OUR COMMITMENT AND SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT EFFORTS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Amid news about the growth in the number of cases of people infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are committed to doing everything we can to meet your needs at this time and ensure our environment is safe for all. In addition to ensuring ease of banking transactions, we have put in place an immediate intervention plan to support Government efforts at this critical time.

As a first step, we have acquired 400 specialised hospital beds, complete with mattresses and accessories, to be handed over to the Lagos State Government (with Lagos State being the most affected by this pandemic), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other State Governments.

We would also be partnering with the Nigeria Coalition Against COVID-19 (NCAC), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Health Institutions and State Governments to deliver additional materials to cover the areas of testinig, isolation, treatment, and training. This, we believe, will ensure our environment is safe for all.

At Polaris Bank, we will continue to devote all necessary resources to contribute to the safety of our esteemed customers and our environment as a whole, while maintaining all the banking services you need to stay safe.

As new developments emerge, we will share information with you about how we continue to operate safely and effectively.

We remain committed to your total wellbeing and the fight against COVID-19.

Adetokunbo Abiru
Managing Director/CEO

COVID-19: Your Safety Matters to Us

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread across the globe on a geometric scale; Tcontainment has become a global challenge as it continues to defy the relentless combined efforts of medical
andscientific experts. To date, about 350,000 cases have been recorded across 192 countries and the
numbers continue to grow. Nigeria has recorded 36 cases so far and, given the trends in other jurisdictions, it is safe to
assume that cases are under-detected/reported, calling for more vigilance.
Bearing in mind the need to reduce personal contact, cash handling and non-essential travel during these perilous
times, we have put the following measures in place in the overall interests of our valued staff and our esteemed
customers

Safety Measures:
We are being guided by the health and safety standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as those
stipulated by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Health and State Governments to
keep our business premises safe for our staff and customers. Consequently:

  • All staff and visitors are compulsorily required to undergo temperature screening and also use hand sanitizers
    provided before entering any of our business locations. Surfaces and areas with high human traffic are regularly
    disinfected.
  • With effect from Monday 23rd March, all non-essential visitors to our business premises are advised to contact us
    through digital, virtual and online channels including social media, telephone, e-mails, online meetings, call
    centers, etc to promote social distancing.
  • Entrance into all our branches will be regulated, limiting the number of persons allowed in at any time to reduce
    human contact to the barest minimum.
  • We have restructured our work-spaces in line with acceptable social distancing policies as laid down by the WHO.
  • We have prohibited international travels for the time being, and requested staff who have recently returned from
    abroad to compulsorily self-isolate for 14 days.

Business Continuity
Given the level of disruptions Covid-19 has brought to business operations and social life in other jurisdictions, as a
customer centric organisation, we have activated our Business Continuity Plan to keep our banking services
available to you through these challenging times. Consequently, we have:

  • Strengthened our digital banking platforms to cater for the expected significant increase in levels of transactions
    and to continue to offer you the unique Polaris experience.
  •  Upgraded our I.T infrastructure to keep our digital offerings even more efficient at this time.
  • Made all necessary arrangements to keep our services running and put recovery centres in place to enable us
    respond to potential business disruptions in the shortest possible time-frames.

Supporting You

  • Our Polaris Salary Advance remains available via *833*12# to support you through this time.
  •  We enjoin you to use our numerous digital channels i.e. Polaris Mobile, USSD (*833#), ATM, Polaris Experience
    (Internet Banking services), POS terminals, for your banking transactions; bills payments, fund transfers, airtime
    and data top-up etc.

Please do not hesitate to contact your Relationship Manager should you need any support at this time.
We remain committed to supporting our customers and contributing to the global efforts against COVID-19.
Yours in Service,
Polaris Bank Limited
Covid-19:
Your Safety Matters To Us

Polaris Bank marks World Kidney Day

…partners Renal Dialysis Centre to create awareness

In commemoration of the 2020 World Kidney Day Polaris Bank has partnered Renal Dialysis Centre to organise a symposium on kidney health.

 The symposium which held at Radisson Blu, GRA, Ikeja was organized by Renal Dialysis Centre and sponsored by Polaris Bank with the support of Federal Ministry of Health and Lagos State Government. The event also had in attendance strong delegation of stakeholders from the nation’s health sector.

 In his goodwill message on the World Kidney Day, the Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru disclosed that: “Our partnership with Renal Dialysis Centre was to raise awareness, encourage prevention, detection and equitable access to care of kidney disease following the surge in cases of kidney failures and the challenges associated with seeking care and management of the disease that is proving fatal to most victims across all demographics”.

 The Chief Executive explained that: “Our commitment as a Bank to the fight against Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) like kidney, is part of our contribution to society, especially to keep Nigerians safe and abreast of every information about kidney diseases, its management and care.”

 Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, Renal Dialysis Centre, Dr. John Okoh, disclosed the need for help decrying that: “As part of the challenges facing kidney health in Nigeria, the cost of dialysis and kidney transplant is rather too high for middle income earners and everyday Nigerians who can barely afford it.”

