SunTrust Bank will formally open for business today as it seeks to reshape the Nigerian banking space and the way consumers interface with their banks.
At its headquarters on Oladele Olashore street in Victoria Island Lagos, there is minimal security presence, no generator noise, bank customers who come in there will find a banking hall equipped with computer terminals for customers seeking a well secured computing link.
The banking hall is completely different, no kiosks or cashiers and it looks more like an airport lounge, signaling a total dependence on technology in its service offerings to the public.
According to Muhammed Jubrin, SunTrust Bank’s CEO, “our vision is to offer high quality retail and commercial banking services in a modern and innovative manner. We will use technology and a new way of thinking to provide banking services to many people and businesses in Nigeria for whom access to a bank account has previously been impossible.
“We will offer telephone, mobile and Internet banking underpinned by the traditional banking ethics of probity and integrity.”
The bank’s competitive edge will be the strong reliance on technology and the bank will be encouraging customers to access its services from the comfort of their homes and offices and as such the bank will not be engaging in a proliferation of branches.
“Our services will be available to our customers 24 hours daily, seven days a week and from anywhere in the world where there is a good Internet service.
“Even our data centre is outsourced, this way we will not have the overbearing requirement to put on the generator at our locations,” he explained.
By adopting a branchless strategy, SunTrust will save the N100m-N120M required to build a modern branch and the about N2.5m it costs to run the generators at a typical bank branch.
Customers of SunTrust will be encouraged to use any bank ATM because the bank will not be charging them the fee charged by other banks for using ATM machines belonging to other banks.
According to the CEO, “we will not be emphasising physical security as we are making serious investment in cyber security instead.”
SunTrust was licensed on September 15, 2015 as the first new commercial bank license given by the Central Bank in 15 years and its journey as a bank began in 2009. It commenced business on August 1, 2016.
“In the years to come, the developments at SunTrust should have far-reaching influence in the banking sector specifically and our nation generally,” says Jubrin.