Digital Literacy: Polaris Bank partners NYSC, NerdzFactory to build capacity of 5,000 Corps Members

Digital Literacy: Polaris Bank partners NYSC, NerdzFactory to build capacity of 5,000 Corps Members

Lagos, Nigeria: January 17, 2022: In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) drive, Polaris Bank in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and NerdzFactory has commenced a high-impact capacity-building workshop on digital skills for 5,000 National Youth Service Corps members across 12 states in Nigeria.

 

The Bank explained that her action is intended to equip young Nigerians with relevant work-ready digital skills which is focused on building the youth’s self-sustenance in innovation, creativity, digital skills, business acumen, and relevance in the 21st-century economy and workplace.

 

According to Polaris Bank's Group Head, Product & Market Development, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, “This partnership is part of Polaris Bank’s commitment to Youth development and empowerment in Nigeria which aligns with the Bank's strategic CSR pillars.”

 

According to her, “We see the need for a work-ready and digitally equipped youth which has informed Polaris Bank’s partnership with NerdzFactory to make a difference and provide 5,000 NYSC members with digital skills needed to start a successful career in paid employment or create their own businesses as entrepreneurs,”.

 

Additionally, Mrs. Ihekuna noted that “As an enterprise poised to meet the financial needs of Nigerian Youths in the digital age, especially in the post-COVID-19 era with its attendant challenges, we want to equip as many young Nigerians as possible, with requisite digital skills to give them a good head-start and help them achieve economic stability.”

 

The high-impact training which will run across two quarters comprises courses such as basic digital literacy; cyber security; data science; product design; software development (back end); product management; blockchain technology; mobile app development; 3D and virtual reality; and software development (front end).

 

Participating corps members from 12 states of the country including Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Delta, Rivers, Enugu, and Imo will benefit from this initiative.

 

It would be recalled that Polaris Bank in conjunction with Digivate 360 ran similar digital training across eight (8) locations: Lagos, Enugu, Abuja, Kano, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Abeokuta, and Benin in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

 

Polaris Bank is redefining banking products and services that meet the needs of individuals and businesses. The bank was adjudged Digital Bank of the Year in 2021 and 2022

Announcement of a new core investor in Polaris Bank

Appointment of a new Board and Management team

Lagos, October 20, 2022: Polaris Bank is pleased to announce that it has been notified of the completion of a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) for the acquisition of 100% of the equity in Polaris Bank (‘Polaris’ or ‘the Bank’) by Strategic Capital Investment Limited (‘SCIL’). As part of the change in ownership, SCIL has appointed a new independent Board of Directors to lead the bank’s growth strategy.

The new Board will be led by the existing Chairman M K Ahmad. He will be joined on the board by 6 non-executive directors and 3 executive directors, bringing extensive experience in the banking and wider financial services sector in Nigeria and internationally, and expertise in corporate governance, human resource management, law and regulation. The incoming board are:

  • Alhaji MK Ahmad (Chairman)
  • Mr Abubakar Danlami Suleiman (Non-Executive Director)
  • Ms Salma Mohammed (Non-Executive Director)
  • Mr Adeleke Alex Adedipe (Non-Executive Director)
  • Mr Ahmed Almustapha (Non-Executive Director)
  • Mr Francesco Cuzzocrea (Non-Executive Director)
  • Mrs Olabisi Olubunmi Odunowo (Non-Executive Director)
  • Mr Adekunle Sonola (Executive – MD/CEO)
  • Mr Abdullahi S Mohammed (Executive Director)
  • Mr Segun Opeke (Executive Director)

Commenting on the acquisition and board transition, Chairman of Polaris Bank Alhaji M K Ahmad said: “I would like to thank the outgoing board members profusely for their hard work and dedication over the last four years as we have established a strong governance structure and stabilised the bank. I am very pleased with the progress we have been able to make, and that we have delivered on our mandate to prepare the bank for a return to private ownership. I am personally proud to have been asked to lead the bank into an exciting new future and I look forward to working with the new board and our core investors to build on the platform we have created.”

Speaking on behalf of SCIL, the new core investor, Adekunle Sonola, the incoming MD/CEO said: “We are excited to participate in the next phase of growth for Polaris Bank and to have been able to recruit such an experienced and diverse Board of Directors we are confident can lead Polaris Bank into a new era of sustainable growth. This is an exciting time for the Nigerian financial services industry and we are committed to building on the strong foundations that have been established by the departing board. We would like to express our thanks for their service and wish them well.

