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KPMG Declares Wema Bank Leader In SME Financing

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KPMG has declared Wema Bank Plc a leader in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) financing.

This was revealed in its 2021 Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey.

The report ranked Wema Bank as number three in SME banking, three places higher than the bank’s 2020 classification.

The KPMG survey ranked banks using the six pillars of customer experience excellence, including integrity-being trustworthy and engendering trust, resolution-turning a poor experience into a great one and expectations-managing, meeting and exceeding customer’s expectations.

The other pillars were empathy-understanding the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport, personalization-using individualised attention to drive emotional connection and time and effort-minimising customer effort and creating frictionless processes.

“This year’s leaders show digital banking excellence and have adapted well to higher transaction volumes and complaints,” KPMG stated in a statement.

Commenting on the bank’s KPMG ranking, Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Ademola Adebise, said it was an affirmation of the bank’s commitment to the growth and well-being of SMEs as critical contributors to the economy.

According to him, Wema Bank has been consistent in her drive to support the growth and development of SMEs in the country.

The bank has initiated several financial and advisory support programmes to boost SMEs, some of which include: single digit loans for women, uncollateralized loans for SMEs, quarterly SME webinars, access-to-market initiatives, and a plethora of other advisory and support services

He noted that in the last one year, Wema Bank pioneered the establishment of the first bank-led SME business school in the country, aimed at boosting critical knowledge and capabilities for SMEs at no cost to beneficiaries.

The business school which enjoys the support of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany, has reputable consultants and organizations such as Ernst & Young, MTN, Microsoft, Google and Agusto facilitate at its programme

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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele risks arrest for short Naira Swap Extension

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Still on the Naira notes swap, The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee, Has rejected the 10 days extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the swap of old N200, N500, N1,000 bank notes. 

In a statement released on Sunday, January 29, the Chairman of the Committee and the Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, said the lawmakers will proceed and sign an arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee. 

He said, The new naira redesign policy is capable of frustrating the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Recall that many Nigerians have complained about inability to access the newly redesigned notes.

The newly redesigned naira notes

The CBN had initially placed the deadline for the exchange of the old Naira notes for the new ones on January 31st . However, following the series of complains from Nigerians, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement released on Sunday, January 29, announced that the deadline had been extended to February 10. 

In its immediate reaction, the House of Representatives committee chaired by Doguwa rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act. “The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution: We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the house, would only accept clear compliance with section 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act and nothing more.

Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the adhoc committee.”

Doguwa said under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land. 

He described the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, insisting that the CBN governor must appear before or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs signed earlier by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Ademola Adeleke sacked as Governor of Osun state

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We’re Committed to Transparency, Binance Tells Users

The crypto space is a rapidly evolving one and now more than ever, the crypto community demands more transparency from crypto exchanges.

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Binance reassures users of transparency
Crypto

Crypto exchanges have become the heart of the crypto ecosystem, they have succeeded in creating a network where millions of people can participate and reap the perks of financial inclusion.

Although, in light of recent happenings, there has been an increased sense of urgency for crypto market regulatory initiatives – some of which are already underway and are likely to be accelerated following the collapse of the crypto exchange, FTX.

The priority of these regulatory initiatives will likely focus on the custody and protection of customers’ digital assets, transparency, and the reporting of reserves, assets, and liabilities.

This is why in a time of uncertainty and doubt, Binance – the world’s leading blockchain and cryptocurrency provider has recently taken active steps of its own to restore users’ confidence in the ecosystem.

Below are some of the initiatives they have introduced to the community:

  • Topping Up SAFU to $1B: The Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU), established in 2018 is an emergency insurance fund that was set up to protect Binance users in extreme situations of loss and theft of their digital assets. Due to the recent market conditions, the fund originally valued at $1B fluctuated down to $735m earlier in the year; it has however been topped up to $1B. This insurance fund comprises BNB, BUSD, and BTC and the funds are raised by allocating 10% of all trading fees accumulated on its platform in the case of emergency scenarios, giving Binance the ability to stay ahead of situations where users’ assets have been compromised.
  • Establishing the Industry Recovery Initiative (IRI):  In a recent post, Binance explained that the initiative was set up with the aim of rebuilding the industry and protecting users. It also stated that it will devote $1 billion in initial commitments to the recovery fund which may be increased to $2 billion “if the need arises.” Binance stated that IRI is not an investment fund, but terms it a “co-investment opportunity for organizations eager to support the future of Web3.” In addition, other investment firms including Jump Crypto, Polygon Ventures, Aptos Labs, Animoca Brands, GSR, Kronos, and Brooker Group have enrolled and committed an initial aggregate of $50 million between them to participate in the initiative and Binance has already received 150 applications from companies seeking support.
  • Publishing its Proof of Reserves System (PoR): On Friday, 25th November, following the disclosure of its hot and cold wallet, Binance published its bitcoin pro0f-of-reserves (POR) system, utilizing the Merkle Tree approach – which gives users the ability to verify specific contents that were included within a particular set of “sealed” data. Users can verify their BTC asset balances and transactions held on the crypto exchange’s platform. Additionally, Binance has also highlighted its future plans for the POR list which include:
    • Launch the next batch of PoR, including additional assets in the next two weeks,
    • Involve third-party auditors to audit the PoR results.
    • Implement ZK-SNARKs for POR, improving privacy and robustness, and proving the total net balance (USD) of each user is non-negative. K-SNARKs are powerful tools that provide privacy and simplicity benefits to proof of reserves and liabilities. This is because Binance offers Margin and Loans services in certain countries, so audit results will show the Net Balance, Equity, and Debt of each user.

