CBN, Banks, Interswitch Convene for The Retail Banking Workshop

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The 2nd Edition of Ciuci Consulting Retail Banking Workshop, themed ‘Catalysing SME Funding and Retail Lending to Nigeria’s Economic Development’, will hold at Radisson Blue, Victoria Island on Thursday, 15th June 2017. The retail bank executives will congregate at the platform designed to address fundamental issues and challenges faced by retail banks in the industry.

Topics to be discussed at the event will include Financial Inclusion, Ease of doing business, Cluster Lending, Readiness for Retail Banking, Implementation of Micro Credit Solutions, Mobile Banking and Consumer Analytics.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY and signed by Managing Partner of Ciuci Consulting, Chukwuka Monye, ‘The Landscape of Financial Inclusion and Microfinance in Nigeria’ 2015 survey report by The Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) identifies five major barriers to financial inclusion, which are low income, low physical access to rural areas, lack of trust and clear understanding of financial institutions and products, affordability, and eligibility. Its ‘Access to Financial Services in Nigeria’ 2016 survey report puts Nigeria’s banked population at 38.3 per cent of adults while 41.6 per cent are financially excluded. Financial institutions in Nigeria have begun to respond to CBN’s call for increased financial inclusion. CBN, to be represented by the Head of Financial Inclusion, Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, will be speaking to the industry at this workshop, highlighting the status of financial inclusion and credit enhancement programs.

While noting that Ease of Doing Business is a critical global measure that investors rely on for their portfolio choices and last ranking of the country in the October 2016 World Bank in October Ease of Doing Business index, which ranked Nigeria 169th out of 190 countries, Monye also stated that the Presidency took steps to simplify regulatory frameworks and establish market friendly policies.

“The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has reached an important milestone of increasing access to credit through the bill that was recently passed into law. The signed bills are the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017 (Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017 aimed at ensuring Nigerians, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), have easy access to credit facilities,” the statement read in part.

On Cluster Lending, Monye explained that “The Bank of Industry has been successful at implementing cluster product initiatives with small and medium enterprise (SME) clusters as beneficiaries. Some of the clusters that have benefitted in the past are Cottage Agro Processing (CAP), Nollywood, and the Fashion industry.

Continuing, he stated that, “Product programmes drove lending with repayment primarily from the businesses’ cash flows. The developments of these relationship-based approaches from banks, which can be applied to the mass market have met significant obstacles to effective micro lending. The creation of systems able to support and drive product portfolios and generate significant volumes need to be sustainable. Focus needs to be placed on success stories recorded thus far in cluster lending to discover how to overcome these industry challenges and achieve the desired objective.”

Concluding, Monye stated that, “We have invested in consumer intelligence and analytics programmes for the retail banking industry because we know that the appreciation of data is at the heart of any efficient retail operation. The industry needs this.”