We have mandated the incoming management to develop an innovative, but sustainable growth strategy that prioritises the needs and aspirations of our current customers.”

Board profiles

Alhaji M K Ahmad OON (Chairman)
With more than 37 years experience leading and working across the private and public sectors MK has extensive knowledge of the financial services, telecoms and FMCG sectors. He has been the Chairman of Polaris Bank since 2018, overseeing the stabilisation of the bank and the introduction of best practice corporate governance. MK currently serves as the Chairman of the Interim Management Board of International Energy Assurance as well as Chairman of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation. He is also a Board Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and FBN Holdco. Prior to this MK served as the pioneer Director General of PENCOM.

Mr Abubakar Danlami Suleiman (Non-Executive)
Mr Suleiman has more than 30 years of experience in the banking sector, having worked at the Central Bank of Nigeria, GT Bank, Continental Trust Bank, UBA Plc, NAL Bank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc (Executive Director), Sterling Bank Plc (Executive Director), Standard Chartered Bank (Managing Principal) and most recently as Deputy Managing Director/Acting Group Managing Director of Keystone Bank between 2017 and 2019. He has vast technical experience in the Financial Service sector, and very strong management and leadership qualities. He is an alumnus of the Wharton Business School (Pennsylvania, USA) and the INSEAD (France).

 Ms Salma Mohammed (Non-Executive)
Ms. Mohammed has over 25 years experience as a banker and a Human Resource Management professional having worked in operational and strategic human resource leadership positions across a range of financial institutions. She is Co – Founder/Chief Operating Officer of New Frontier Development Limited, an investment company focused on financial advisory, hospitality, real estate and proprietary investments in start-ups and challenged companies in the SME space.

She was previously the MD/CEO of Centrum Finance Company Limited, a CBN-licensed finance company and brings a strong combination of sector expertise and human capital management experience to the Polaris Bank board.

Mr Adeleke Alex Adedipe (Non-Executive)
Mr Adedipe is the Managing Partner at Duale, Ovia and Alex-Adedipe, where he leads the technology, media and communications practice as well as the M&A and Banking and Finance practice areas. His combination of expertise brings an important perspective to the board as a new strategy focused on innovation is developed and implemented.

Mr Ahmed Almustapha OFR (Non-Executive)
Mr Almustapha is a lawyer and experienced technocrat who served as the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) from 2001 to 2009 during which he is widely acknowledged to have transformed the CAC into a modern IT driven organisation. He has also served on the board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and is respected as one of Nigeria’s leading authorities on corporate governance.

Mr Francesco Cuzzocrea (Non-Executive)
Mr Cuzzocrea is a banker with more than 35 years experience in the international financial services sector. He has extensive board level  , including in Nigeria where he served on the boards of Heritage Bank (until August 2016) and Oando Plc (until February 2016).

Mrs Olabisi Olubunmi Odunowo (Non-Executive Director)
Mrs Odunowo has more than 25 years experience in the Nigerian banking sector having held operations leadership positions across a range of financial institutions including Coronation Merchant Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. She currently applies her extensive operational and customer service experience by advising and capacitating small and medium sized businesses across a range of industries.

 Mr Adekunle Sonola (Executive – MD/CEO)
Mr Sonola has more than 33 years of experience in the African financial services sector, most recently as Executive Director Commercial Banking at Union Bank Plc, prior to which he was the pioneer Regional Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank East Africa and the Director of Investment Banking at Standard Bank in South Africa. Adekunle has also served on the boards of First Bank of Nigeria Plc where he chaired the Board’s Risk Management Committee, and Airtel Nigeria Plc.

Mr Abdullahi S Mohammed (Executive Director)
Mr Mohammed has worked in the Nigerian Financial Services and public sectors for more than 20 years, having begun his financial services career with Century Merchant Bank and Kakawa Discount House before being appointed as the Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport in Kano State. He returned to Kakawa Discount House in 2003, before joining First Bank and ultimately moving to his current position at Polaris Bank.

Mr Segun Opeke (Executive Director)
Mr Opeke has more than 26 years of experience in the Nigerian financial services sector with more than 15 years spent in Senior and Executive Management positions. Segun began his career with Chartered Bank before joining FSB Merchant Bank and then Prudent Bank before joining the then Skye Bank in 2006, rising to become Executive Director of the now Polaris Bank, with more than 15 years experience in the institution. 

