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Sterling Bank Keeps Sinking Under Abubakar Suleiman‘s Watch

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It has become evident that Sterling Bank’s leadership under Abubakar Suleiman is not up to par, and there are a number of incidences that back this up.

The 48-year-old Nigerian banker and acclaimed economic professional, whose leadership has seen Sterling Bank’s finances wither away, is currently fighting to keep his job as more concerned individuals, corporate bodies, religious leaders, and organizations demand that he be fired following the bank’s latest blunder, an Easter advertorial days ago.

Sterling Bank, headed by Abubakar Suleiman who is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, ran an Easter advertisement that inadvertently compared Jesus Christ’s resurrection to Agege Bread’s rising. Alternatively, Sterling Bank compared Agege Bread to Jesus, according to some reports.

In reality, the bank wrote “Like Agege Bread, He Rose,” referring to Jesus’ historical resurrection. Many thought Sterling Bank should have known better with a Chief Executive Officer who claimed to enjoy reading and composing poetry, yet the opposite was true.

Of course, the advertorial, which has been regarded as a premeditated display of insensitivity and rascality on Sterling Bank’s side, did not sit well with many Nigerians, both at home and abroad, who are now angry and asking for a boycott of the struggling lender.

While many people are perplexed as to how a supposedly corporate entity like Sterling Bank could be complicit in such a horrible conduct capable of inciting tension between one religious group over another, while others opined that it borders on poor leadership.

Nigeria is a volatile society and every spark that looks like a slight against one religious belief or another heralds the beginning of a ‘hurricane’, especially across social media platforms, but due to a faulty leadership, Sterling Bank whether deliberately or by error failed to harness a season such as Easter to promote, but to bring its brand to disrepute.

In a recent reaction to the rage occasioned by the controversial advertorial, the Chairman, Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Ibadan Zone, Mr. Eric Akinduro expressed grave concern over the advert slot which he said had the potential of igniting religious disharmony in a sensitive environment like Nigeria.

He said, “It is not ethically right and it can promote religious crises if not maturely handled particularly in a precarious environment like Nigeria. It shows the insensitivity of the leadership of the bank to a very vital issue like this”.

An Abuja-based businessman and former banker, Abubakar Idris, wondered how Sterling Bank management allowed the controversial advert to pass through the approval process without its knowledge. “This is not acceptable. People of other faith may not accept this with the calm that CAN has demonstrated. But how can someone who is a professional sit down to create such a horrible concept?”

A Stockbroker and the Doyen of the Stockbrokers, Mr. Sam Ndata, cautioned that the Sterling Bank ‘Agege Bread Advert’ could have adverse effects on the financial services industry and the bank will not get away with the offensive and distasteful advert without having punishment meted out to it.

He said, “The offensive, distasteful advert by Sterling Bank will surely affect the financial service establishment one way or the other, now or in the future. They cannot just get away with such offensive, distasteful advert without the punishment coming back to them”, Ndata who is a Chief Dealer/COO at Hedge Securities and Investment Co. Ltd said.

After a cursory look, ENigeria Newspaper reports that this is not the first, second or third time Sterling Bank has suffered severe ridicule under the leadership of Abubakar Suleiman and ENigeria Newspaper takes a look at some previous reports that buttress this claim.

In a report published on ENigeria Newspaper on January 19, 2022 with headline, “Crisis rocks Abubakar Suleiman led Sterling Bank as investors lost billions”, this newspaper pointed out how Sterling Bank according to a survey conducted in 2021 was the big loser in the review year in terms of percentage. According to the review, the lender’s share price depreciated by 26% to close at N43.5 billion, leading in a huge loss for investors.

The development reportedly sparked a high level of apprehension among investors who continue to question the capability of the lender’s leadership under its current Chief Executive Officer. READ IT HERE

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Again on February 24, 2022 this newspaper published a report with the headline, “Money Laundering: EFCC grills Sterling Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman”

In the report, ENigeria Newspaper revealed how The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) interrogated Abubakar Suleiman, the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank Plc, and two other senior executives of the bank over ‘hidden’ N20 billion reportedly belonging to the Kogi State government.

