Zenith Bank has in the last 23 years, since it came into business, built a brand as a reputable, international, financial institution. The bank is also recognised for innovation, superior customer service, performance and creating premium value for all stakeholders.
One of the most important factors that enabled its strong brand equity is its ability to stay strategically focused on its vision. From inception, the bank clearly set out to distinguish itself in the banking industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. Today, it is easily associated with first-in-class customer experience and satisfaction, innovation, good financial performance, stable and dedicated management team and deployment of highly skilled personnel.
The strategic objective of the bank includes the continuous improvement of its capacity to meet the customers’ increasing and dynamic banking needs as well as sustain high quality growth in challenging business environments through continuous investment in branch network to bring quality banking services to its existing and potential customers, continuous investment and deployment of up-to-date and state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure, and continuous investment in training and re-training of its human resource and maintaining and reinforcing its core customer service delivery charter.
The founding fathers of the bank demonstrated tenacity of purpose to build a dynamic financial institution generations would be proud of, and since Godwin Emefiele, the CEO, who is a pioneering staff member and has been on the board for more than a decade, took over the reins from the founding CEO, Jim Ovia, in August 2010, he has kept his eyes on the ball using people who are key to success factors, customer relations and maintaining the operations to further reposition the bank.
As experts say, the first job for any business is getting and keeping customers. “Whether you call this marketing, selling, customer relations or external communications, this is where the money comes from.” The bank management also has the niche of operations improvement driven from the top. The fundamental purpose of operations is to align what people do all day with what customers’ value.
According management experts, involving people in operations for improvement is the way to go instead of “coming down from the mountain like Moses with new Ten Commandments. People should get involved in analysing and designing how operations can be improved to deliver greater customer value.”
The bank recently declared a profit before tax (PBT) of N102.10 billion for the financial year ended December 2012, up by 51.4 percent from the N67.44 billion recorded in 2011.
The bank’s group audited result announced on the floors of the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed that profit after tax (PAT) for the period was N100.68 billion, which represents a 106.7 percent increase from the N48.70 billion recorded in 2011.
According to financial reports, by this result, the bank becomes the first to cross the N100 billion profit after tax mark in a financial year. The result also showed the bank maintaining its leadership position on other parameters with total assets plus contingents of N2.60 trillion, representing a 12.7 percent increase over the N2.30 billion recorded in 2011.
Financial analysts and investing publics were particularly impressed by the bank’s increasing profitability despite the prevailing economic realities, pointing out that the earning per share of 312 kobo was reassuring for a bank with a solid tradition of raising the bar.
Commenting on the performance, Emefiele says the bank is glad to note that “amid the challenging business environment witnessed in 2012, notably the restrictive monetary policies and the double digit headline inflation rates, Zenith Bank delivers a strong performance through commitment and dedication of workforce.”
A financial analysis of a report carried out on the bank’s audited result for the year ended December 31 2012 reveals continuous dominant of the financial institution in the financial sector in the country.
2012 was outstanding for the bank as it bagged many awards for excellent performance in spite of the turbulent environment. In January 2012, the bank was recognised as one of the outstanding global brands that made sustainable impact on its operating environments in the area of corporate social responsibility. The recognition was a prelude to the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Conference on Sustainable Development (Road to Rio), held in Brazil in May 2012.
The bank was honoured along with 30 other global brands, which included Airbus, France; ConocoPhillips, USA; Credit Suisse, Switzerland; KLM, Netherlands; Olam International, Singapore; Unilever, Netherlands; Verizon, USA; Kia Motors, South Korea; among others.
The bank said it is to its resolve on CSI initiatives which is geared towards affecting people, positively impacting the environment and supporting government efforts at improving the well-being of the citizenry.
In the same 2012, it was rated biggest bank in Nigeria and 322 in the world by the Banker Magazine. Another organisation, African Business equally rated it as Largest Bank in Nigeria/West Africa. Forbes and CNBC Africa in 2012 described the bank as third biggest company in West Africa.
Also in 2012, African Investor gave it best performing bank while Global Banking and Finance Review awarded it best bank in Nigeria. Capital Finance International says it is the best commercial bank in Nigeria and World Finance says it is best in corporate governance.
The bank is committed to an unwavering effort at improving the quality of life of the under-served. The bank’s service promise is premised on a pledge not just to its invaluable customers but also to its shareholders, employees and the larger society. This is why our business activities are carried out under the strictest observance of corporate ethics and respect for people and constituted authorities.
Our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives are driven by a clear understanding of our environment and a strong knowledge of the resource gaps and pressing needs of communities and people within and beyond our areas of operations. The primary reason is the willingness and desire to give back to the people and communities that have been an encouragement in our pursuit of enterprise as well as a conviction that partnering with the public sector to address some areas of need is a healthy investment on our present and future.
As the Bank gets more global, the focus and scope of its CSI policy will be fine-tuned and remodeled to reflect our status as a global brand. Our CSI policy therefore, reflects our commitment to global best practices, including Principles and Conventions of the United Nations on Sustainable Development, Environment, Human Rights, among others. We are also committed to Workplace Principles and Professional Ethics of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other global institutions dedicated to the enhancement of the common good.