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Stanbic IBTC renames fintech subsidiary

Stanbic IBTC unveils new version of app to boost digital banking

As more traditional financial service groups move to play in the financial technology space, one of the early adopters, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, has adopted a new name— ZEST for its fintech arm.

This is coming five months since it launched in May this year after more than a year in the works.

In an announcement seen BusinessDay, the group said Stanbic IBTC Financial Services Limited will now be known as ZEST Payments Limited, with the regulatory authorisations sanctioning the move already in place.

“Notwithstanding the name change, ZEST remains a wholly owned subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, and no change of ownership, shareholding structure, or business objects of the company has occurred as a result of this,” the corporation said in a note to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

“ZEST will also continue to operate within the same regulatory framework set forth by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it added.

Read also: Stanbic IBTC makes new appointments to its HoldCo, subsidiary Boards

Last month, Stanbic IBTC Holdings appointed new directors to the board of its fintech division, including Yinka Sanni (chief executive of Africa Regions at the Standard Bank Group), Ndidi Nwuneli, Funeka Montjane, Efe Omoduemuke, Joyce Dimpka among others.

This development thickens the plot of the Nigerian fintech scene, with lenders branching out into sectors like fintech to grow revenue.

The likes of Access Holdings, Sterling Financial Holdings, and Guaranty Trust Holdings Company have recently launched payment subsidiaries.

This further affirms the evolution of the financial service sector after early pioneers like UBA Group, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and FirstBank — adopted the holding company structure.

In 2011, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forced banks to give up their non-banking businesses or restructure into a holding structure. Following global practices, the lender believed it was an important risk management strategy to separate lenders from entangling with other financial services like insurance or investments.

Other Nigerian banks are in the process of restructuring to diversify their revenue base and remain competitive with other financial services. These banks’ primary focus has been on providing core banking services for nearly a decade. As a result of this push by the apex bank, many financial institutions are moving towards the holding company form.