The crypto space is a rapidly evolving one and now more than ever, the crypto community demands more transparency from crypto exchanges. Collaborations such as the Industry Recovery Initiative need to be an integral part of all crypto exchange efforts for the ecosystem to have any chance of survival.

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ISSAN Confab: CBN to Collaborate with Stakeholders to Check Rising Cyber Attacks

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Information Security Society of Africa Nigeria - (SSAN
L-r: Basil Udotai, Managing Partner, Technology Advisors LLP; Dr. Adewale Obadare, Co-founder/Chief Visionary Officer, Digital Encode; Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director, IT Department, Central Bank of Nigeria; Dr. David Isiavwe, President, Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) & General Manager, Ecobank; Musa Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department, Central Bank of Nigeria; Eduje Ighoakpo, CISO, Heritage Bank of Nigeria Ltd, and Laja Sorunke, 1st Vice President, ISSAN, at ISSAN Annual Cybersecurity Conference in Lagos last week

The Central Bank of Nigeria has assured information security stakeholders and the general public of its collaboration to check the rising cases of cyber-attacks within the Nigeria cyberspace.

Mr. Musa Jimoh, Director, Payments System Management Department of the CBN, in his keynote address at the annual Information Security Society of Africa – Nigeria (ISSAN) Cybersecurity Conference in Lagos, stated that the apex bank was firmly committed to building a sustainable payments ecosystem in the country.

He commended ISSAN for organizing the event, stressing that CBN will continue to collaborate with organisations that are committed to addressing the rising activities of cyber-attacks.

Also speaking, President of FinTech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR), Ade Bajomo said to adequately address the rising rate of cyber-attacks, organizations should embrace collaboration and information sharing on cyber breaches.

According to him, keeping silence on the part of organizations that had been attacked would not help others, stressing that full disclosure, synergy and information sharing on reported cyber-attacks and how it was managed would guide other organizations to put preventive and counter measures in place.

He called on organizations to constantly upgrade their technology to counter cyber-attacks, urging them to have data backup.

Dr. Adewale Peter Obadare, the Co-founder/Chief Visionary Officer of Digital Encode, while expressing his views at the panel session, made case for collaboration amongst stakeholders, noting the need to strike the balance between the investments in people, technology, and processes to fight cyber-attack and fraud.

He further stated the need to build cybersecurity intelligence quotient, which will comprise of Augmented Intelligence to check what is happening on the system real time, Anticipatory Intelligence to analyse what could happen, and Assistive Intelligence to determine what needs to be done.

He recommended that digitization, digitalization and digital transformation should be addressed.

Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. David Isiavwe ISSAN President, said the conference was devoted to further expose the new threats and trends in the cyber security space and also offer practical steps on what businesses and individuals need to know and do to check the rising tide of the activities of cyber-criminals.

He observed that cyber attackers are getting more sophisticated globally, which is an aftermath of Covid 19 pandemic, stressing that greater awareness must be created to minimize attacks on businesses that may result in losses by various organizations.

Further, Dr. Isiavwe who is also General Manager at Ecobank made case for customer awareness as well as collaboration by all stakeholders.

Other speakers at the conference include Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Digital Jewels Limited, Mrs Adedoyin Odunfa; Founder & CEO, Mint FT Innovative, Mr. Similolu Akinnusi; Chief Information Security Officer, First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Harrison Nnaji and Managing Partner, Technology Advisors LLP, Basil Udotai, Esq; Others are Group Head, Customer Fulfillment Center, UBA, Mr. Prince Ayewoh; Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Financial Services Limited, Mr. Stanley Jacob; Sales Director (Africa), OneSpan Europe, Mr. Nicholas Poire and Field CTO, OneSpan Europe, Mr. Dan Mcloughin.

ISSAN is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Nigeria’s cyberspace specifically and the entire cyberspace in Africa, generally.

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