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ACAMB mulls customer education in order to expand banking industry’s fortunes

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COMFORT EKELEME, Business Editor, Business Editor

Banks and indeed the banking institution world over take the issues of service delivery and customer satisfaction very dear, hence all the conscious efforts to stay above board.

It is not for want of what to do that corporate communication units of banks are constantly rolling up their sleeves in search and research of better ways of building more enduring bridges between the banks and their customers. For the image makers, customer satisfaction is the most reliable gauge in measuring the success and profitability of any institution, banks inclusive.

It was with the view to furthering customer engagement, education and satisfaction on such issues as they relate to accessing banks, their products and services that the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) last week in Lagos held a brainstorming session where critical success factors were put on the front burner.

The event which had as theme “Building Bridges: Collaborative Solutions for a Trusted Banking and Financial Services Experience” was the third annual ACAMB stakeholders conference. The conference aimed at bridging the past, present and future collaborative relationships, transparency and innovation in the nation’s banking industry.

There is no gain in saying that if there is anything cardinal to the operations of Corporate Communications Managers of Banks, especially in Nigeria, it is focus on consumer education, fostering ability to make well-informed decisions about banking and financial services.

President of ACAMB, Rasheed Bolarinwa in his welcome address said, ACAMB is dedicated to cultivating positive perceptions within Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond, stressing that ensuring regulatory compliance is another cornerstone of the association’s mission.

He said today’s gathering marks a pivotal moment for the banking and financial services sector in Nigeria, as we come together, for the first time to holistically discuss under one roof, customer experience issues as they affect accessing banking and financial products and services in Nigeria.

According to him, in a world where the financial landscape is continually evolving, ACAMB’s mission and the larger banking and financial sector remains clear: to foster transparency, prioritize consumer welfare, and champion industry excellence.

Speaking further, Bolarinwa maintained that the conference serves as a critical forum to address and resolve key consumer issues, providing a holistic understanding of Nigeria’s banking and financial services landscape.

“We acknowledge the symbiotic relationships that exist among the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), other financial institutions and regulators, and vital players in the Insurance and Pension industry, including the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM), as well as consumer protection agencies and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

“By creating a platform for open and constructive dialogue among consumers, regulatory bodies, the media, and financial institutions, ACAMB strives to build mutual understanding and trust.

“Furthermore, we seek to reinforce the reputation of our industry and as representatives of the banking and financial services sector, ACAMB is dedicated to cultivating positive perceptions within Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond. Ensuring regulatory compliance is another cornerstone of our mission.

“We are here to deepen stakeholders’ understanding of existing and evolving CBN regulations, promoting a compliant and trustworthy environment. Innovation is also at the heart of our agenda,” he said.

The ACAMB President further noted that there is the need to explore opportunities for progressive solutions that enhance customer satisfaction and inspire banks and other financial institutions to adopt forward-thinking approaches.

He said, “You would all agree with us in ACAMB that Nigeria’s banking and financial services sector, which is marked by resilience, adaptability, and innovation, stands as a beacon of stability amid economic fluctuations.

“The regulatory framework established by the CBN ensures the sector’s integrity, while collaboration with DMBs and auxiliary institutions like NAICOM, PENCOM, and NIBSS underscores the interconnectedness necessary for a robust ecosystem,” he said.

Bolarinwa also said that consumer protection agencies will continue to play a crucial role in safeguarding public interests, ensuring fair practices, and nurturing a culture of transparency.

He said, “It is a testament to our collective responsibility to address consumer concerns and cultivate an inclusive, resilient, and consumer-centric banking and financial services landscape in Nigeria.

The ACAMB President however, urged bank customers to always explore the appropriate channels to resolve complains.

On her part, the Second Vice President of ACAMB, Tolulope Onipede maintained that with the new technology in the banking industry, customers deposit is safe and secures, adding that the banks are making great efforts in resolving customers complains.

“We are working the regulatory bodies, we are working with other banks. We work as a team, there is no bank that works in isolation, so I can assure people that their money is safe with us,” she said.

In his goodwill message, President/ Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Prof. Olanrewaju Pius Oladeji while congratulating the organizers of the conference, said the theme of this year’s conference, “Building Bridges: Collaborative Solutions for a Trusted Banking and Financial Services Experience,” is not only timely but also essential.

He said, a closely knit collaboration between bankers and the distinguished professionals represented in this room has the potential to significantly shape the banking industry, by deepening the culture of trust, upon which customer loyalty, investor confidence, and the overall stability of our financial system rests.

“The more customers you attract, the more revenue the banks make. In recent times, digital marketing particularly has evolved into an indispensable engine for revenue generation.

“Ultimately, it is important to understand that our industry thrives on trust. It is the invisible force that drives customer loyalty, investor confidence, and the overall stability of our financial system. However, trust is not a given; it is earned through consistent, transparent, and ethical practices.

“A strong handshake between the bankers and the communications and marketing professionals will go a long way in building this trust while at the same time offering top-notch banking services. Ultimately, it is important to understand that our industry thrives on trust. It is the invisible force that drives customer loyalty, investor confidence, and the overall stability of our financial system,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, President, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Benedict Bakwaph Kanyip, said Banks, alongside other financial institutions, are critical to development, adding that as strategic as the financial sector is, its stability must thus be ensured; and financial inclusiveness elevated to a right.

Justice Kanyip who is also Member, ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) said the problem with financial markets today is that they are too efficient.

He said the financial sector has become more efficient in generating profits for itself in the short run.

“Given the liquidity of their assets, the holders of financial assets are too quick to respond to change, which makes it difficult for real-sector companies to secure ‘patient capital’ that they need for long-term development.

“The speed gap between the financial sector and the real sector needs to be reduced. This means that the financial market needs to be deliberately made less efficient. The financial sector has grown much, much faster than the underlying economy.

“The very liquidity of financial assets makes them potentially negative for the rest of the economy. Unlike real sector assets, financial assets can be moved around and rearranged in seconds. Financial capital is often ‘impatient’ and seeks short-term gains,” he said.

Partner, Strategy & Customer Solutions at KPMG in Nigeria, Wale Abioye in his presentation noted that banking will increasingly become more integrated and encompassing as multiple players become involved in the customer journey and financial flows

He maintained that in building bridge with customers banks should enhance literacy, share information about data privacy practices, put the customer in control, prioritise transparency and honesty in all interactions, actively listen to customer feedback and adapt accordingly.

He also stated that in building bridges with partners, there is need to set clear expectations with partners and continue to evaluate for alignment, co-create customer solutions and experiences, share best practices and industry insights, implement leading practices for data and security and proactively engage with regulators.

According to him, open, honest and clear communication is a necessity for businesses striving to dominate in this digital age. It impacts customer engagement and experience positively.

 

 

 

 

 

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