 

—- ENDS —-

About Polaris Bank

Polaris Bank was established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 21, 2018 to offer commercial banking services to the Nigerian public.  The bank commenced services on the same day, having purchased the assets and assumed certain liabilities of the defunct Skye Bank.

With a footprint of over 253 branches across the country, Polaris Bank prides itself in delivering exceptional customer experience, leveraging best in class/state of the art Information Communication Technology (ICT).  By focusing on ICT solutions across multiple service delivery channels (mobile banking, ATMs, POS and online platforms) Polaris Bank maintains a pivotal role in the Nigerian banking industry, providing customers with simple, convenient and secured banking services. 

About Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL)

Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL) is a special purpose vehicle established by Ponglomerape Limited and Clotaire Investment Limited to acquire 100% of Polaris Bank with a focus on institutionalisation and technology driving the growth of the bank into a top ten Nigerian Bank in 5 years.

Ponglomerape is a diversified conglomerate and successful private investment group with investments in the real estate, agriculture, manufacturing and consulting sectors.

Clotaire is a private investment vehicle controlled by the founders of a leading West African private investment company with interests in a wide range of sectors.

Polaris Bank Logo

Polaris Bank, Eventful Lift 3 firms with business expansion grants at The Fashion Souk

…CEO hinges business success on entrepreneurial spirit

Polaris Bank and Eventful Limited have reinforced their support for Nigeria’s Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector with three firms empowered at the just-concluded 5th Lagos Fashion Souk to further grow their businesses.

While handing the cheques to the winners,  who were successful in a business pitch, Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, disclosed that the most important factor required by existing and budding entrepreneurs is to get investors interested in their businesses is the entrepreneurial spirit.

Aside from the business pitch winners, special prizes were also given to the Most Original Store and Best Decorated Store at the Fashion Souk. The winners were given equipment grants by Polaris Bank to further expand their businesses.

The overall winner of the pitch, Mrs. Oluwatosin Ogunbanjo, who runs a leather bag and shoe company, Avenue 7, got N750,000 and first runner-up, Victoria Udoh, a painting on Fabric Company, Vudoh was given N500,000 while the second runner-up, Tunde Issa, a Tailor and Founder of the male clothing line company, RoyalKlassicKoutoure, went home with N250,000.

The hugely attended one-day Fashion Souk/business fair which was held at the prestigious Harbour Point facility in Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, provided a platform for more than 150 SMEs in Nigeria’s fashion industry to showcase their creativity, product lines, and economic potentials. Some of the SMEs categories at the fair included: manufacturers, retailers, leather, and jewelry/accessories.

The objective of sponsoring the Fashion Souk according to Polaris Bank was a reinforcement of its support to SMEs as the catalyst for propelling the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Shedding more light on how fundamental entrepreneurial spirit is for business success, the Polaris Bank CEO said he has a habit of telling entrepreneurs that what makes the difference, “Is the creative idea that an entrepreneur has and the ability to sit down and put it together diligently in a well-articulated manner.”

He added that “Creative ideas are the only way to attract funding from banks and individuals who will like to invest in the idea because they will see clearly that it is viable. He said the only way an entrepreneur can achieve that is by sitting down and putting his thoughts together and by making sure he crosses all the T’s and dots all the I’s.”

According to the Polaris Bank CEO, “When such a business proposal is presented to any investor Bank, it will be very convincing and such an entrepreneur will not get a ‘no’ for an answer.”

Earlier in her address too, Chairman of Eventful/Convener of the Event, Mrs. Yewande Zaccheus, appreciated Polaris Bank for consistently supporting SMEs in the country over the years, remarking that the Bank is not only talking but actually putting its money where its mouth is and urged the Bank to sustain the Partnership for a sustainable Fashion Souk.

The highlight of the Fashion Souk was the product launch that SMEs could leverage the Bank’s loan products like Polaris Business Loan, Invoice Discounting facility, and LPO financing among others were pitched with the participating SMEs.

The Bank has developed SME-friendly products to cater to the needs of SMEs based on sector/industry-specific, ranging from SMEs in the Health sector, Education, Manufacturing, General business, Agriculture, Export, Creative Industry, etc.”

Polaris Bank also provides business advisory at no cost while SMEs are encouraged to send in their business proposal for review via- smebusiness@polarisbanklimited.com

Aside from Polaris Bank, the fashion fair also featured product launches by other top participating Fashion companies like Arami, Tara, Mobos, and Zaron; as well as runways by Clatural, Aaboux/Cornocupia, Woora, and Dyelab, among others.

