Unity Bank of Nigeria, with 238 branches around the country is planning to open additional 50 branches between now and 2014 as part of its repositioning strategy and will also deploy additional 1000 ATMs and 5,000 Point of Sales (PoS) terminals, with the new outlets.
Speaking at a media interaction in Lagos, Head of Corporate Communications of the bank, Mrs. Theodora Amaechi disclosed that the financial institution would be aiming to impact more on the economy with services that would reach the hitherto unbanked in Nigeria.
Amaechi said the bank’s new focus is informed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion drive, which seeks to reduce the percentage of Nigeria’s population currently excluded from the financial system.
She said the CBN’s initiative is expected to increase the number of Nigerians that are included into formal sector banking services from 30 per cent to 70 per cent by the year 2020.
She hinted that Unity Bank has made a strategic shift in focus, placing greater emphasis on the retail segment which will enable the bank serve more Nigerians and add more value to the economy, stressing that the bank would also be using the agency banking model to take banking services to rural areas across Nigeria.
Amaechi, who disclosed that between 2006 to date, Unity Bank grew its deposit base by 297 per cent, adding that the bank also grew its deposit by 17 per cent between December 2012 and June 2013, noted that the bank is strategising to ensure that it becomes the retail bank of choice in Nigeria.
To this end, she said the bank has developed new products that will suit their customers’ needs at a retail level and modified existing products to increase their competitiveness.
“This has seen the bank make far-reaching changes in its structure so as to reach the mass market in more competitive ways part of which is the creation of a retail banking division that would be the primary driver of its retail-first strategy.
“The bank also plans use the agency banking model and its branches in rural areas to create cheaper and easier access to financial services as part of the CBN Financial Inclusion Drive. The bank has already concluded plans for application of the model and has selected the agents who will take the service closer to the people”, she stated.