 On his part, Professor Babatunde Salako, Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, advocated for more collaborations from government and private sector, emphasizing the need to provide facilities across the country. He explained, “Once you are able to reduce the distance and provide quality service with more facilities, you are invariably improving the quality of life of patients leading to a gradual decline in the cost of dialysis in Nigeria.”

 According to World Health Organization (WHO), “In low-and middle-income countries, the burden posed by such poverty-related kidney disease is even greater, because of associated infections, hazardous work, poor education and poor maternal health.”

 Second Thursday of March every year is marked as World Kidney Day (WKD) with week-long activities dedicated to a global health awareness campaign focusing on the importance of the kidneys, its care and associated health challenges worldwide.

 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. The Bank has continued to extend its CSR initiatives to such areas as health & safety, education, social infrastructure, women and youth empowerment, environment, cultural & civic projects and sports.

Tokunbo Abiru Gender Equality Polaris Bank

Polaris Bank Throws Weight Behind Gender Equality Campaign

as Abiru is nominated UNWomen Gender Equality Champion

 Polaris Bank has lent its voice to support the global “HeForShe” movement initiative of the United Nations (UN) in line with its Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy thrust, even as the Bank’s CEO, Tokunbo Abiru is nominated Gender Equality Champion by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation in conjunction with UNWomen.

 The Polaris Bank CEO gave his commitment at the launching of the HeForShe campaign in Lagos State where the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu flagged off the Campaign in the state. He reiterated the Bank’s commitment to the advancement of gender equality, affirming his nomination to be a HeForShe Advocate/Champion.

 Mr. Abiru stated that: “Our commitment to gender equality runs just as deep as our passion for creating value which is why it is one of the main focus of the Women and Youth Empowerment pillar of our Sustainability and CSR Policy.”

 According to him, “Women are the most deprived gender in the world and apart from constituting majority of the unbanked, they are also deprived on cultural grounds in developing economies.” He further stated that: “In support of the objective of the HeForShe movement, we have and will continue to support particularly, the economic and financial growth of women and contribute to building an enabling environment for them.”

 Earlier in her welcome address, the host and Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Bolaji Dada said: “HeForShe is a platform through which men and boys are encouraged to become agents of change,” adding that “it is an initiative for men to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.”

 While giving the opening remarks and overview of UN Women Work in Nigeria, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, who was represented by Mr. Lansana Wonneh disclosed that Nigeria, in spite of its leadership role in Africa lags behind when it comes to promoting gender equality and empowerment of women with an index of 0.85. He however extolled Lagos State for leading the drive for gender equality in the country.

 According to Mr. Wonneh, “The statistics of women in government in the State is perhaps the best in Nigeria and the launching of the HeForShe Campaign is indeed, a demonstration and commitment not only of the government, but also of the men and the women of Lagos State to gender equality and empowerment of women.”

 Speaking at the event, Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledged his support towards promoting the ideals of the HeForShe initiative in his administration, while also thanking the Honorable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and the UN representatives for the honour of being decorated as the number one HeForShe Advocate/Champion in the state.

 Grounded in the idea that gender inequality is an issue that affects all people—socially, economically and politically— HeForShe seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as “a struggle for women by men”.

 Recall that Polaris Bank recently partnered WIMBIZ 2019 Conference with over 1,600 women across various sectors in attendance, in addition to sponsoring her female staff members to reaffirm its support for women and commitment to gender equality.

The Bank also sponsored the maiden Sisters Keepers Initiative workshop which held in Kano for Social Impact and Awareness on rights of Women and the Girl Child in the Northern Region with over 400 women spanning across education, business and politics in attendance as participants.

 HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by United Nations (UN). Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging both genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviors.

 The HeForShe campaign is being spearheaded by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in the state.

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

More Customers Express excitement over Polaris Salary Advance

Polaris Bank has continued to disburse more funds to customers and prospects who have found the Bank’s offer too irresistible to ignore.

 Polaris Bank had reportedly disbursed more than N1billion to customers less than four months after introducing the Salary Advance (SALAD) solution.

 Polaris Payday Loan enables employees get up to 50% of their net monthly salary to meet basic needs before the next pay day.  The service which is available on all telecommunication networks, has helped many families secure short-term finance to meet their urgent needs which otherwise would have left them vulnerable. The service could be accessed via mobile phones by dialing *833*12#.

 Polaris Bank also offers array of products such as auto loans, mortgages, holiday loan, rent loan, etc. Sarah Ojedokun, who works in the financial industry spoke of her delight about how seamless applying for the facility was, stating that: “It was fast, easy and on point as I got credit within a minute of dialing the code *833*12#.”

 On his part, Chibuzor Ikechukwu, an auto technician with a Korean auto company on Lagos Island and a customer of the bank whose account is domiciled in Adeola Odeku branch described the Polaris Salad Advance solution as a good development that bridges financial gap.

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

 

UNEP FI IMage

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 Logo

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.

Polaris Bank Logo

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.