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Skye Bank’s mega status, quest for profitability and sustainability




The month of September marked the end of third quarter operations and a period of trickling statement of accounts, especially the banking industry. For many, the year has been characterized by headwinds and shocks in the operating environment.

Of course, Skye Bank Plc, with its new toga- mega bank status and designation as a Systematically Important Bank on the successful acquisition of Mainstreet Bank, had its table filled with tasks within the period under review, including the integration of the acquired entity, operating in tight monetary environment and fulfilling stakeholders expectations- profitability.

Last week, it announced a gross earnings of N129.24 billion for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015, representing an increase of 33.06 per cent over the N97.13 billion recorded during the corresponding period in 2014.

The bank’s unaudited result submitted on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, showed positive fundamentals and potential in the key performance indicators- growth in fees and interest income, as well as investment, among others.

The bank’s fees and commission income grew to N25.46 billion as against N15.57 billion recorded during the same period in 2014, a growth of 63.52 per cent, while investment and other incomes rose to N4.28 billion from N2.05 billion, representing 108.77 per cent growth.

Profit before tax increased to N14.98 billion during the year under review from N12.33 billion during the same period in 2014 (21.45 per cent rise), while profit after tax increased by the same 21.45 per cent to N11.98 billion as against N9.87 billion in 2014.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Timothy Oguntayo, described the result as positive and promised that the upward growth pattern would be sustained in the fourth quarter, based on the benefits of the successfully executed acquisitions, described as one of the biggest in the nation’s banking industry.

While the acquisition was in December 2014, the integration of both banks ended in June 2015, which involved the re-engineering of operations, people and processes. Currently the fourth largest bank in Nigeria in terms of branch network, it has also embarked on several initiatives that will bring about a new world of possibilities for its customers, being the first company in Nigeria to launch the ‘Customer Service Charter’; followed by the launch of women-focused “Skye Pearl” initiative’ recently. These certainly, may have eaten deep into the bank’s provisions.

Skye Pearl is a programme designed for female entrepreneurs and professionals, a solution to support its female customers in their various businesses.

It is also platform that offers series of benefits to sit-at-home mothers, professionals and women-owned SMEs, offering them a chance to grow and expand their wealth through partnership, relationship, access to finance, information, networking, mentoring and empowerment initiative.

Oguntayo, described the Pearl product as a well-thought-out offering conceived by women and birthed by women basically to cater for the needs of Nigerian women, adding that it is the bank’s way of ensuring that the women customers enjoy “fullness of our business.”

He said that for financial sustainability and participatory development involving women to take place, conscious efforts must be made to enhance women’s access to finance, which realisation prompted the bank to bring women on board as national development partners through nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mrs. Adebola Osibogun, commended the bank for the concept, which recognises the needs and aspirations of women entrepreneurs, saying: “Women are powerful, they are nation builders and for any nation or business to thrive, there must be a space large enough to contain women and for me, that is what “Skye Pearl” is bringing to the fore”.

The Executive Director, South South/South East and Retail Banking, Skye Bank Plc, Mrs. Ibiye Ekong, said the six pillars of the Pearl initiative are capacity building; information; networking; empowerment; mentoring; access and finance”.

The bank has also pursued service quality and assurance in demonstration of commitment to customers and stakeholders, as well as enhanced stable and secure environment.

Already, it has attained three International Standard Organisation (ISO) certifications by the British Standard Institution- Information Security Management System ISO/IEC 27001:2013; IT Service Management System ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011; and Business Continuity Management System, ISO 22301:2012.

The bank’s Chairman, Tunde Ayeni, said the certifications represented a major thrust of the bank’s philosophy of service excellence and its customer centric approach.

He restated the commitment of the bank to continually improve its services using modern technology for the benefit of its customers, adding that service innovation would be a major component of the bank’s value delivery to its customers.

To benefit more from shared experience, the bank is set to host this year’s African regional organisational stakeholders’ conference of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

GRI is an international independent organisation that helps businesses and governments understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others.

GRI provides the world’s most widely used standards on sustainability reporting and disclosure, enabling businesses, governments, civil society and citizens to make better decisions based on information that matters.

The Head, Sustainability and Consumer Protection, Skye Bank, Mrs. Bola Adesanoye, said the bank would be hosting over 50 delegates from Nigerian institutions and outside the country who are committed to sustainability.

The bank was nominated to host the 2015 conference having shown commitment to sustainability, as well as appointed member of the organisation’s G4 programme in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa since 2013.

“The conference will be an inclusive platform to inspire and engage a truly global network of sustainability leaders. As we move towards a new era of sustainability, it is clear that for information to truly empower decision making it must be more accessible, comparable and available in real time”, she said.

Some Nigerian companies that have participated in the GRI conference include Shell Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, Chevron Nigeria, Etisalat, GT Bank, Access Bank, Sterling Bank Plc and CSR in Action, among others.

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