Nigeria’s fashion sub-sector has huge and untapped potentials capable of reducing the rate of unemployment in the country. According to statistics by the Fashion Association Designers of Nigeria (FADAN), Nigeria’s fashion industry is valued at $10 billion. Africa Development Bank (AfDB) also projects the global fashion industry's worth to be over $2.5 trillion with Africa’s share estimated at less than 1% of that value in 2020, putting Africa’s entire textile/clothing market at more than $31 billion.

-END-

Polaris Bank Logo

Polaris Bank excites Money Transfer beneficiaries with cash rewards

Polaris Bank says money transfer customers across the country stand to earn extra cash rewards in Naira whenever they receive their International Money Transfers either as cash at any of its branches or directly into their USD accounts.

The reward which is open to new and existing customers of the Bank  seeks to reward customers who regularly receive their remittance through the Bank from family and friends in the diaspora and

In a statement to its customers, the Bank stated that beneficiaries of money transfer who receive their transfers from abroad in Polaris Bank from 1st December 2021 to 31st January 2022 stand a chance to win extra cash rewards; as well as the CBN N5/$1 incentive paid with every transfer in line with the policy. New customers receiving transfers at selected branches, will also be rewarded with token gift items during the period.  

Moreover, beneficiaries can receive their funds in dollars within minutes at any of its branches or directly into their existing USD domiciliary accounts. Customers who do not have domiciliary accounts can also open a USD wallet instantly simply by dialing USSD code *833*00#. Customers who already operate Naira accounts and do not have USD accounts will also have a USD account opened automatically if they receive directly into their accounts in the Bank.” 

The statement also noted that the Bank’s relationship with leading licensed global money transfer operators makes it easy for customers and non-customers to receive money through the Bank. Some of the Bank’s remittance partners include - Western Union, MoneyGram, RIA, WorldRemit, Remitly, SmallWorld, Funtech, BossRevolution, and a host of others. 

With the Bank’s large network of over 250 branches and dedicated money transfer locations across major cities, the option of receiving transfers through Polaris Bank has become convenient for beneficiaries. 

Statistics show Nigeria is ranked as the 5th largest receiver of diaspora remittances globally with an estimated $25billion in remittances received annually from over 15million Nigerians in the diaspora. 

Polaris Bank, adjudged the 2021 Digital Bank of the Year, is a future-determining and digitally-driven Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products to individuals and businesses. 

-END- 

Polaris Bank Logo

Polaris Bank Launches ‘Refer & Win’ Reward for VULTe Users

Innocent C. Ike

Polaris Bank has announced the launch of a new reward: ‘Refer & Win’ exercise in which existing and new users of the Bank’s digital banking platform, VULTe, stand a chance to win up to N1,300 instant cash reward each time they refer someone who opens an account and enrolls on the newly-launched innovative digital solution. 

To benefit from the reward initiative, all a referrer (who could be an existing customer or non-customer of the Bank) needs do, is to refer a new user to open a Polaris Bank account by enrolling on the VULTe digital bank platform, while for every referral completed, both the referrer and referred’s account will be credited with N300 and N200 respectively, instantly. 

Speaking on the new reward initiative, Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, said the Referral Campaign is aimed at positioning VULTe as a unique digital solution to reward both the existing and new customers of the Bank. 

‘‘VULTe stands out as a very unique innovative digital bank platform in many respects. It not only provides users unique offerings as a self-service solution, it also offers convenience, speed and reliability on the go. The Referral Campaign aligns with our Bank’s commitment to provide new experience and easier accessibility to banking services for all customers, and to reward them for their continued loyalty,’’ he said.  

While encouraging existing and new customers to take advantage of the ‘Refer & Win’ exercise to increase their savings and earn extra money, the Polaris CEO added that the campaign is a season of reward for staff, customers and non-customers of the Bank once their referrers successfully enroll on the Polaris Bank’s VULTe platform. 

Polaris Bank’s Chief Digital Officer, Mr. Dele Adeyinka, while explaining the mechanics for participating in the reward exercise, disclosed that participants are required to enroll, fetch their referral code from VULTe and share with prospects.

‘‘The referral code is the indicator to the individual that introduced the Application to the new user. This, will also be used, in aggregating the total payout due to the referrer,’’ he said.

Adeyinka added that the participants will only qualify for rewards, after the referred have successfully set up an account on VULTe.

