Sterling Bank receives CBN approval to restructure as  holding company

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By Kayode Tokede

Sterling bank plc has said it received Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) approval to restructure as a holding company.

The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman in a statement to Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday announced that the Bank has obtained the CBN’s approval in principle to enable it restructure as a Holding Company.

He maintained that the Bank’s desire to operate as a Holding Company was driven by its plan to spin off its Non-Interest Banking window which became operational in January 2014 into an autonomous entity.

According to him, Sterling Bank believes that the proposed structure incorporates efficiencies around operations and financing efforts that will support the individual businesses in reaching full potential through, “increased portfolio diversification”, adding, “The Holding Company structure enables the NonInterest Bank and other non-core businesses achieve greater results based on focused management of the distinct businesses.

“Improved efficiency resulting from the consolidation of key functions such as Compliance, Risk Management and other support functions, yielding improved prospects for individual business growth.

“Enhanced Corporate Governance which serves to promote a consistent culture across the group and quality of service to customers thereby facilitating sustainability of earnings.

“Better access to capital by leveraging the consolidated financial strength of the group which would have been otherwise difficult for each individual subsidiary company.”

He added that, “Going into the Holding Company structure, our desire is to entrench our business model premised on social capitalism where we believe that private sector capital and market-based tools will offer the best types of solutions to Nigeria’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The Holding Company gives us the structure to explore our business model further.

The Company Secretary, Sterling Bank, Temitayo Adegoke in a signed statement said, “The Holding Company is designed to operate on 3 major premises – Specialization, Partnership and Digitization.

“The Conventional Bank will focus on building skills and using technology to provide solutions in the areas that are critical to development in the country – Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Transportation (HEART).

“The Non-Interest Bank will focus on building partnerships that connect individuals and businesses leveraging technology to create business optimization while solving for an individual’s daily financial needs. The overall business will focus on social impact, corporate responsibility and religious compliance in its dealings.

“Our Digitization drive will create an enabling environment for both financial institutions to grow while providing services and support to build efficiencies in different ecosystems.

“The execution of our plans is fully dependent on our interwoven operating model of Agility, Specialization and Digitization. Essentially, for us to be successful, we require people who are adaptable and knowledgeable running processes that are simple, quick and tech-led to ensure efficiency. The Bank is currently in the process of meeting the conditions for the final approval.”