Following recent development in the banking industry, which indicates that Societe Generale Bank Nigeria Limited, now rebranded as Heritage Bank, is set to commence banking services before the end of first quarter of this year, advertising agencies are falling over themselves as they jostle to win the bank account with all the promises of being a juicy one. Competent resources reveal to THISDAY that the bank has already started shopping for advertising agencies with the competence to deliver creative campaign that would drive customers patronage to the new business. “The bank has not recruited any (advertising) agency yet. But I am sure they have started shopping,” the source said.
A weekly business Newspaper last week reported that the bank has commenced interviews for employment of different categories of staff in readiness for the kick off of services due likely to start by the end of first quarter. The report said successful interviewees have already been asked to await their letters of appointment within the first two months of the year giving fillip to the speculation that the bank would indeed throw its doors open for business very soon.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the governorship of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, had in 2006, revoked the operational license of the bank believed to be largely owned by the Saraki dynasty during the re-capitalisation exercise in the banking sector.
However, following an order by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja compelling the apex bank to restore the operational permit of the bank, the Central Bank granted clearance for the bank to resume business as a regional bank trading under a new name Heritage Bank Limited.
For the advertising industry, the coming on stream of the bank would be a huge boost to the industry. It is a signal of good things to come as the industry looks with optimism, as expectations are high for new businesses, more foreign investments, more stable political climate and a better-secured economy.
Interestingly, banks, telecoms and fast moving consumer goods (FCMGs) form the bulk of big spenders in the integrated marketing communications industry. When such accounts are thrown open for reviews and pitches, it is understandable when not a few of the agencies jostle for the account. Today, agencies are rated based on the type of account in their kitty. Those that service telecoms, banks and FCMG are understandably regarded as big players, while others without such accounts hardly do good business as account billings outside of these sectors are usually not quite big.
Already, online reactions to the news of the commencement of the bank’s operations are awash with excitement. The readers, who are mostly youths, are exuberant, especially at the prospects of employment opportunities it is already creating for them.