Heritage Bank, CBN, ICC brainstorm on global trade operation systems

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider, has hosted the May 2018 edition of the bankinng technique and practice meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria. The meeting held at the Victoria Island Office of the financial powerhouse attracted representatives of the ICC Nigeria as well as the experts on the trade desks of different banks operating in Nigeria and the apex bank in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Welcoming the team, Mr. Dimitiri Dike, Chief Risk Officer for Heritage Bank, noted that the current dynamics in the trade and commerce nationally and internationally deserves urgent attention. He stated that policy summersault and the need for reviews of operation sytems has posed a lot of challenges that the visiting team needed to look into and proffer appropriate solutions. Dike charged the trade experts to review the new global order of international trade that now encourages an open account method of transaction in the global trade. An open account transaction in international trade is a sale where the goods are shipped and delivered before payment is due, which is typically in 30, 60 or 90 days. Obviously, this option is advantageous to the importer in terms of cash flow and cost, but it is consequently a risky option for an exporter.

Responding, Chief (Dr.) Raymond Ihyembe, Chairman, ICC Nigeria Banking Commission, warned that steps must be taken to tackle the possible effects of the current policy. This, he said, becomes imperative in view of the fact that Nigeria’s economy depends solely on crude oil. According to him, any massive drop in the price of crude oil in the global market usually affects the aggregate economy greatly. Ihyembe, therefore, said in such instances trade and commerce, which is supposed to be the safety net for the nation is again facing turbulence as a result of policy change.

Corroborating the chairman’s views, Dr. (Mrs.) Omolara Akanji, Vice Chairman, ICC Nigeria, Banking Commission, advised banks in Nigeria to always attend the global ICC events where policies are formulated. She expressed concerns that Nigerian banks were not at the ICC Banking Commission meeting held in Miami, USA in April 2018, where modalities of the new policy were discussed. According to her, their presence at such occasions would have helped to re-shape their orientation about the kind of reviews and adjustments their current structures require. Meanwhile, the bankers present were of the opinion that they were aware of the new policy, but their common fear is there is currently a gap between the apex bank and the Nigeria Customs. They said banks relate with the documentation presented by exporters and importers, while Customs relates with the goods involved. With this, they said, banks are incapacitated to some extent. To address the deficiency, the chairman suggested inauguration of a special committee that will review the status quo and then come up with the treat, risks and opportunities of the current policy. The suggestion was unanimously agreed to and the special committee comprising five banks was given three weeks to submit its recommendations on how to mitigate the risk of open account policy in the international trade.

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Akinola George-Taylor, Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, and his Team, paid courtesy visit yesterday to the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, at the State House, Alausa yesterday.

The Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Akinola George-Taylor has disclosed that the bank would continue to increase the wallet of its business transactions with Lagos state government.  

He gave this assurance yesterday when he led a team of the bank on a courtesy visit to the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the government house, Alausa, Ikeja.

George-Taylor commended Sanwo-Olu’s administration, whilst aligning with the great works in Lagos State.

“We are here to introduce ourselves as the new management of the Heritage Bank and being that we have had a relationship with the state (Lagos) for a number of years now, we felt it was necessary to come and present ourselves to the Governor; to say thanks for the business that we enjoyed with the government and that we align and commend the great work he is doing for Lagos State.

“And of course, as bankers, we want to try and increase our own size of the wallet of the business that we do with the government and to extend our best wishes to him and his government. It was a courtesy call to say thank you and wish him well in the next coming elections,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Governor, Sanwo-Olu said his administration was poised to do more as it continued to play its roles in providing an enabling environment, improving the ease of doing business and being forward-looking in its dealings with financial institutions.

The governor also said that his administration will continue to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship with financial institutions in the State.

He said: “Lagos is the Centre of Excellence and the commercial, economic nerve centre, so we cannot but ensure that we have a very forward-looking mutually beneficial relationship with all of our financial institutions and of course, Heritage Bank is not an exception.

“I want to implore you and your team to be intentional and think something fresh; think something different that can indeed stimulate us. You can rest assured that we know how important it is to spread our businesses and to ensure that everybody gets a part of it knowing that you and your staff will also have a corporate responsibility on the Personal Income Tax component. It is expected that we will continue to play our roles and play our parts.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu congratulated the Managing Director and his new team on the huge and great responsibilities that shareholders and other stakeholders in Heritage Bank have reposed in them,” he said.