The Managing Director/CEO, Polaris Bank, Tokunbo Abiru has said that the bank will leverage its investment in cutting-edge information technology to harness emerging opportunities and mitigate the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business.
The CEO revealed this in a special media interview held over the weekend.
He stated that investment in technology infrastructure, comprehensive corporate transformation and a keen focus on customer experience would continue to give the bank comparative advantage in the Nigerian financial services sector.
Mr. Abiru further said that the impressive financial 2019 performance of the bank was the result of a corporate transformation that started in September 2018 to help the bank build a robust foundation for capital preservation and sustainable profitability.
According to him, while the coronavirus pandemic would undoubtedly impact all economies and sectors, including Nigeria, Polaris Bank’s strong business focus, organizational efficiency, innovation and digitisation would provide the winning edge against the emerging disruptions.
“The key drivers of the outcome as shown in the 2019 results were strong earnings from interest and non- interest income as well as through operational efficiency via cost containment, all resulting in a decent cost to income ratio. These measures are key initiatives of our on-going transformation programme,” Abiru said.
Speaking on the impact of technology on banking, Mr. Abiru outlined that the future of banking, like other sectors of the economy, would continue to be shaped by technology.
“Just look around you, is there any area of our lives that technology is not reshaping? Why should banking be an exception? More so, if you look at the nature of our business, it lends itself to digital adaptations more than other areas of our lives.
“The world is a global village; just look at what is happening elsewhere, and you know it is only a matter of when will it catch up with you and not if. So, it is not so much of what I believe, it’s where the world is evidently heading,” Abiru said.
The CEO noted that with all the fundamentals competing well with its industry peers and above the regulatory minimum, Polaris Bank stood on firmer ground with better margins, lower cost of operations for good returns to stakeholders.
He noted that the successful turnaround of Polaris Bank made it a classic testimony of the turnaround of a troubled bank through a regulator-induced intervention noting that “from all indications, the future of the bank is now very bright as evidenced by the improved prudential ratios.