SunTrust, the branchless bank opens in Lagos
SunTrust Bank will formally open for business today as it seeks to reshape the Nigerian banking sector and the way consumers interface with their banks.
At its headquarters on Oladele Olashore street in Victoria Island Lagos, there is minimal security presence, no generator noise, bank customers who come in there will find a banking hall equipped with computer terminals for customers seeking a well secured computing link.
The banking hall is completely different, no kiosks or cashiers and it looks more like an airport lounge, signaling a total dependence on technology in its service offerings to the public.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SunTrust Bank, Muhammed Jubrin, said that the vision of the bank was to offer high retail and commercial banking services in a modern and innovation manner, adding that the firm would use technology to provide banking services to Nigerians who were finding it difficult to access a bank account.
Jubrin said: “We will offer telephone, mobile and Internet banking underpinned by the traditional banking ethics of probity and integrity. The bank’s competitive edge will be the strong reliance on technology and the bank will be encouraging customers to access its services from the comfort of their homes and offices and as such the bank will not be engaging in a proliferation of branches.”
“Our services will be available to our customers 24 hours daily, seven days a week and from anywhere in the world where there is a good Internet service. Even our data centre is outsourced, this way we will not have the overbearing requirement to put on the generator at our locations,”
He explained further that by adopting a branchless strategy, SunTrust would save the N100m-N120m required to build a modern branch and the about N2.5m it costs to run the generators at a typical bank branch.
Customers of SunTrust will be encouraged to use any bank ATM because the bank will not be charging them the fee charged by other banks for using ATM machines belonging to other banks.
According to the CEO, “we will not be emphasising physical security as we are making serious investment in cyber security instead.”
SunTrust was licensed on September 15, 2015 as the first new commercial bank license issue by the Central Bank in 15 years and its journey as a bank started in 2009. It commenced business on August 1, 2016.
“In the years to come, the developments at SunTrust should have far-reaching influence in the banking sector specifically and our nation generally,” says Jubrin.