Wema bank to raise $100m to pursue growth strategy.

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In its bid to leverage on the approval of a national outlook, Wema bank is in the processing of raising $100 million in Tier 2 capital while it would commence a Tier 1 capital raise in Q1 2016.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on November 17 granted Wema Bank a National Banking License, upgrading it from a regional player to one with a national appeal after complying with the Apex bank’s requirements.

The intended capital is to assist the bank in consolidating on its third phase of its transformation plan to reassert itself in the competitive Nigerian banking system.

With the national authorisation, the bank is expected to increase its branch networking and recruit more personnel make itself visible across the federation unlike before when its operation was restricted to two regions and the federal capital territory, Abuja only.

“This will further position the bank to pursue its growth strategy. The Bank remains on course in its turnaround program as evidenced by its robust balance sheet and sustained profitability, which would be maintained through its national authorization” said Segun Oloketuyi, the managing director of the bank.

 Wema Bank, in 2010 downscaled to operate only within its core areas of business – South-South, South-West and FCT Abuja. Now, the Bank with a capital base of N43.8 billion has met the regulatory requirements for the National Banking license as stipulated by the CBN.

This historic event has made Wema Bank the first bank to be granted a national banking licence having previously operated with a regional licence.

Oloketuyi, “This approval represents a milestone for the bank in the delivery of its Project LEAP commitments.

“Six  years ago, we took a decision to refocus the Bank’s operations on its areas of strength and build a sustainable institution.

“We took advantage of the new licensing regime and applied for a regional authorization with a pledge to expand in the near future, once the turnaround project was completed.

“The Bank’s transformation was implemented in three phases; first to stabilize the Bank, second to prepare the building blocks for growth and third to go for growth.

“We are now within the third phase of the transformation project”

The CEO stated that the new license has created opportunities to scale up growth, and added that the Bank will continue to strategically select its business locations across the country with focus on areas where return on investment will be maximized, and shareholder value enhanced over the medium to long term.

He expressed gratitude to the bank’s stakeholders, stating that the Wema transformation project has succeeded largely due to the great support received from customers and shareholders.

“Our priority remains delivering delightful and memorable service to our customers,” he added.

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