Alex Otti Unveils Signature Bank, Targets 40million Customers Straightaway

By NewsBits

Having received approved licenced as a commercial bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Alex Otti’s Signature Bank has launched its operations into Nigeria’s banking sector.

With high hopes and audacious ambition, the bank stated that it is targeting to capturing over 40 million underserved Nigerians within the shortest possible period of operations. Signature Bank founder, and former Group Managing Director/CEO of defunct Diamond Bank said at the launch of the bank’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday that the bank will   redefine the industry, impact on the lives of customers through seamless access to financial services, while leveraging much simpler and more flexible digital solutions.

Otti, said there are just about 55 million accounts in the country as of May 2022, and at least 42 million people in Nigeria have no access to financial services.

He said, “These 42 million Nigerians who have no access to disruptive financial services need to be brought into the banking services net, and serving them requires a different kind of mind-set, which Signature Bank proudly has.”

According to him the berth of Signature Bank was driven by a yawning gap created by repeated unresolved complaints, poor responsiveness, and unsavoury customer experience encountered regularly from the banks it did business with.

He said, “It came from a yearning for simplicity and ease of doing business and a less than adequate attention to the dynamic needs of the customer, not just within Nigeria, but across continents; for example, paying your child’s school fees, trading with partners overseas, settling bills without leaving the comfort of your home and making payments seamlessly. Interestingly, even as banks’ strategies, products and service offerings multiplied, the changing demographics and dynamics had customers increasingly yearning for more and demanding simpler and more flexible digital solutions, he said.

“What customers across different business segments are looking for is a bank that fits their aspirations, personal stories, and lifestyle,” he explained. In other words, customers want a bank that puts them first. So, we set out to build a bank that challenges the status quo, is future-forward, embraces change and impacts the lives of the people we serve.

“As Signature Bank opens its doors today, our resolve to do things differently, to equip and enable our customers to make their mark in the world around them through seamless access to financial services and banking products, tailor-made to the needs of modern life and commerce, is stronger.”

“Our experience assures us that this approach will trigger sustained financial success and returns to our shareholders while empowering our customers to make their mark in their different endeavours.”

Otti recalled that the journey towards establishing the bank began in 2017 when the management sought to buy an existing bank and remodel it to fit its vision, but, after preliminary due diligence, decided to jettison the approach, and applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a fresh banking licence.

In December 2021, the bank received approval in principle from the CBN and immediately set out to build “a sophisticated bank that will operate without borders, driven by cutting-edge technology and a highly motivated workforce”.

The CBN had in August 2022, approved the issuance of commercial banking to Signature Bank, after a rigorous process. Otti said the bank is already working to open several branches across Nigeria, including Port Harcourt, Aba, Sokoto, Owerri, Onitsha, Kano, Enugu and in other metropolitan cities around the country.

Chairman of the board of directors of the bank and a former Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu said: “I have always been passionate about creating operational efficiencies through digital solutions and service excellence, so it was easy to identify and align our expectations especially in delivering superior customer experience to our customers.”

He added: “The goal is to give our customers the freedom to bank on the go so that they can do business with us from anywhere, at any time without the need to visit a brick-and-mortar location.”

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