Polaris Bank Meets with FATE Foundation

Polaris Bank Sponsors AfroProm 2019


Polaris Bank commits to climate action and sustainability

…joins leading global banks to sign the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking


Lagos, 22 September 2019 – Polaris Bank has joined the United Nations, and other leading banks across the world, to become a Founding Signatory of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking as part of its commitment to climate action and sustainability. The launch and signing ceremony of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking took place on Monday at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United States where the Founding Signatories, comprising CEOs of the leading banks in the world, converged.

Polaris Bank Managing Director/CEO, Tokunbo Abiru, who is among the Bank CEOs in New York, disclosed why Polaris is a founding signatory: “This momentous action to become a Founding Signatory of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking, is borne out of the need to have and practice tenets, values and principles that enable us as a financial institution to exist and excel amidst constant market changes.” He added, “We believe that responsible business practices or principles is not just the right choice, but the only choice, knowing this will ensure long-term societal investments needed for sustainable development; contribute to financial stability and guarantee the success and continuity of the economy,” said the top banker. Additionally, Mr Abiru noted that, “Over the years, we have collaborated with both Government agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations to fight tropical diseases, continually provide financial education across all levels through financial literacy and we have also taken steps to ensuring that our direct and indirect actions as a responsible Bank does not impact the environment negatively. Hence the alignment is a journey we have begun and are fully committed to.”

 A total of 130 banks collectively holding USD 47 trillion in assets, or one third of the global banking sector have coalesced to sign the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking and by implication, promise to strategically align their businesses with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Principles are supported by a strong implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets. By creating a common framework that guides banks in growing their business and reducing risks through supporting the economic and social transformation required for a sustainable future, the Principles pave the way for the transformation to a sustainable banking industry.

 The Principles for Responsible Banking were developed by a core group of 30 Founding Banks through an innovative global partnership between banks and the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). UNEP FI is the UN-private sector collaboration that includes membership of more than 240 finance institutions around the globe.

 Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments.


polaris bank head ofice

Polaris Bank conducts Risk Management training for business partners

Polaris Bank at the weekend conducted a training program which focused on Risk Management practices for its business partners (service providers/vendors) that seek to scale and improve the efficiency of these partners. The training program which held at Radisson Blu Hotel, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, had many of its business partners in attendance. The program focused on “Risk Management in business”, targeted at the Bank’s service providers/vendors with a view to improving their growth and expansion; scale-up and improve the efficiency of their operations with best practices for mutually sustainable growth.

In her welcome address to the Bank’s vendors, Head, Sustainability of Polaris Bank, Bola Adesanoye situated the conference within the framework of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) as enthroned by the regulatory Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for which Polaris is a signatory. “The NSBP in one of its nine principles talks about Environmental and Social Footprints of businesses in the community where aligned businesses have a presence. As an organization driven by principles of sustainability, Polaris Bank has a responsibility to ensure that as we meet our own needs, we do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, Mrs. Adesanoye offered.

Giving specific basis why the bank held the seminar, the Head of Sustainability explained: “There are Environmental & Social Risks and other potential impacts associated with engaging third parties and the need to address this, informed the session”. In his presentation, Akeem Adekoya, the Bank’s Head, Operational Risk who spoke on Managing Vendors risk, explained that vendors risk management (VRM) as a process, deals with the management and planning of third-party products and services, ensures that the use of third-party products, IT suppliers and service providers does not result in a potential business disruption or in any negative impact on business performance.

