Zenith Bank Plc., widely regarded as leader in financial solutions in most facets of banking, has finally started to play deeper in the retail end of the banking industry, using its high technology and innovative products.
Over the years, using technology as one of its major advantages, Zenith Bank has successfully served customers at the high end of the market and delivered impressive returns to shareholders in the process.
The bank has equally established itself as a leader in corporate and investment banking, with the KPMG’s ‘Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2014’ confirming the bank’s position as the most customer focused bank in the country in both the retail and corporate segments.
With the bank’s entry into the retail space, more customers will now be able to access efficient service delivery that hitherto have been available to only high net worth customers and corporate organisations.
The bank’s offering in the retail space include the Aspire account targeting the youth; the eaZySave classic and eaZySave Premium accounts both of which have zero account opening balances; as well as the Zenith Premium Gold and Zenith Premium Platinum, both of which are COT free and interest bearing.
The KPMG survey, which confirmed Zenith Bank’s status as the most customer focused bank, focused on the perceived quality of customer service delivery by banks from the customer’s perspective across the retail, corporate/commercial and small and medium sized enterprises (SME) segments. And for 2013 and 2014, Zenith Bank led as the preferred by customers.
For the second consecutive year in the retail segment, Zenith Bank emerged as the most customer-focused bank closely followed by Diamond Bank which moved to second (from last year’s fourth place) with GTBank in third place.
In the SME segment, Zenith Bank moved from second position in 2013 to become the most customer focused bank, followed by Diamond Bank and Standard Chartered Bank in third place. Corporate banking customers also ranked Zenith Bank as the most customer focused for 2014 year with GTBank and Citibank coming second and third respectively.
The biggest gains were in the area of convenience however the higher satisfaction levels recorded in this segment were driven more by the performance of the top five banks than for the industry as a whole.
Completeness and accuracy of information provided topped the list of important issues for nearly all corporates surveyed while the biggest area requiring improvement remains knowledge of the customer’s business.
Aside being the most customer focused bank, Zenith Bank’s performance on all parameters has been recognized by other bodies. A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to determine the most respected companies and chief executives in Nigeria, Zenith Bank emerged first among the banks.
In arriving at the conclusion, PWC said a respected company is defined by these enviable parameters:
A good corporate citizen, which is socially responsible with high ethical standards; a trusted company, which promotes good values with a unique and excellent leadership style, coupled with strong management principles and structure plus a smooth succession plan as well as a very resourceful company with excellent business culture.
Others are: a visionary and revolutionary company with strong focus, innovative with popular brands of high quality; engaging in human capital development and high capacity building and an indigenous company with high local content.
Good corporate governance practice, high shareholder interest and value, harmonious industrial relations, friendly and good working environment, global and internationally recognised (Multinational) and size of company/largest in Africa/industry leader were other parameters used in arriving at their inference.
PWC may have taken into cognisance Zenith Bank’s adherence to good corporate governance practices as well as global best practices and its emergence as a globally recognised brand.
Officials of the bank believe with this track record and the suite of innovative products on offer guarantee that customers and potential customers at all levels will enjoy the same high-quality of banking service that Zenith Bank has been known for since inception
Going forward: Run by a stable board and management, Zenith Bank has created a professional environment where individuals are encouraged can aspire to achieve their potentials. Currently under the management of Peter Amangbo, Zenith Bank has a pool of talents at both the middle and top management level, which has enabled it to remain competitive through the series of banking reforms in the country.
The bank, Nigeria’s biggest by Tier-1 capital sees technology as an enabler and as a generator of new opportunities. “We are forward-thinking, benchmarking trends in technology to shape our future coupled with our practical delivery on a highly automated platform that makes us unique,” Amangbo recently said. “As the country’s information technology (IT) infrastructure improves, our leading edge in IT keeps us well positioned in the global banking community to sustain our offering of exceptional E-banking services. This is complemented by our risk management system that creates a blend that not only grows our customers’ businesses but also strengthens them. Our credit management system stresses rational procedures and transparency,” he was quoted as saying.
Zenith Bank Plc. blazed the trail in digital banking in Nigeria, scoring several firsts in the deployment of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers. The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking.
Financial results: The bank has been posting impressive financial results over the years, rewarding shareholders with equally impressive dividends. For instance, five year performance from 2009 to 2013 showed steady growth in profit and returns on investments.
For instance, revenue grew from N277 billion in 2009 to N244 billion in 2010, N307 billion in 2012 and N351 billion in 2013. Profit before tax rose from N35 billion, to N50 billion in 2010, N61 billion in 2011, N101 billion in 2012 and N111 billion in 2013.
Shareholders have been benefitting from the growth witnessed in the profitability over the years. Shareholders got a dividend of N11 billion in 2009, N26 billion in2010, N29 billion in 2011, N50 billion in 2012 and N54 billion in 2013.
Zenith Bank ended the nine months to September 30, 2014 with profit before tax of N87 billion, profit after tax of N71 billion. Total assets stood at N3.408 trillion and shareholders’ funds N523 billion.
Zenith Bank Plc. was established in May 1990, and commenced operations in July of the same year as a commercial bank. The Bank became a public limited company on June 17, 2004 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on October 21, 2004 following a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The bank has a shareholder base of about one million and is Nigeria’s biggest bank by tier-1 capital. In 2013, Zenith Bank listed $850 million worth of its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The bank has over 500 branches and business offices in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In March 2007, Zenith Bank was licensed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the United Kingdom to establish Zenith Bank (UK) Limited as the United Kingdom subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc. Zenith Bank also has subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Gambia. The bank also has representative offices in South Africa and The People’s Republic of China.