The campaign, he explained further, is split into two reward categories, and a referrer will be paid for referring users based on the account level/referred customer category. Category one is where the customer opens and completes an account on VULTe using Bank Verification Number (BVN). 

According to the CDO, for a new user that is successfully enrolled under category one, the referrer will earn a maximum of N300 per referral; while the referred earns N200.

For category two, a customer is required to open an account with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) information supplied on VULTe, plus obtaining a debit card through the platform. A referrer earns N1,300 per referral and N200 for the referred; that is additional N1,000 from the N300 base amount from category one. 

‘The referral figures will automatically display on VULTe as the enrolment process is complete and the participants can log on VULTe app to check performance. So, for each successfully completed referred enrollment, winnings will be credited into the participant’s account immediately’’, Adeyinka explained.

He assured participants that the reward programme is transparent, and promised that Polaris Bank would continue to delight its customers and non-customers with innovative services that can make life, lot better.  

Polaris Bank is a future-determining Bank committed to the delivery of industry-defining products, and services, across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy.

-END-

VULTe by Polaris Bank

Excitement Heralds the launch of Polaris Bank digital bank, VULTe

…Customers and Non-Customers of the Bank to Use Platform

Polaris Bank Executive Vulte Launch

Polaris Bank on Tuesday launched its much anticipated digital banking platform, VULTe.

In his welcome address at the well-attended unveiling ceremony which held at Eko Hotel, Lagos and virtually to national and global audience, Chairman of the Bank, M.K Ahmad (OON) disclosed that the corporate goal of Polaris is to offer customers and non-customers of the Bank, a 24-hour seamless service over two years ago when the Polaris journey started which led to the pursuit and now actualization of VULTe.

“This is a milestone in our pursuit of a strong and digitally-led retail brand. When we started the Polaris journey almost three years ago, we were very clear on the type of Bank we must build and the direction we must go. This was largely informed by the fast pace of change in financial service provisioning and the apparent technology-defined outlook of our business."

"We are therefore bringing VULTe to the market place today. And this is not another mobile App, but one with a world of difference, a mobile digital bank. This is your Bank in your hand, affording you total Control of your financial service needs. With VULTe, you serve yourself, the way you want to be served,” the Chairman explained.

In his keynote address, the Acting Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Mr. Innocent C. Ike said the newly-launched banking platform, is returning all powers to the customer as king. He noted that customers are now at liberty to enjoy unhindered, contactless and refreshing banking experience all at the tip of their fingers thanks to the newly launched VULTe app.

“With VULTe, we affirm our resolve to serve the customer better and make their banking experience, more pleasurable. Therefore, we will continue to launch an array of banking products to cater to the varying needs of our diverse customers.”

Explaining the premium value the Bank places on its customer with the VULTe, Ike said: “Ultimately, VULTe represents our bold declaration to hand over CONTROL of banking services to our customers and allow them to serve themselves as they would want to be served.

“As a Polaris Bank customer, you are at liberty to determine your banking experience since we have put the Bank in your hand 24/7. You now have total CONTROL to serve yourself; it’s no more customer service but customer self-service.

“Are you opening an account, setting limits on your account, verifying your identity documents, registering your biometrics, making inquiries, taking an instant loan? You are in total CONTROL – you do it at your time, at your convenience, and on your terms – you determine how delightful your banking experience will be”.

The highlight of the launching was the practical demonstration of the uniqueness of the VULTe application by the Bank's Chief Digital Officer, Mr. Bamidele Adeyinka to the excited guests.

According to him; “The Digital Banking Platform, VULTE, will change everything that happens in the ‘brick & mortar’ space (i.e. branches) to clicks and buttons.”

“The VULTE comes in mobile (Android and iOS) and Web Applications and it allows customers with either of the options, to access banking services at the click of the button,” he added.

The CDO explained that all Bank customers in the country can take advantage of the VULTe to carry out their banking transactions including account opening, bills payments, transfers, balance enquiry, airtime rechage and quick loans.

He further stated that on-boarded customers will be able to access PayDay Loan on both mobile and web digital platform where eligibility will be displayed to the customer within the VULTe application.

Also, on-boarded customers will be enabled to pay taxes and levies for different government parastatals in addition to several other benefits such as ability to perform intra-bank and inter-bank transfers.

“To onboard, customers with BVN will input their BVN and take a selfie (photo of their face) which will be compared automatically with the photo on their BVN profile (via Facial Recognition – an advanced cognitive and artificial intelligence facial recognition technology),” the CDO disclosed.

