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Wema seeks reinvention, to compete with technology

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Chief Financial Officer, Wema Bank, Tunde Mabawonku(left); Head, Brands Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Wema Bank, Funmilayo Falola; Head of Public Relations, Morolake Philip-Ladipo and Representative of the Legal Adviser, Wema Bank, Hillary Ajodo, at a media interaction at the Bank’s headquarters, Marina, Lagos, on Friday

Wema Bank Plc says it is breathing fresh air into its processes to invent itself as a financial powerhouse and regain any lost ground as it markets 76 years of unbroken operation.

Founded in 1945, Wema is among Nigeria’s oldest surviving banks but has had to battle poor perception to remain attractive to the younger generation.

But the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Tunde Mabawonku, said the financial institution has done a lot of retooling in the past few years to change the old regional conservative lens through which some individuals see the bank.

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Speaking at a media engagement in Lagos, at the weekend, the CFO said the bank has achieved critical milestones required to compete for the fast-changing market and reinvent itself as a leading Nigeria’s financial service provider.

According to him, the bank will be leveraging the success story of ALAT, its flagship fintech product that enables individuals to access banking services, including account opening remotely, to compete in the technology space.

“We may not be able to compete in terms of branch networks. But we are using technology to change the way banking is performed. We will compete with technology,” he said.

He said the leadership team has “put in much effort” in recent years to push Wema as a leader in customer service and technology, which many stakeholders have attested to, noting that the bank would continue to improve its competitive edge.

“We have given ourselves tough targets. We used to be number 14 in customer service ranking but today we are number three on the KPMG rating,” he noted.

Mabawonku said the management has set clear ambitious targets to be top on customer service, technology utilisation and customer service and that it would not relent until it achieves its key targets.

Its ultimate target in customer service delivery, he said, is getting to a point where “we will pay a customer if our system fails”.

He noted that the bank has demonstrated commitment to stakeholders’ satisfaction through regular payment of dividends in the past three years. He assured that the bank can only continue to improve in key focus areas.

Mabawonku said Wema would continue to drive cost optimisation and operational efficiency with its cutting-edge technology as exemplified by ALAT, which he said has changed the fintech, landscape in recent years.

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