When Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe assumed duty as the very first female Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc last January, it was clear she would bring a new game plan that will position the bank in its proper place in the financial institution landscape in Nigeria and Africa.
Her over 30 years’ experience across various banks – including Standard Chartered Bank, Zenith Bank and Citizens International Bank/Enterprise Bank – where she held several management positions in Legal, Treasury, Investment Banking, Retail/Commercial Banking and Corporate Banking, had positioned her to lead the bank through a significant evolution of business culture with the primary objective of improving operational efficiency and expanding market share.
And this is exactly what has been cooking and has taken off inside the Bank, with her ‘Seven Point Agenda’ that is aimed at building a Fidelity Bank which is ready for the future.
The agenda is to lead the financial institution through a major development of business culture with the primary objective of improving operational efficiency and expanding market share.
Under the agenda released over the weekend, the bank is expected to be positioned as one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, which leverages automation and robotics to replace manual and repetitive processes. The programme is also expected to drive the bank further in its quest to become a tier-1 bank that is well-positioned to outlive the competition and serve well into the future.
The seven-point agenda focuses on brand architecture, brand building and refresh, talent development and transformation, product and service delivery, agility and performance discipline, digital transformation, and regulatory compliance and strategies have been deployed to ensure that the objectives are accomplished.
These are what the bank plans to initiate:
- Embark on an Innovation Drive through the implementation of new processes, techniques. The bank is also executingfresh 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 involves an end-to-end digitization across all facets of the business. In line with this, the bank has launched a novel digital service —Pay Yourself —which revolutionized payday for salary earners and SMEs.
- 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
- Project Alpha- aimed at helping the bank develop a robust and holistic learning and development framework for all staff.
- 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 an accelerated play in the SME segment, renewal of institutional banking and drive for transaction-based propositions in corporate banking.
The statement by the bank said that the seven point agenda, will position it in its drive to lead the banking sector while revolutionizing Nigeria’s financial landscape.