Skye Bank wins best consumer finance, remittance product awards

• As Ecobank Group grabs award for Financial Inclusion

Skye Bank Plc. has won the awards of the ‘best consumer finance product and best remittance product in West Africa in this year’s Asian Banker ‘Retail services West African award’ which took place in Lagos at the weekend.

This is just as Ecobank Group has also won the award for Financial Inclusion at the 10th edition of the African Banker Awards. The Award for Financial Inclusion is awarded to banks that have succeeded in delivering financial products and services to wider parts of society, particularly to the most disadvantaged and low income segments, ultimately contributing to financial inclusion, development and growth. The awards ceremony took place at the Intercontinental Hotel Lusaka, Zambia, on the sidelines of the 2016 African Development Bank Annual Meetings.

According to the Asian Banker, organizer of the ‘Retail services West African award’, Skye Bank’s personal finance loans and its money transfer service within West Africa known as Flit Cash were adjudged as the best in their respective categories in the West African sub region.

Specifically, the award organisers said the bank’s personal finance loans have simplified lending to salary earners who can walk in to any branch of the bank and obtain a loan against their salaries within a few hours. It also said the Skye Flit cash service has boosted commerce in the West African sub region and senders/recipients do not have a need for a bank account to enjoy the service.

The West African ‘Retail financial services awards’ programme covers over 160 retail financial institutions from 30 countries across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

It is to recognize competition and innovation in one of the fastest growing fierce markets with fierce competition.

Speaking while receiving the awards on behalf of the bank, the Head, Retail Banking Group, Nkolika Okoli, said Skye Bank would continue to leverage its almost 400 branch locations to touch lives across the country as well as produce solutions that meet and exceed customer expectation.

Meanwhile, Ecobank’s Group Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazaboh was among many leading figures from the banking industry who attended the African Banker Awards. Laurence do Rego, Ecobank Group Executive Director, Commercial Banking, received the award on behalf of the Ecobank Group.

Commenting on the win after the award ceremony, do Rego said: “Winning this award is a testament to the sweet success of making financial inclusion an integral part of our work. This award shows that there is a powerful case for traditional banks to extend financial services to Africa’s low income segments, as well as the unbanked.

“We accept it with humility and with appreciation to IC Publications, African Banker Magazine, to the panel of judges who deemed us worthy of this distinction, and to our valued customers.”

Ecobank was also nominated for two other categories, namely, ‘Socially Responsible Bank of the Year’ and ‘Best Retail Bank in Africa.’

The Award for Financial Inclusion is one of many awards the pan-African bank has won recently. Ecobank Ghana, the group’s Ghanaian affiliate, was named the Best Trade Finance Bank in Ghana at the GTR Africa Leaders in Trade Award. Ecobank Nigeria, the group’s largest affiliate, responsible for over 40 percent of its earnings, also won the Trade and Forfaiting Review Deal of the Year Awards.

Speaking more broadly to the subject of African development at the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings, Mrs do Rego said: “I’d like to urge that we increasingly take advantage of this annual discourse about Africa’s development, where we bring together Africa’s best minds, and that we pivot more from discourse to accelerated action that will impact the quality of life on the ground for all Africans. This is, after all, one of the AfDB President’s important ‘High Fives.’ This is what we at Ecobank keep in mind as we make our financial products and services available to our customers – improving the quality of life for all Africans.”