CBN’s Intervention In Best Interest Of Stakeholders – FirstBank CEO

CBN’s Intervention In Best Interest Of Stakeholders – FirstBank CEO

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank Nigeria Limited, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, has said that the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in FirstBank is in the best interest of the bank’s stakeholders and its performance.

He maintains that such involvement by the apex bank, which is largely regulatory, is aimed at restoring confidence in the bank, as well as to reassure the institution’s stakeholders of its commitment towards attaining the required system stability.

Adeduntan, who made these disclosures in an interview with THISDAY newspaper, recalled that his tenure extension in 2021 was part of efforts to ensure the stability of the bank.

He also spoke extensively on the trends that shaped the economy in 2021, his expectations for 2022 and other pertinent issues affecting the financial service sector.

“The central bank’s involvement in FirstBank is essentially about playing the role of the regulator.

“CBN’s intervention has been in the best interest of the bank’s stakeholders and its performance; aimed at restoring confidence in the bank as well as to reassure the depositors, creditors and other stakeholders of the bank of its commitment to ensuring the stability of the financial system.”

Recalling the introduction of the central bank digital currency, the eNaira, as part of the developments that shaped the financial service sector in 2021, the FirstBank boss applauded the CBN for the initiative and said it would impact positively on the bank while driving the financial inclusion strategy.

He said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the regulator of the banking industry continues to lead and drive development in the industry.

“In the banking industry, digital currency is the future and the CBN is staying ahead of the curve in Africa with the introduction of the eNaira given the several benefits associated with the digital currency, such as safety, speed, and convenience.

“A review of the events over the course of the past few years has shown that digitalisation in its different forms has been net positive for the financial services industry.”

Adeduntan observed that the digitalisation of the naira expands upon Nigeria’s already advanced payment ecosystem, adding that the roadmap for the eNaira over the next couple of months will reveal some exciting use cases that will further grow the ecosystem and encourage even more interaction with this new form of currency.

“Currently we have a whole segment of digitally curious customers who have started interacting with the eNaira, and as the eNaira ecosystem grows and acceptance increases as a store and exchange of value, so will those numbers.

“FirstBank’s channels currently account for about 17 percent of the total reported eNaira transaction volume.

“The bank is dependably dynamic and continues to be at the vanguard of innovation in the banking industry.

“Overall, I am confident that the eNaira will positively impact the bank as our customers continue to transact through the bank’s channels, supporting the digital economy drive. The number of customers will increase as the eNaira will enable the sign-on of excluded people in the financial system, thereby supporting the financial inclusion drive of the CBN.

“The eNaira will reduce the cost of processing cash for the bank, thereby making it a cheaper, reliable and faster way of exchange and the bank will have access to customers across the continents, simplifying and facilitating cross border payments and trade.”