Meanwhile, the Bank also announced special reward packages for early users of the VULTe app. Reeling out giveaways and free gifts, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, Executive Director, Abuja and Northern Region of the Bank said: “For your loyalty and positive acceptance of VULTe and all other banking services offered by Polaris Bank, on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff, I'm happy to announce some mouthwatering offers to everyone following us to mark this occassion.

“Consequently, please note that the first 2000 persons who download VULTe from Appstore or PlayStore and make a transaction on the platform, stand to win a collection.of beautiful mementos like;  Mugs, Michael Cable Charger, Key Rings, Pop Socket among other collection of gifts,” the ED said.

The launch event had in attendance representatives of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), key Financial Technology (FinTechs) industry players and strategic partners of Polaris Bank who all in their goodwill messages attested to the bank’s unwavering determination to ensuring quality customer satisfaction at all times.

Some of the dignitaries include: Prof. Olayinka David-West, Dean, Information Systems, Lagos Business School (LBS); Chief Demola Aladekomo, Chairman, Chams, Plc; Agada Apochi, Managing Director, Unified Payment Systems; Babatunde Okeniyi Managing Director, PayAttitude amongst others.

Others include: AyoTunde Coker, MD Rack Center; Funke Opeke, MD Main-One; Jimi Awosika Group Vice Chairman Troyka/Insight; Akin Banuso, County General Manager, Microsoft; Dr. Ken Ikpe, Group CEO Insight Redefini; Paul Mosimabale Upperlink Co-founder; Obi Emetarom, Appzone Limited MD and Mrs Abiola Laseinde, MD Edniesal Consulting.

VULTe by Polaris Bank

Polaris Bank set to Boost Nigerian’s Digital Banking Ecosystem, Unveils a New Digital Bank.

VULTE PROMOTIONAL AF IMAGE

With the rising opportunities in the e-payment systems accelerated by the COVID-19 era sweeping across the world, there are indications that one of Nigeria's leading retail franchise, Polaris Bank, has thrown its hat into the ring as it unveils a new digital Bank. 

Feelers indicate that the Bank's new Digital Bank which has for some time been in test mode amongst its staff and customers is set to grow its market share, targeting a new generation of digital natives and immigrants who are socially and financially aware of innovations in self-service and stress-free transactions.    

According to industry players, the long wait which greeted the launch was to ensure that the platform is robust enough to meet prevailing global standards and support other existing entities in the digital banking ecosystem. 

As part of its enterprise transformation initiatives, the Bank has overhauled its IT infrastructure within the last two years and upgraded its digital capability. According to the Bank's Managing Director/CEO, Innocent Ike, "this has seen the institution grow to earn the confidence of the banking publics, as it has been able to offer quality banking services at the cutting edge of technology." The plaudits which greeted the Bank's recently published 2020 financial performance has further earned the Bank's digital transformation efforts a shot in the arm.

Polaris Bank's digital Bank offers a suite of services not readily provided by competitors. Some of such bundled benefits include access to instant loans, accessing the platform service without being a prior customer of the Bank, and end-to-end account opening without entering a physical bank. 

One of the competitive benefits of the Bank is its creation of a collaborative ecosystem that enables Application Programming Interface (API) Banking. API banking refers to a system that makes a bank's services available to other third-party companies via APIs. API Banking helps both banks and third-party companies augment their complementary specialties and offerings more than they can provide to their customers by themselves.

Through its API, Polaris Bank is reported to have so far on-boarded new business start-ups, improved their market access, and ensured profit sharing with partners within the financial technology space. The Agro-businesses, educational institutions, e-commerce, are all set to benefit from the Bank's platform.

According to recent data released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the volume of electronic payment transactions increased by 80 percent year-on-year to 54.07 billion in the first quarter of 2021 from 30.04 billion in the same period of last year.

As a result of the rise in e-payment transactions, income generated by banks via electronic channel transactions also increased by around 52 percent to N53.4 billion in the period under review compared with N35.2 billion in the same period of last year.

With the grand entry of Polaris Bank into the digital Banking space, it is expected that at the close of 2021, the 2020 NIBSS figures will grow exponentially and bolster the overall performance of the country's e-payment ecosystem. Indeed, many youngsters and digital native enterprises constitute most of the population and the early adopters of digital innovation and lifestyle.

