Sterling Bank Plc, Your one-customer bank, which recently won the Agric Bank of the Year Award from the Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), has again emerged as one of the best banks in Nigeria in international trade cash payment from Deutsche Bank AG of Germany.
The bank emerged second runner-up in the 6th edition of the Straight Through Processing (STP) Excellence Award 2016/2017 Dinner held in Lagos recently.
Mr. Harold Leenen, Managing Director, GTB Head Middle East & Africa of Deutsche Bank presented the award to Mr. Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director, Operations & Services and Mr. Ayodele Ogumeru, Group Head, Trade Services, both of Sterling Bank.
In his response, Mr. Odubiyi commended Deutsche Bank for nominating Sterling Bank for the award and expressed the hope that the bank would emerge overall winner of the award in the 2017/2018 edition.
The guest speaker on the occasion, Mrs. Omolara Akanji, Vice-chairman, ICC Banking Commission said trade financing and currency management were two processes that dovetailed into payment systems which are very important and core processes in the financial services sector.
The guest speaker who also doubles as a director of Sterling Bank, noted that Deutsche Bank had been in Nigeria since the early 1970s and had made serious impact on trade financing and currency management services as a correspondent banking service provider.
Mrs. Akanji also observed that she was particularly honoured to be a guest speaker in an occasion where banks were being recognised for their roles in trade financing and currency management because the ICC Banking Commission was basically directed towards rule making for trade and trade financing.
According to her, the banking sector that greased economic activities had been struggling with non- performing loans which had risen to 14% from a regulatory ratio of 5%.
Against this backdrop, she remarked that many correspondent banks in the US, Europe and other major centres around the globe had purged their correspondent banking relationship with Nigerian banks as part of the phenomenon known as “de-risking.”
Mrs. Akanji said Deutsche Bank had been very supportive of the Nigerian banking sector especially since the country had been having foreign exchange challenges , arising from investor apathy and shortage of dollar liquidity owing to low accretion to external reserves. She said Deutsche Bank had partnered with Nigerian banks to put forward financial products structured to give confidence to foreign investors on trade financing.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Andreas Voss, Chief Country Representative, Deutsche Bank AG, Lagos Rep. Office, said the bank was proud of the nominees for the awards and that Deutsche Bank could rely on them. He said an enabling environment was emerging in Nigeria and that this is very encouraging to the bank.