Nigeria forced to look into retail banking - CNBC Africa

Nigeria forced to look into retail banking

Western Africa

by Dara Rhodes 0

A large percentage of the Nigerian population is unbanked. PHOTO: Getty images

“While on the face, profits are still high, expectations generally have been dampened by the reduced results we’ve had across the banking sector,” Olumide Akindele, Head consumer propositions at Diamond Bank told CNBC Africa.

The country’s banking space saw changes like the increase in the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria levy from 20 basis points to 50 basis points and a hike in Cash reserve ratio deposits for public sector funds from 12 per cent to 50 per cent.

“We’ve had a lot of regulations, we’ve had a lot of new rules from the changes in the banking sector, to the 50 per cent in the public sector requirement from all the banks.”

However, Akindele believes that the changes have made more banks think a lot more aggressively about how they are going to increase their income earnings for next year.

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“I think traditionally most banks have always focused on specific areas like the commercial side, the business banking side and more banks are now looking at other sides such as retail banking because that’s the way forward,” he said.

With a population of almost 170 million and with a large percentage of them unbanked, there are huge possibilities for this new market.

“In terms of consumers benefitting, cheaper charges, clarity in bank charges, more innovative products coming up because we now have to think about customers and what they need, we are seeing a lot of developments going in that area,” he explained.

Although there is more lending going on in the market now, Akindele believes that the market has still not reached its full potential in that area.

“I think the banks have woken up to the reality of banking going forward, and a lot of banks will look at more innovative ways of dragging income in and liquidity going forward.”

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