Polaris Bank is a future-determining bank committed to delivering industry-defining products, services, and digital platforms across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy. The Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which seeks to engage the private sector and the global financial sector to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet while delivering positive impact.

-END-

Polaris Bank Logo

Polaris Bank Sustains Profit Growth with N28.9bn (PBT) in 2020 financial year

Innocent C. Ike

Innocent C. Ike. Acting MD/CEO

  • Records 4% increase in Profit Before Tax (PBT) Year-on-Year despite challenging business environment
  • …Assets hit N2tr and ROA of 2.4%
  • Performance indicates management depth and sustainability

Polaris Bank Limited has released its full-year audited financial results for the year ended December 2020 posting a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N28.9billion. The results which show the Bank’s second year performance scorecard after two years of operation, have further consolidated the Bank’s position as focused on the path of profitability, growth, and value creation.

Details of the results show that its year 2020 performance reflects a 4% Year on Year (YoY) increase in Profit before Tax (PBT). The performance according to the financial statements is driven by the combination of the significant reduction in interest expense due to the Bank’s pursuit of low interest-bearing deposits as well as lowering impairment charges on loans and other financial assets. The Bank recorded Return on Asset (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE) of 2.4% and 29.4% respectively which favorably place the Bank as a key player in the industry. The Bank’s Total Assets stood at N1.18trillion, a 3% growth on the previous year while Shareholders Funds grew by N14billion (17%), largely attributable to internally generated profits. The Bank increased its Customer Deposits by N56billion, predominantly low-cost deposits in spite of difficult economic and industry conditions, and increased its gross loan book by N38biilion reflecting the Bank’s modest and prudent risk strategy to grow its Portfolio of Quality loans for optimal interest income generation. 

Commenting on the Bank’s performance, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Polaris Bank Limited, Mr. Innocent C. Ike who took over in the course of the year from Mr. (now Senator) Tokunbo Abiru explained that “Polaris Bank has achieved significant milestones since its inception in September 21, 2018 when we started this journey. We have since grown to earn the confidence of the banking publics, offering quality banking services at the cutting edge of technology”. Continuing, he noted, “2020 was arguably the most challenging year that the world has faced in decades owing to the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy. Yet, the current result demonstrates the importance of the deployment of appropriate strategies, and effectively validates our recent investment in technology solutions and digitization of our products and processes,” he added.

He explained that the Bank’s subsisting three-year Corporate Transformation Plan has recently been reviewed in line with the changing operating environment and trend dynamism for sustainable value creation. Digital transformation remains one of the potent strategies to strengthen the Bank’s balance sheet, control costs, and improve processes while providing clients with wider self-service offerings.

In the view of some financial analysts, Polaris Bank’s remarkable achievements in 2020 are a testament of her consolidation of its 2019 performance, relevance of the Bank’s new Corporate Strategy, management depth and good Corporate Governance.

The Board and Management of Polaris Bank have demonstrated strong commitment towards professionalism and business ethics by upholding sound risk management practices and proactively taking measures to ensure the Bank is on the path of value creation and sustainability. Polaris Bank’s performance in FY’20 reflects commendable improvements in key performance indicators, assuring a strong positive outlook for earnings, margins and profitability, a cautious pursuit of loan growth, a sustained strategy for operational efficiency, funding cost optimization, and efficient deposit mix. The headroom for loan creation no doubt presents an opportunity for improved margins.

Going into the year 2021 and despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, the Bank is poised to reap the benefits of its investment in both digitization and the capacity of its employees to improve service experience.

Polaris Bank is a future-determining bank committed to delivering industry-defining products, services, and digital platforms across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy. The Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which seeks to engage the private sector and the global financial sector to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet while delivering positive impact.

  

Polaris Bank Logo

POLARIS BANK N26M Promo Offer: Customers Warm Up for ‘Grand Finale

Polaris Bank Logo

Polaris Bank savings customers are gearing up for the grand finale of the ongoing nationwide ‘  Save & Win’ promo, which is scheduled to hold in April 2021.

At the end of the ‘Save & Win’ Millionaire promo, a total of N26,000,000 would have been won by 188 Polaris Bank customers nationwide. The promo has so far recorded two draws in February and March with the Grande-finale scheduled for April 2021.

The grand finale draw will see Six millionaires emerge from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and 60 other customers will go home with a consolation sum of N100,000 each. All winners will emerge through a transparent, electronically-generated process that regulatory institutions will supervise. 

