Unity Bank has made a strategic shift in focus, placing greater emphasis on the retail segment which will enable the bank serve more Nigerians and add more value to the economy. The bank would also be using the agency banking model to take banking services to rural areas across Nigeria.
In a presentation on behalf of the bank at an interactive session with the media at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Head of Corporate Communications of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Theodora Amaechi disclosed that the bank would be aiming to impact more on the economy with services that would reach the hitherto unbanked in Nigeria. The presentation also shows that part of the bank’s new focus is informed by the CBN’s financial inclusion drive which seeks to reduce the percentage of Nigeria’s population currently excluded from the financial system.
The bank is strategizing to ensure that Unity Bank becomes the retail bank of choice in Nigeria. To this end the bank has developed new products that will suit their customers’ needs at a retail level and modified existing products to increase their competitiveness.
This has seen the bank make far-reaching changes in its structure so as to reach the mass market in more competitive ways part of which is the creation of a retail banking division that would be the primary driver of its retail-first strategy.
The bank also plans use the agency banking model and its branches in rural areas to create cheaper and easier access to financial services as part of the CBN Financial Inclusion Drive. The bank has already concluded plans for application of the model and has selected the agents who will take the service closer to the people.
Amaechi said that “Unity Bank Plc stands a better chance of increasing its market share as a large number of the unbanked populace reside in the northern region of the country where the bank has a comparative advantage especially in terms of branch network.”
In line with achieving the set objectives, the bank recently remodeled 15 branches dubbing them, “Centers of Excellence”. These branches are the first among others to be launched as part of the bank’s retail drive and have been equipped to deliver the highest standards of service in the country.
On the bank’s future outlook, the presentation disclosed that Unity Bank is in the process of raising more capital to fund the next phase of its expansion. Investors have already signified interest in acquiring equity stakes in the bank and discussions are nearing conclusion. In the same vein, existing shareholders have also made commitments to increasing their stake in the bank.