‘Africa’s Best Bank Transformation’, also Pan-African banking group, Ecobank has won this year’s Euromoney Excellence Awards for ‘Best Bank for CSR in Africa’ and ‘Best Bank for Transaction Services in Africa.’ Ecobank also won two country awards: ‘Best Bank Ghana’ and ‘Best Bank Malawi.

However, analysts see the various awards as a sign of banks’ commitment to high level of innovative products and service design to meet customers’ needs.

The Euromoney Awards for Excellence covers more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards and the best Banks in over 100 countries around the world, by recognising institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets they operate. In selecting its recipients, Euromoney combines quantitative and qualitative data to honour institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.

According to Clive Horwood, Euromoney Magazine’s editor, “Competition for the awards this year was tough, arguably the toughest it has been since the start of the global financial crisis. In winning these awards, GTBank stands out not only because of its stellar performance but also by its ability to define what its core strengths are, abide by these strengths and build its business around them. According to him, banking in the future will be about what you do, as well as what you don’t do. GTBank stands out as Euromoneys’ best bank in Nigeria & Africa’s Best Digital Bank for its ability to adapt to local situations while maintaining international standards of best practice.”

Receiving the award on behalf of the Bank, Segun Agbaje, managing director/CEO of GTBank said, “We are humbled and proud to emerge double award winners for Best Bank in Nigeria & Best Digital Bank in Africa. Winning these awards is an acknowledgement of the hardwork and dedication of our staff, management and board. It also represents our commitment to serving our customers and making banking simpler and more accessible for them.

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE