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Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® Private Sector Activity Growth Quickens In April



Stanbic IBTC Opens New Branch In Lekki Free Trade Zone

Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria PMI® Private sector activity growth quickens in April

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Marked and accelerated expansions in output and new orders helped drive a pick-up in growth in the Nigerian private sector during April.

However, private sector performance was once again impacted by elevated rates of inflation, uncertainty and unfavourable exchange rate movements.

Nevertheless, strong demand encouraged firms to add to their inventories and raise their headcounts at an accelerated pace. The headline figure derived from the survey is the Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI®). Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50.0 show a deterioration.

According to Stanbic IBTC Bank, at 55.8 in April, up from 54.1 in March, the headline PMI signalled a sharp improvement in business conditions in Nigeria’s private sector. Growth has now been seen in each of the last 22 months with the latest uptick quicker than the long-run series average. Central to the improvement was an accelerated uptick in new orders.

The overall rate of expansion was marked as the third-quickest in the current 22-month sequence of growth. Panellists indicated that stronger demand and greater client requirements had been behind the latest increase in new business, with growth signalled across each of the four broad sectors covered by the survey. Strong inflows of new work resulted in a further uplift in output.

The rate of growth was robust and quickened from that in March. Sub-sector data revealed expansions across the board, though agriculture recorded the quickest expansion. Wholesale & retail, manufacturing and services followed, respectively. With workloads increasing, and demand expanding over the last 22 months, firms sought to boost headcounts in a bid to ramp up activity.

Subsequently, backlogs fell at the quickest pace for four months. To cater for higher output volumes, firms increased their buying activity in April. Stocks of purchases also rose, and at a quicker pace than in March. Turning to prices, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbated costs for a wide range of raw materials as well as fuel. Firms also indicated higher transportation fees.

The overall rate of input price inflation was substantial and the fourth-quickest in the survey’s eight-year history. Firms chose to pass on a large part of the burden to clients, with selling price inflation among the quickest in the series’ history.

Finally, firms were optimistic about growth in the year ahead, but sentiment dipped to a four-month low. Uncertainty surrounding the global environment and a lack of plans to expand operations led to the moderation in confidence.

Money Market

Polaris Bank Lifts Female-Owned Businesses With N1bn Loans



Polaris Bank Commences Phase IV Breast Cancer Screening Exercise For Staff, Customers

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

In a move towards fostering gender equality, inclusiveness, and economic empowerment, Polaris Bank has announced the disbursement of business support loans to female-owned businesses in the first quarter of 2023.

This is part of the Bank’s commitment to supporting women and female-owned businesses through the provision of soft loans.


According to the Bank, the disbursement of the loans which impacted close to 20,000 beneficiaries across different sectors, is aimed at addressing the existing financing gap and providing a vital boost to female entrepreneurs. This is expected to help them to thrive, expand their operations, and contribute to the nation’s economic growth.


The sectors impacted include Transportation; Agriculture; Education; Construction; Engineering; General Commerce; Health; Hotel & Leisure; Manufacturing and Media.


Part of the major selling point for the loan at Polaris Bank is quick turnaround time, instant disbursement, Flexible Terms and Conditions, Competitive pricing, Financial Education, and Mentorship, amongst other value-adding features. Polaris Bank envisions a future where female-owned businesses play an increasingly influential role in driving economic progress, innovation, and job creation. The bank firmly believes that empowering women entrepreneurs will contribute to a more prosperous and equitable society.


Within the quarter, the Bank also celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with a well-attended webinar titled: Advancing Women’s Empowerment through the Adoption of Technological Innovation and Digital Education”. During the webinar, the availability of a single-digit interest loan was re-echoed to women entrepreneurs that meet the set criteria. This is in line with Polaris Bank’s commitment to the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.


Speaking on the development, Polaris Bank’s Group Head, Brand Management and Corporate Communication, Nduneche Ezurike, said, “At Polaris Bank, we are dedicated to building an inclusive economy that fosters opportunities for all. We recognize the immense talent and potential of women entrepreneurs and understand the challenges they face. Through our women and female-owned business loan window, we aim to break down barriers and provide the financial support necessary for businesses being run by women to flourish.”


Women entrepreneurs interested in scaling their business to the next level are encouraged to visit Polaris Bank’s website,, or contact any of the Bank’s nearest branches to learn more about the application process and eligibility criteria.


Polaris Bank was adjudged Digital Bank of the Year in 2021 and 2022 in BusinessDay’s Banks And Other Financial Institutions Award (BAFI). It also emerged as the best MSME Bank because of its ability to use technology to enable bottom-up support to the MSME sector.



