By Emeka Ejere
The drive of Fidelity Bank Plc to attain a tier 1 status received a boost at the weekend when the lender unveiled a seven-point agenda to improve operational efficiency and expand its footprints.
In a statement on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, explained that the agenda is focused on brand architecture, brand building and refresh, talent development and transformation, product and service delivery, agility and performance discipline, digital transformation, and regulatory compliance.
In May 2021, the management had announced plans to make Fidelity Bank one of the tier-1 banks by 2025 and achieve a 7.5 percent total market share of deposits in the same year.
Onyeali-Ikpe said her sight is fixed on positioning the bank as one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, leveraging automation and robotics to replace manual and repetitive processes.
In attaining the set objectives, the CEO said the bank would embark on an innovation drive to increase profitability and competitiveness, raise awareness of its brand, create a high performing and empowered workforce.
She added that Fidelity Bank would also build brand loyalty through personalised and seamless customer experience delivery, develop an end-to-end digitisation, boost performance discipline, and drive aggressive market penetration and business diversification.
“Other initiatives geared towards deepening growth include; accelerated play in the SME segment, renewal of institutional banking, and drive for transaction-based propositions in corporate banking,” she said.
In line with the strategies towards achieving its objectives, the bank intends to embark on an innovation drive through the implementation of new processes, techniques. It is also executing fresh ideas to ensure continuous process improvement, reduce cost to serve, increase competitiveness, improve brand recognition and value, build new partnerships and relationships, drive turnover, and increase profitability. There is also brand refresh with the aim to increase top-of-mind awareness of the Fidelity brand by external and internal stakeholders.
Workforce transformation to create a future readily supported by a high performing and empowered workforce is also part of the strategies. This will be achieved by deepening the skills and competencies of staff across the bank, entrenching a culture of high performance, and embedding new ways of working in the bank. So far, the commencement of capacity building training for staff and senior management training are some of the initiatives implemented.
There is also service excellence which is intended to build brand loyalty through personalized and seamless customer experience delivery. This is already underway with the award-winning virtual assistant IVY. This revolutionary chatbot handles simple tasks like account opening to complex tasks such as complaint resolution, bill payment, transferring users to a live agent, loans, fixed deposit applications, and answering random questions.
Digital transformation which involves an end-to-end digitization across all facets of the business is also part of it. In line with this, the bank has launched a novel digital service —Pay Yourself —which revolutionized payday for salary earners and SMEs.
There is also performance discipline to ensure focus on strong fundamentals, asset quality, and strategic cost management. Initiatives already carried out in this regard include; the Policy Familiarization Program, a capacity-building project geared towards building a knowledgeable and versatile staff network/raising subject matter experts in all business areas that kicked off in March; the One Culture Project, which was initiated to reinforce enabling behaviours and value systems towards fulfilling the bank’s goals.
It also has accelerated growth which will drive aggressive market penetration and business diversification. This will be achieved through deeper penetration in key retail markets.
Other initiatives geared towards deepening growth include; accelerated play in the SME segment, renewal of institutional banking, and drive for transaction-based propositions in corporate banking, the bank said.