• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

Polaris Bank CEO, Adekunle Sonola, Affirms Commitment To Digital Leadership, Market Dominance

ByHybrid News

Jun 13, 2023

Polaris Bank, a prominent digital financial institution, has provided reassurance to its customers, stakeholders in the financial sector, and regulators, affirming that the Bank successfully completed its journey to recovery a few years ago.

Adekunle Sonola, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Polaris Bank, conveyed this message during a recent interview with a team of analysts from PROSHARE.

Sonola emphasized that the Bank is currently on a trajectory of growth that will lead to its dominance in the market.

He highlighted the importance of meticulous reconsideration and strategic planning in laying the foundation for a competitive edge and long-term business sustainability while pointing out that Polaris Bank has diligently focused on these aspects in recent years, collaborating with reputable professional bodies such as PwC, Ernst & Young (E&Y), and KPMG in various corporate sectors.

“The bank has travelled past the recovery road years back; it is currently on the growth road leading to market dominance.

“Adequate capitalization is a key measure of financial health, providing comfort to depositors and affording balance sheet and business growth. The bank is presently adequately capitalized, operating well above the 10% minimum requirement for National Banks.

“However, we are currently finalizing arrangements to infuse Tier II capital into our Balance Sheet in order to support our growth objectives. Our shareholders are fully prepared and willing to inject Tier I capital into our financial records. By implementing top-notch risk management practices and maintaining sufficient capitalization, we are not facing any immediate challenges in supporting our growth ambitions, and we do not anticipate encountering any such challenges in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Sonola reassured that the new owners are dedicated to providing the necessary support to establish a robust and resilient financial position, enabling the bank to undertake transactional activities that foster sustainable value creation.

The CEO affirmed that the bank now operates on a dual strategy of controlling funding costs while simultaneously expanding earning assets at competitive prices. He emphasized that the bank is actively pursuing growth in earning assets from both investment and risk asset perspectives.

“The Bank has consistently been growing its asset base year-on-year (Y-o-Y). The Bank’s recently developed strategic plan will guide the Bank to a position of being a major challenger of Tier 1 banks and be the leader among Tier II banks along all the key performance parameters.

“Furthermore, the bank’s focus is to be one of the most efficient deposit money institutions in the industry, delivering superior value to its stakeholders, our competition is not of size, but value creation.

“We have revamped our go-to-market structure, broadening our customer base, fine-tuning our product, and supporting service offerings, strengthening personnel sales capacities, and improving our loan onboarding processes. We are very confident our Net interest income and margin will witness considerable growth as our strategies mature.”

Polaris Bank has made significant advancements in its digital presence, evident through the enhancements in its technological interfaces that contribute to the customers’ expectations and experiences throughout their journey.

“We intend to build a dominant digitally led retail franchise and continue to reshape the bank’s business processes and support technology to continuously improve enterprise agility. The key thing is to drive top-notch processes and build agility in customer responsiveness.

“The VULTE product is just one of our service offerings. Indeed, we are creating a digital service reality that is customer service-focused. The technology driving this will scale digital service delivery to enhance our customers’ product or service experiences as we front-load features that fit into their expectations and future possible journey outcomes. As financial service platforms get better and continue to be an enabler, a part of the fabric of our modern economy, we will be an integral part of the way people carry out their businesses and we will make their digital journeys an integrated friendly experience. One cannot talk too much about this, but the tea leaves are pointing to a fresh pathway to consumer banking satisfaction.”

“The Bank has witnessed positive growth in various aspects, including the enhancement of customer service experience through increased staff productivity. To achieve this, we have invested in upskilling and retraining programs for our Polaris Bank employees who are leading the charge. This approach ensures that we have a productivity-driven framework that aligns the efforts of our staff with tangible business outcomes.

“We have zeroed in on offering superior customer experience as a competitive tool. The new world of competitiveness requires that corporations are agile and flexible, we are building this into the bank’s operational DNA. Our customer journey experiences have been deconstructed across demographics and the service propositions will soon grace banking halls in the next eighteen months at the latest.

“We plan for a stronger balance sheet, with higher loan quality, greater liquidity, larger capital, and resilience to absorb economic shocks. Our loan asset quality has improved significantly, thereby improving liquidity, earnings, and the bank’s capital. We are primed to improve our cost-to-income ratio (CIR), Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), and Cost-of-Risk ratio (CoR). In the recent past, we saw bumps in the risk area with CoR higher than we would like, but more recently risk quality has improved leading to lower CoR.”

Polaris Bank, with its strong emphasis on customer-centricity, risk management, cost optimization, and technological advancements, is establishing itself as a prominent force in the industry.

The bank strives to provide exceptional customer experiences and achieve impressive financial performance. Recognized as Nigeria’s Digital Bank of the Year for two consecutive years, Polaris Bank aims to solidify its position as a leading digitally-driven retail franchise, delivering exceptional value to its stakeholders.

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