While listing all the available and known risks such as: Environmental & Social; Reputational; Regulatory/Compliance; Transactional and Operational risks, Adekoya asserted that: “If left unmanaged, these risks can lead to a decline in the financial institution’s reputational image, costly litigation, or loss of revenue”. To mitigate against potential risks, the Risk management executive encouraged Vendors to always seek “Permit to work” this he explained as a process by which organizations “ensure that permit to work system is implemented for all high-risk activities such as; work at height, hot works, working on electricity and confined space etc. “Vendors handling chemical and hazardous substances should be well trained and deploy protective equipment when carrying out the task, adding that; “adequate warning and caution signs should be displayed when undertaking high-risk activities in any part of the bank’s premises

Earlier in his own presentation which dwelt on reputation management and associated risk, the Bank’s head, Strategic Brand Management, Nduneche Ezurike, opined that reputation can be boosted or blasted with a few key strokes. Ezurike said: “a study by the World Economic Forum conducted revealed that on average, more than 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributed to its reputation. His analysis was that “Reputation is an independent risk that refers to the potential for uncontrollable events to have an adverse impact on a company’s reputation which has the potential of affecting its revenue”.

“The risk arising from a negative public opinion could result to adverse effects like dissatisfied customers, inappropriate recommendations, hence loss of revenue. Regulations, the banker noted “are also examples of situations that could create negative publicity and harm the reputation of the business, saying that “these days, even issues that seem insignificant can become headline news and could either boost or decline the global reputation of a company,” he said.

Speaking on the way forward, Ezurike added that constant vigilance before, during and after a crisis, should be properly planned and effectively implemented. Seun Jimo, Head of Corporate Support of the Bank also shared perspective when he spoke of the place of Vendors in delivery of value to the organization through adoption of business practices.

During a question and answer session, the participating business partners sought and got clarification from facilitators in all areas of risk management and how best they could adopt best practices in risk management and align their business for sustainable growth. How the partnership helps to scale and improve the efficiency of both parties as well.

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments.

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Polaris Bank CEO, Abiru charge new employees on opportunities of digital Age

….Graduates trainees from Polaris Bank Business School

Tokunbo Abiru

Tokunbo Abiru, Polaris Bank CEO, has charged the bank’s newly hired employees on the need to be professional in the discharge of their responsibilities as a key ingredient  for a successful banking career.

Abiru gave this charge while speaking at the graduation ceremony of Polaris Graduate Intensive Training (PGIT), in Lagos at the weekend. Addressing the new staff who were enrolled through the bank’s popular graduate trainee programme called, Polaris Graduate Intensive Training (PGIT), the Polaris Bank CEO, advised that upholding professionalism in their respective assignments is the sure route to contributing to national and macro-economic development through their banking career.

“You have been trained to be professionals and leaders, who will make the difference in whatever area of the bank you are deployed to. You are undergoing today’s graduation not because we sought to do you a favour, but because you emerged successful from amongst thousands of Nigerians that sat for the same examination”. Continuing, Abiru noted that “The bank places a high premium on staff training and manpower development as a way of building an informed and competent work force to enable the employees excel in their assigned tasks.

The Polaris Bank boss advised the new management trainees to be nimble and innovative, saying, “Giving the knowledge and experience of the resource persons that you interacted with during this last few weeks, I’m assured that you have acquired positive learnings and memories that would create the foundation of the career that you are about to start.” Abiru added that: “The future of work is changing because we live in a fast-paced era, the bank of the future is therefore, one that harmonizes the strength of its traditional background and combines it with the customer-centric model of the new players; it is one that shifts its focus from trading and wholesale banking to retail banking as this has proven to reduce costs. Retail customers expect to be able to move seamlessly across digital channels such as online and mobile banking” He finally summed up by charging the new employees to remain committed, self-driven and focused on the the future. “Earlier, Polaris Bank’s Head of Human Capital Management, Mr. Taiwo Olupeka, said the 54 graduates were the first successful batch amongst the over 24,000 candidates who sat for the bank’s recruitment test." Olupeka described them as the ‘best of the best’ that emerged after a very rigorous exercise. He charged them to do their best to make the bank the first and leading commercial and retail bank in the country.

Speaking after she received her prize of excellence as the overall best graduating student of the PGIT Stream from the CEO, Miss Titilayo Fawunmi said ”the experience was very educative and I was able to learn a whole lot of new things which has exposed me to what banking industry is all about”. The new employees who are fresh graduates with diverse academic backgrounds and impressive academic records, successfully completed an intensive nine-week basic banking training program at the Polaris CIBN certified training school in Lagos.

