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Understanding risk is key to success in banking, bank CEO says

Understanding risk is a necessary skill needed to remain relevant in the banking industry especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, Abubakar Suleiman, CEO, Sterling Bank said at a recently held leadership Webinar by the Association of Professional Women Bankers (APWB).

APWB is the Women Wing of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). The webinar, themed “Navigating with the End in Mind” was aim to provide practical, useful, innovative and strategic information which would help professionals, especially emerging leaders within the financial services industry, reposition as well as understand the importance of intentionality while crafting their career goals.

According to Suleiman, understanding risk remains the principal role of a banker. “A banker should have the ability to understand, underwrite and convert risk from a liability to an asset. So, irrespective of the level of digitalization level or use of technology, understanding risk remains the principal role of a banker and that will never get old,” he says.

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“Also, develop the ability to analyse data in whatever form that is current at that point. Data analysis remains relevant to banking above all things,” Suleiman said

Other skills that are also necessary are providing insights into a problem that has not been solved and solving the problem and also leveraging on people.

“If you are in a leadership role, leveraging on people is very important. Master people by having empathy so that you can engage them in a meaningful way and make them work for, with or by you,” he said

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