First Bank of Nigeria has partnered the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on retail banking certification programme aimed at strengthening market share.
Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, announced the partnership at the inaugural Retail Banking Certification Programme graduation ceremony on Wednesday in Lagos.
The retail banking certification graduation ceremony is a three-level intensive programme that provides retail bankers with access to current best practices in retail financial services with an emphasis on strategy and leadership.
Adeduntan said that the bank, over the next two years, would work hard to be top three in the retail, small and medium enterprises and corporate banking.
He said that the bank had invested a lot in the certification programme to ensure that business development managers and group heads were well equipped to deepen its retail banking business.
Adeduntan urged the graduates to ensure proper utilisation of the programme in their various units with the right attitude.
“Certification is very important but skills and capabilities are very much important, on top of that is our attitude to service whether we are dealing with internal customers, especially our external customers that matter most in this business.
“Go back and ensure that this exercise is not only about certification, but it’s about certification, skills and capabilities acquisition.
“Because we also work in the service industry, skills and capabilities acquisition without the necessary attitude is useless,” Adeduntan said.
He said that the market must feel First Bank as market oriented institution, noting that the bank needed to do more.
Mr Tunde Owolabi, the bank’s Group Executive Lagos & West, Retail Banking Group, said that it partnered CIBN to develop skills and deepen knowledge of staff in retail banking.
“What we have done is to put a programme together that will further empower our people.
“We want people who are grounded in retail banking to serve our customers better, if we are able to carry this knowledge into the market, it will improve what we have as market share,” Owolabi stated.
He said that the bank with the certification programme would be able to capture the market as long as it wants with enhanced revenue.
He added that the bank was also working on e-business certification programme which would be perfected before the end of the year.
“It is something we are looking at because the e-business product and digital banking products are essential part of retail banking.
“And if we are able to also put that together, it will improve the knowledge of our people in delivering in the market,” Owolabi said.
Also speaking, Mr Sunny Ogunfadebo, member, Capacity Building and Certification Committee, CIBN, commended First Bank for recognising importance of capacity building.
Ogunfadebo said that the certification programme would enable the bank to go back to its first position in the banking industry.
He said that the exercise would enable the graduates to be professional bankers, noting that Nigeria needed bankers with high repute.
Fifty-one delegates who successfully completed the programme were presented with certificates.
However, five top delegates were awarded with plagues and would be enrolled in Strategic Management & Best Practices course organised by Euromoney Leading Solutions, London.
Mr Austin Aduku, the bank’s Group Head, Retail Banking North Central, one of the top graduates, lauded the management for the opportunity to part of the inaugural certification.
Aduku said he would use the experience gathered at the programme to boost financial inclusion in North Central zone.
“I will make sure that financial inclusion services are driven across all the nooks and crannies of the North Central zone,” he said.