A total of 54 fresh graduands successfully passed through the rigorous academic program from which three of the new hires; Titilayo Fawumi, Oluwatobi Giwa and Rantimi Adeyemi, emerged among the top three best graduating students of the stream, with Titilayo Fawunmi carting away the CEO’s grand prize of excellence for her outstanding academic feat.

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments of the Nigerian economy; serving a wide customer base in the public and private sector, including large and small corporate organizations, SMEs, professional groups and institutions.

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Abiru stresses importance of SMEs to economic growth

Tokunbo Abiru

Polaris Bank Managing Director/CEO, Tokunbo Abiru has described SMEs as catalyst for economic growth whilst pledging the support of the Bank to advance the growth of entrepreneurs and businesses that operate in that space.

Abiru stated this last week while playing host to the Class 24 of Fate Foundation’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Program (EEP) at the Bank’s corporate head office. Notably, Polaris Bank provided funding for four of the participants on the EEP program.

The EEP, a flagship training program of FATE Foundation, is a highly interactive in-depth leadership and business management training aimed at equipping participants with the necessary tools and knowledge required to re-vision, grow and scale their businesses.

The visit is part of the team’s learning process aimed at providing mentorship for the 17 entrepreneurs on the EEP program; the opportunity to rub minds with the Polaris CEO who fielded different leadership and business questions from the team.

Mr. Abiru, who received the delegation welcomed the team and commended the 17 entrepreneurs of Class 24. The delegation represents key growth segments of the economy from different sectors such as: food, clothing, drinks, sustainability, manufacturing and real estate.

According to Polaris CEO, “It is interesting to note that some of you are already employing a minimum of 5-8 staff in your respective businesses and some even more. For us however as lenders and enablers of business, we must deliberately continue to look at your business segment and the likely areas we can continue to give support and encouragement,” he added.

On her part, the Executive Director, Fate Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, after introducing the entrepreneurs disclosed that the program is in its 9th week and they have so far covered a lot of grounds viz; strategy, financial management, cash flow management, talent management, outsourcing, risk and legal advisory. The ultimate plan she noted is to enable them develop a five-year strategic blueprint for their respective businesses.

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments of the Nigerian economy.

Polaris Bank Head Office

Polaris Bank sponsors capacity building workshop for journalists

Polaris Bank has concluded a one-day media workshop to build the capacity of media professionals to enhance their reportage for the good of society.

The workshop, held across Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt with the theme: Online Journalism in the era of fake news, drew professionals from the print, broadcast and online sectors of the media industry.

Participants were taken through an intense session covering group discussion, scenario and simulation practice, best practice in media; how to spot fake news/photograph through fact-checking tools and ethics and codes of journalism.

After introductions, participants during the thought-sharing session spoke on the danger posed by fake news to organisations and personal reputation and the need for media practitioners to adhere to ethics of the profession.

Explaining the essence of the workshop, the Head, Strategic Brand Management of the bank, Nduneche Ezurike, said that the workshop was an expression of the bank’s commitment to good corporate citizenship. He noted that through capacity building Polaris Bank was able to impact on the knowledge of the journalists, enabling them with the desired competitive advantage in the new age. He added, “It also serves as a direct platform of mutual interaction between the bank and the media community”.

Earlier in his welcome address in Abuja, the bank’s Group Head, Commercial Banking, Osazuwa Igbinoba, hailed the theme of the workshop, saying it could not have come at a better time.

“As bankers, we have had a fair share of fake news – an issue which has been on the front burner globally and believe that as members of the fourth estate of the realm, media practitioners owe it a duty to practice journalism responsibly for the good of society”.

Also speaking on the value of the workshop in Port Harcourt, Ernest Chinwo, Chairman, Correspondent Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Chapter, “it was a breath of fresh air and an ideal refresher training for his colleagues, in the context of the fact that media practitioners hardly have time for serious reading”.

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments of the Nigerian economy.