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Holding Company: Sterling Bank obtains CBN’s approval in principle -

olatoke Abdljelili

Sept. 28, 2020

Sterling Bank Plc has obtained the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approval in principle to restructure as a holding company.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman, disclosed this in a statement posted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website.
Suleiman said the bank’s desire to operate as a holding company was driven by its plan to spin off its non-interest banking window which became operational in January 2014 into an autonomous entity.
He said the proposed structure would support the individual businesses in reaching full potential through increased portfolio diversification, improved efficiency and enhanced corporate governance.
He said: “Going into the holding company structure, our desire is to entrench our business model premised on social capitalism where we believe that private sector capital and market-based tools will offer the best types of solutions to Nigeria’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
“The holding company gives us the structure to explore our business model further.”
According to Suleiman, the holding company will operate on three major premises: specialisation, partnership and digitisation.
He said the conventional bank would focus on building skills and using technology to provide solutions in the areas critical to development in the country: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Transportation.
He said: “The non-interest bank will focus on building partnerships that connect individuals and businesses, leveraging technology to create business optimisation while solving an individual’s daily financial needs.
“The overall business will focus on social impact, corporate responsibility and religious compliance in its dealings.
“Our digitisation drive will create an enabling environment for both financial institutions to grow while providing services and support to build efficiencies in different ecosystems.”
Suleiman said execution of the organisation’s plans was fully dependent on “our interwoven operating model of agility, specialisation and digitisation”.
He added: “Essentially, for us to be successful, we require people who are adaptable and knowledgeable running processes that are simple, quick and tech-led to ensure efficiency.”
He said the bank was in the process of meeting the conditions for the final approval.
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