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Shareholders Applaud Fidelity Bank for Exceptional Performance in 2022 FY



Shareholders Applaud Fidelity Bank for Exceptional Performance in 2022 FY

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Shareholders of leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, have commended the board and management of the bank for delivering an exceptional performance in FY 2022. This was made known at the bank’s 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held virtually on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

Speaking at the AGM, the Chairman Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu applauded the bank’s management for “listening to shareholders and declaring an interim dividend”.

On his own part, National Chairman of The Progressive Shareholders Association Mr. Okezie Boniface lauded the bank for coming to customers’ aid during the period of the Naira redesign policy, explaining that the bank’s branches and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) always provided customers with Naira notes. He also commended the bank’s leadership for prioritizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives across its focus areas of youth empowerment, health, and social welfare, education, and environmental conservation and sustainability.

According to the bank’s 2022 annual report uploaded on its website and distributed to shareholders, the bank grew by double digits along all the major indicators. Customer deposits increased by 27.4% from N2.0 trillion in 2021FY to N2.6 trillion. Net Loans and Advances rose by 27.6% from N1.7 trillion in 2021FY to N2.1 trillion in 2022 FY. Total Assets grew by 21.6% from N3.3 trillion in 2021 FY to N4.0 trillion in the period under review.

Giving his remarks at the meeting, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman, Board of Directors, Fidelity Bank Plc said, “When we set the audacious target of attaining Tier 1 status a few years ago, we did not expect a smooth ride due to the endemic challenges in our operating environment. However, we were able to weather the storm because our business is built on a foundation of good corporate governance, effective risk management, and shareholders’ value enhancement.

In response to a shareholder’s question on the deployment of capital raised during the recent private placement exercise, Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe said, “The bank is growing in leaps and bounds and the capital would enhance our capacity to accommodate the business volumes coming our way. This is in addition to improving our technology, especially in light of the Cashless drive and creating more secure platforms that can handle the challenges posed by cybercrime.

Several resolutions were considered at the AGM including the declaration of a final dividend of 40kobo, the re-election of non-executive directors -Mrs. Amaka Onwughalu and Chief Nelson Nweke, election of an Executive Director -Mrs Pamela Shodipo; amongst others.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 8 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recognized as the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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LOTUS Bank Customer Raises Alarm On Fraud, As N20M Disappear From Her Account



…reveals reason Nigerians shouldn’t trust LOTUS Bank
Rashidat Okunlade Writes

LOTUS Bank finds itself embroiled in controversy as a customer comes forward, alleging that the bank tampered with her account and failed to compensate her for an erroneous reversal of funds.

The customer claims that Lotus Bank deleted transaction records and invaded her privacy, raising serious concerns about the bank’s ethics and practices.

According to the customer, on March 12, 2023, she attempted to transfer twenty million naira (N20,000,000) from her account, but the transaction failed and the money was not reversed immediately. After contacting LOTUS Bank, she was assured that the reversal would be processed due to network issues. However, despite waiting for several days, the 20 million naira reversal did not occur, causing her distress and frustration.

Unexpectedly, on March 15, the customer began receiving multiple alerts of reversals, lasting for several hours. Astonishingly, Lotus Bank mistakenly reversed an exorbitant amount of one billion, eight hundred million naira (N1,800,000,000) into her account while attempting to reverse the initial twenty million naira (N20,000,000). Realizing the error, she promptly informed the bank of the erroneous reversal and the involved amount.

In response, Lotus Bank promised to compensate her but requested permission to withdraw the excess amount. The customer was granted permission, and for three days, the bank left the 1.8 billion naira in her account without completing their withdrawal. However, during this time, Lotus Bank allegedly tampered with her account and erased all records related to the reversal, including SMS alerts, email notifications, and even the statement of account showing the erroneous transaction. Furthermore, the bank deleted all other recent transaction records, including transfers and POS transactions.


Disturbed by the situation, the customer visited her bank to complain and request a statement of account. It was during this process that she discovered the extent of the tampering by Lotus Bank. The bank’s actions not only violated privacy and banking ethics but also left her without any record of recent transactions, including failed transfers. As a result, she was unable to provide sufficient evidence to support her claim.

LOTUS Bank has yet to provide any transaction history to refute the customer’s allegations, leaving her and others questioning the bank’s credibility. The customer is seeking redress for the failed transaction and the promised compensation that LOTUS Bank has seemingly reneged on. The incident has raised concerns about the bank’s practices and highlights the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (@cenbank) to investigate the matter thoroughly.

As the situation unfolds, LOTUS Bank faces mounting pressure to address the customer’s claims and demonstrate transparency in their operations. The affected customer, supported by screenshots taken during the reversal process, hopes for a resolution to her ordeal and urges the bank to fulfill its responsibilities promptly. The involvement of the Central Bank of Nigeria is seen as vital to ensuring a fair and impartial investigation into the alleged misconduct by Lotus Bank.

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