The money was supposed to be a rescue fund for Kogi state to pay workers’ salaries, but it was allegedly moved to an interest-bearing account in Sterling Bank with account number 0073572696.

Although the lender denied at the time but was a subject of public ridicule and shame eventually after the EFCC provided undisputable evidence that further showed the culpability of the bank and its leadership in the scandal. READ IT HERE

Another report in the media space published by The Witness Newspaper x-rayed how Sterling bank shareholders’ returns dipped drastically in the released full year report for 2021.

The report entitled, “FY’21: Shareholders’ returns drop as Sterling Bank reports N3.35bn fraud” revealed another episode of how incessant insider fraud perpetrated by staff of the embattled bank in 2021 caused heavy impact on the bank’s shareholders’ returns.

The report stated thus, “The increased rate of fraudulent activities in Sterling Bank Plc, in 2021, has signposted its porous internal control, giving depositors serious concern about the safety of their funds.

A review of the bank’s financial statement by The Witness for 2021, showed that perpetuators of frauds and forgeries in Sterling Bank only increased the number of their activities by one to 74 cases, the value of their nefarious deeds by a whopping 1614% to N3.35 billion in 2021 from N195.34 million in the prior year.

Buttressing further, the newspaper further stated that “In the bank’s report to the CBN, the actual/expected Loss was put at N1.60 billion against N123.81 million it reported in 2020, indicating a 1194% loss during this period.

The frauds and forgeries were carried out on the N142.32 billion grew gross revenue the lender raised in 2021, which was higher than the N135.83 billion it earned in the previous year by 4.77%”.

“The rise in Sterling Bank’s income in 2021 was driven basically by 47.93% rise in Net fees and commissions income to N19.36 billion and net trading income which went 134.07% to N6.18 billion, despite interest income dipping 0.43% to N110.98 billion and net trading income going down by 33.00% to N5.80 billion during this period.

Profit before tax ticked up 16.99% to N14.47 billion, while post-tax profit rose 20.22% to N13.52 billion on the back of 15.13% lower income tax expense of N959 million it paid in 2021 instead of N1.13 billion in the prior period.

Meanwhile, total expenses climbed by 9.93% to N72.83 billion, underpinned on other operating expenses that were up 15.26%, general and administrative expenses which went up by 18.39% and personnel costs that rose 0.51% during the period under review.

The bank recorded 24.22% increase in provision for toxic assets to N9.82 billion compared to N7.91 billion it set aside for the same purpose in 2020.

And about 2% (N14 billion) of the N712 billion Sterling Bank’s total loans and advances were bad as the facilities it extended to customers increased by 19.28% to N711.90 billion in 2021”.

The instances mentioned above are only a scratch in the surface as there are multiple records of increased insider dealings, scams, fraudulent and nefarious activities recorded in the bank under its current leadership.

From all indices available and studied by ENigeria Newspaper, it suffices to say that the emergence of Abubakar Suleiman as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has brought more woes than good for Sterling Bank in the past few years and there appears to be no respite in sight anytime soon.

More on this subject in other publications.

I am Paschal Ogechi Obi Chikero . I have written and published three books , I wrote Festus Keyamo's biography- Lion In Isolation .I have been a Reality TV show Producer/Creator, an Actor and Film Script Writer.

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Customers accuse Wema Bank of using their data to open illegal accounts via ALAT app

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Customers accuse Wema Bank of using their data to open illegal accounts via ALAT app

Wema Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s struggling financial institutions is in the news again for the wrong reasons as some customers of the bank have accused the lender of conducting illegal banking practice in the country.

They said they discovered that the bank and its agents had allegedly been opening unauthorised accounts for customers with information or data in the bank’s possession.

The financial institution, led by Ademola Adebise, has allegedly been opening accounts for some Nigerians on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without their knowledge or consent in a bid to celebrate its 5th anniversary.

While the actual number of unauthorised accounts opened on behalf of unsuspecting Nigerians is unknown, Wema Bank was aiming to achieve “a million account in one day”.

Wema Bank, in a mail claimed the unauthorised accounts were opened for certain persons “to celebrate with us” despite not informing them ahead or receiving approval to create the accounts.

