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Citibank outlines six changes in Nigeria’s banking industry

From digitalisation, which has been accelerated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a rapid regulatory standpoint, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, CEO, Citibank Nigeria said at the recent BusinessDay CEO Forum that Nigeria’s banking industry is faced with changes.

One of such changes, according to the CEO, is the rapid pace of digitalisation.

“We see that in the use of artificial intelligence, big data and soon we are going to hear the announcement of a digital currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Ogbu said.

The growth of Fintech was the second change alighted by the Ogbu. According to her, Fintech could be perceived as being a competition to banks “but we like to see them as co-petition which means we see them as collaborators and part of the same ecosystem as they also work closely with banks as well.”

Regulatory change was the third change cited by the CEO. According to her, the Nigerian banking industry is faced with a rapidly changing environment from a regulatory standpoint. She says the change is not peculiar to Nigeria alone but to other countries.

“Over the years banks have been more and more regulated because when there is an issue you bring up regulations. The regulatory environment is quite rapid and impacting banks,” Ogbu said.

Read also: FirstBank hosts Fintech Summit 5.0, shows open banking drives inclusion

From a client standpoint, she said her bank has noticed the change in its client business models.

“Of course COVID-19 has accelerated how clients are dealing with their clients.” According to her, they are now transacting digitally with their client and are going directly to the consumers. “So e-commerce has been burnt.”

So rather than the bricks and mortar which a lot of our customers are accustomed to dealing with, Ogbu said Citibank’s clients are now setting up online means of connecting and selling to their clients.

“So it means banks have to evolve in the ways they serve clients because it has to move to a digital format and that’s where an evolution like open banking will be very helpful because it allows consumers the opportunity to have options.”

Another trend cited by the CEO was globalisation. Explaining the trend of globalisation, Ogbu said it means is that “a company can start-up in a country one day and become global in the next and digital meetings can go in multiple jurisdictions.”

The last but not the least trend cited by the CEO was the environment and sustainability and how it impacts operations.

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