The 'Save & Win' promo aims to make millionaires of Nigerians by encouraging current and new customers to save a minimum of N10,000 monthly. The ‘Save & Win’ promo was launched in November 2020, and so far, two millionaires: Lucky Okunzuwa, a customer of Akpakpava branch in Benin City, Edo State and Ikechukwu Bartholomew Obiefuna, a customer of Okeke Street Branch, Awka, Anambra State, have emerged. In addition, 120 customers have also walked away with N100,000 each across the previous two draws which took place on the 9th of February and 9th of March, bringing the total amount won to N14,000,000 so far.

Commenting on their win, both the first and second millionaire, Lucky and Ikechukwu expressed immense appreciation to the Bank and had positive things to say on the Save & Win promo cash prize.

‘‘I am very delighted about winning one million naira in the Polaris Bank Save & Win Promo. It was like a dream when I was told but this is a reality. The money will go a long way in supporting my small business to grow. I also commit to continue to save more. I sincerely thank Polaris Bank for this novel initiative,’’ lucky remarked.

Representatives from relevant regulatory bodies have also attested to the free, fair and transparent process of the draw used in selecting the winners. They also commended the Bank for keeping its promise to the winners.

Giving a background to what informed the Promo, Polaris Bank's Acting Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, said, “it is a reward for our customers, who despite the challenging times, can put aside some money as savings. He reiterated that in not-so-pleasant economic times, there is a compelling need to save – not only to win a prize – but also to plan for the rainy day. He disclosed that “both existing and new savings account customers of the Bank are eligible to participate in the promo.”

Savings Account accessibility is swift and straightforward in Polaris Bank. Prospective customers can dial *833*0# on their phones to follow the prompt to create or reactivate their savings account from their devices by visiting https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/opening/ or any of the Bank’s branches across the country.

Polaris Bank is a future-determining bank committed to delivering industry-defining products and services across all sectors of the Nigerian economy

Polaris Bank CEO marks Global Money Week In Osun, harps on early savings culture

Polaris Bank CEO, Mr. Innocent C. Ike, has highlighted the need for young people in Nigeria to imbibe the culture of saving money early in life to enable them secure their future.

Mr. Ike gave this advise in a virtual presentation while addressing students of Adeleke University High School, Ede, Osun state last Thursday, March 25 to mark this year's Global Money Week event hosted by Polaris Bank Limited. The school was adopted by Polaris Bank to mark this year’s Global Money Week.

This year's event was aimed at raising awareness on the importance of saving and need for young ones becoming financially aware at an early age.

The top Banker expressed concern and warned on the consequences of poor savings culture on young people with no savings or financial investment, even as he assured that Polaris Bank would continue to sustain efforts aimed at promoting financial literacy among youths in particular and Nigerians in general. 

According to Mr. Ike, “We need to learn, save and earn money. You do not save after spending but rather, you save first before spending. The idea is to “catch them young” by educating them on finance and financial investment so that in future, their personal and financial lives can be guaranteed. To achieve this, we need to imbibe the culture of saving, no matter how small”.

Mr. Ike further explained that the financial sensitization campaign is part of the activities of the Global Money Week, an annual program organized in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with an NGO, Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to help raise awareness and sensitize students on the need to be financially independent.

The Polaris Bank Acting Managing Director said: “Although it is an annual event, for us at Polaris Bank, we will continue to engage schools, parents and teachers, because we believe that by being financially literate, students and indeed, the young ones, will be able to build their capacity for future business endeavours, thereby securing their future from poverty and other financial challenges”.

He stated confidently that Polaris Bank, the CBN and the entire players in the banking sector, are ready to carry out enlightenment on acontinuous basis; educating and teaching students on  how to manage money that comes into their hands.

After the presentation, a brief Question and Answer Session followed where an obviously elated Principal of the School, Dr. Adetayo Timothy while responding after the over 2 hours, 30 minutes’ session, said knowledge is power and applauded the presentation by Polaris Bank MD which he believes "has undoubtedly, empowered these young students on the fundamentals of saving, earning and investment."

“You would not realise the quantum of financial knowledge Polaris Bank has shared with these students this morning until they put to practice everything they have been exposed to and see the impact in their lives in the days ahead.

"We cannot thank Polaris Bank enough; your coming to our school today has created an image within this community and beyond that you are indeed, a bank that does not shy away from its Corporate Social Responsibilities”.

Polaris Bank is a future-determining bank committed to delivering industry-defining products and services across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.