FirstBank Dismisses Threat Of Competition From Fintechs

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FIRSTBank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited has dismissed the threat of competition from Financial Technology (FinTechs) companies saying FinTechs can only partner with banks in developing the financial sector of the economy.

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The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FBN, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan stated this at a Flag Hoisting ceremony, organised as part of the celebration of the banks’125th anniversary, held in Lagos.

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According to the FBN, the purpose of the flag hoisting ceremony was a way of showing love and respect for the illustrious journey that it started 125 years ago, the journey that encompasses over half a dozen nations across Africa, Europe and Asia.

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Speaking at the event, Adeduntan said: “The phase of the banking sector is changing and we have tuned in very rapidly. The fourth revolution which is the digital revolution is on now and for you to be a successful bank of today that would be relevant tomorrow you have to have innovation at the heart of your business.

“Part of what has kept this institution intact and we have moved from strength to strength is our ability to disrupt, to be part of disruption and we are ready also to usurp disruption. In 1975, Dr. Joseph Sanusi started the Century 2 project, which was to prepare this institution for the next 100 years.

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“Critical to our success is innovation, ability to be part of disruption, ability and capacity to lead disruption and that is what our innovation capacity in us provides today. So when it comes to competition with FinTechs, we have the capacity to compete. We also have the capacity to collaborate and cooperate with them and both strategies are being deployed without ceding any space.

On her part, Chairman FBN, Ibukun Awosika said: “You know in reality, you think about the FinTechs and you think they are threat but in the real sense, every FinTech organization that you see will tell you categorically they have ideas and innovative products they want to sell but the platform to be able to deploy it, the first platform that they see is FirstBank because we are sitting on a large customer base that finTechs need to hook up.

‘We have the licence that they do not have, we have the reach and the spread that they need in order to have value.

“So it is easy to think that innovation will always override the institution but in reality, it is more a collaborative agenda and because we understand who we are and we are not sitting by, we are also innovating on our own, we are able to take value, even from the innovations of others through partnerships and collaboration in order to help the economy by allowing the FinTech companies to grow and even more importantly, for us to add value to our own institution and create value for our stakeholders”.

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