“We were not nervous and we know we’ve worked extremely hard at Zenith and I’ll say the results are actually in line with our expectation in spite of all the challenges we had in the quarter,” Peter Amangbo, Executive Director, Zenith Bank, Nigeria told CNBC Africa.
The bank, which is amongst one of the biggest commercial banks in Nigeria, stated an 8.5 per cent rise to 2.20 kobo in earnings per share for the third quarter.
“Beyond the numbers, our focus has always been to serve our customers, to gain their confidence, to gain their support, to gain their loyalty and once you have that, the numbers will fall in place, that is always our focus at Zenith Bank,” he explained.
Since the creation of the stringent regulatory environment, both tier 1 and tier 2 banks have been forced back to the drawing board to come up with more creative ways to keep the customer happy on one hand and then boost their balance sheets without depending on government deposits. Thus, making the retail market more attractive to the banks.
“At Zenith Bank, we even started before the CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria] introduced the policies of the CRR. We’ve been more aggressive in the retail sector and we’ve achieved commendable growth in that respect so when CBN came up with the policy, it didn’t really affect us that much.”
Despite most banks re-strategising as a result of the cash reserve requirement (CRR) to focus more on the retail sector, Amangbo believes Zenith Bank will retain their current position.
“We are very comfortable with cooperates but as I said earlier, we are still looking at improving in our good strategy with the retail sector,” he said.
According to Amangbo, on the international front, no new strategies should be expected soon as their main focus currently, is to consolidate their already flourishing strategies.
“We always keep our eyes open for opportunities, across the world and not just in Africa. We have a representative office in China now and we are actually looking at a lot of options,” he explained.
Going forward, Amagbo is quite confident about the next quarter as the numbers for the last nine months were very favourable.