This illegal banking practice is similar to that of Wells Fargo, a United State bank, which was accused of opening 1.5 million accounts without authorisation, with over 565,000 credit cards applied for, allegedly without customers consent.

About 5,300 employees at Wells Fargo were sacked for opening the illegal accounts, and the company was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the United States.

The unauthorised Wells Fargo accounts were only uncovered by the affected persons when the accounts started accumulating debt from bank charges on the unsuspecting individuals.

Just as the sacked Wells Fargo employees were said to have indulged in fraudulently opening sham accounts to beat target, Wema Bank vendors and marketers may have used the same strategy to achieve the lender’s anniversary target.

That of Wema Bank is expected to also place a financial burden on the unsuspecting persons through account maintenance cost, from which the lender generated about N2.10 million last year, surpassing N1.24 million of 2020.

Recently, Mental Health Advocate, Adebayo Tayo, took to his Twitter account to publicly accuse Wema Bank of opening an account in his name without authorisation from him.

Tayo lamented that he never knew he had a new Wema Bank account until his mother contacted him, because she received an alert that was intended for him – shocking, how come he owns an account he’s unaware of, and his mom receives the alert.

“I am concerned about how my info had been used by Wema Bank and I need detailed explanations about the account including every transactions it has performed before someone uses my details for an account to launder money or collect ransome, he stated.

Following a probe into Tayo’s claim, this newspaper discovered he was not the only one whose identity was used by the financial institution, to open accounts on its digital banking platform, ALAT, without the knowledge or consent of the individuals.

READ : Figures Don’t Lie: Wema Bank Standing On Strong Financial Fundamentals – Adebise

Another affected Nigerian is Oyenike Ojo, whose name was used to open an account. However, when money was sent to the account, the alert details showed another name, Oluseyi Bamgboyi as account owner – which means two different names seem to have been used to open one account.

Ojo’s husband said something was shady about the account, “What I said is, the current name on the account number in my screenshots is not my wife’s name. If you look at that screenshot, the account was opened with my wife’s name and a new account number.

“She also got a credit alert notification via sms with the new account number. This shows that her details were used to open that account. However I tried to do a transfer to that account this morning when I read the news only to see that the account name is Oluseyi Bamgboye and not Oyenike Ojo (which is my wife’s name). Something is definitely fishy”, he explained to Ripples Nigeria.

Ojo said his wife has an account with Wema Bank which she hasn’t used for about seven years, and the new account created in her name doesn’t seem to carry the same number with her old account.

He stressed that the unauthorized accounts opened is “definitely an inside job.”, stating , “Customer’s details are compromised and they are being used to open new accounts. Whether by marketers so as to meet targets of number of accounts opened, or for money laundering, I can’t tell.”

Ojo asked for an investigation into the illegal accounts opened by Wema Bank, saying the situation is questionable, “How Oyenike Ojo’s savings account opened without her permission has now become Oluseyi Bamgboye’s account is definitely questionable.” Ojo said, expressing his worry.

Another name used to open unauthorized account, Abimbola Fakoyejo, disclosed that he was still wondering about his unused account on ALAT, when he saw a message notifying him that an account has been opened in his name.

Wema Bank also did not immediately respond to our enquiry on the matter.

[Ripples Nigeria]

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FIRSTBANK REWARDS CUSTOMERS IN ITS FIRSTMOBILE CASH-OUT PROMO

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2021 NCOY: FIRSTBANK PARTNERS JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT NIGERIA, REITERATES COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION AND EDUCATION

In collaboration with Interswitch, FirstBank has launched a promo to reward users of the FirstMobile app, its industry-leading mobile banking application.

The promo tagged FirstMobile Cash-out Promo will run for 3 months. The promo, which started on Monday, 21st March 2022 will end on Tuesday, 21st June 2022.

 

Various prizes including, N1,000,000, N40,000, N10,000.00 cash prizes, N40,000 Airtime, LED Televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioning systems will be won in the course of the three months campaign. A minimum of two bills payment worth N1000 and five airtimes of at least a total of N2000 in a week qualify a customer for any of the prizes. The promo is open to new customers and existing users of the FirstMobile app.

 

FirstMobile customers who do a minimum of 6 transactions weekly on the FirstMobile app, will be eligible for the respective rewards: N10,000 cash for 200 winners; Gift items (TVs, Refrigerators and AC) for 10 winners; N10,000 airtime for 340 winners.

 

On the other hand, 500 customers that carry out a minimum of 10 transactions monthly will win N30,000 cash. The Grand Prize of N1,000,000 will be won by 2 lucky customers who carry out a minimum of 20 transactions or a minimum of two bills payment of N1000 plus five airtime transactions of at least a total of N5000 in a week.

 

Speaking on the campaign, Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products said, “as the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria, we are delighted to partner with Interswitch, an Africa-oriented technology-driven company, to reward our customers for their continuous patronage. Together with Interswitch, we remain committed to ensuring the continued safety of customers’ funds across multiple electronic payment channels irrespective of where our customers may be across the world. FirstMobile remains another obvious step towards leveraging evolving technologies to bring fast and convenient digital banking solutions to our customers”.

 

FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of payment systems, whilst putting customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are. The app provides convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions by FirstBank account holders via their mobile devices. It is sleek and convenient to use – evident in its easy enrolment process as all FirstBank customers with Verve and Naira Mastercards can begin using the app without having cause to visit a FirstBank branch. It is also poised to offer a more reliable and more convenient overall digital banking experience.

 

To set up the FirstMobile app, customers with android phones should visit the Google Play store to download and install the FirstMobile app. Customers with Apple devices can download it from the Apple Store. Once installed, customers are required to open the app, tap the register button, and use their FirstBank issued Naira MasterCard or Verve card to activate the app. After details have been inputted, an OTP code will be sent via an SMS to your phone number that is linked to your bank account and you are then required to Input a 5 digits code that will be your login password, select two security questions and answer them, create a personalised 4 digits transaction pin that will help your confirm transactions. Upon the conclusion of these steps above, click Done and start enjoying the app.

 

About FirstBank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for 128 years.

 

With over 750 business locations and over 150,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBNBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

 

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on the FirstMobile platform.

 

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

 

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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Access Bank Set To Make 62 Millionaires With DiamondXtra Season 14

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Access Bank Set To Make 62 Millionaires With DiamondXtra Season 14

DiamondXtra season 14 was launched today, 13 May 2022 at the Access Bank Towers, Victoria Island.

NAIJA NEWS NG reports that the leading financial institution unveiled new exciting and life changing packages in a bid to encourage savings culture while rewarding its loyal customers .

In the past 13 seasons, DiamondXtra has rewarded over 24,000 customers and N6 billion has been given out to winners ! Which other bank in Nigeria can boast of this level of customer oriented empowerment? None !

READ : Access Bank Rewards over 9,000 Lucky Customers in DiamondXtraWins Campaign
Speaking at the event, Head of Retail Banking, Robert Giles , said the customers told the bank what they wanted . The customers insisted that the Salary For Life and other unique packages must not be removed. Trust Access Bank, they listened like always.

What’s new in season 14 :

In Season 14, at least 62 people will be made millionaires, there will be Digital marketing classes for 10,000 DiamondXtra customers and N270 million will be won by DiamondXtra customers. This is so good, right?

To ensure that as always customers from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria benefit, DiamondXtra season 14 will be brought to your doorsteps ….no matter where you live. Season 14 aims to empower 359 customers in the four zones during outdoor draws. In season 14, “everybody must collect“.

Transparency :

In a scheme like this, transparency is key, Access Bank has opened its doors to regulators. Industry leading regulating bodies like Nigerian Lottery Regulators Commission, NLRC and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission will be monitoring the draws to ensure transparency .

The Diamondxtra Cluster draws are still open for customers in the different regions to encourage various associations, Clubs, Groups, Societies etc., to come together as a cluster, open DiamondXtra accounts for their members with N5,000 minimum deposit each and a draw will be held for their group where the winning pot is up to N150,000.

So get involved and change your life!

To open a new account, simply dial *901*5# and if you have an existing DiamondXtra account, just dial *901# to fund the account with N50,000 or more. Good luck !

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