January 26, 2021 All Things Fintech in Africa

5 Facts About Keystone Bank Nigeria You Never Knew Before

5 Facts About Keystone Bank Nigeria You Never Knew Before

On Friday 5 August 2011, something interesting happened – the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked Bank PHB’s banking license and issued Keystone Bank license. Keystone Bank in turn took over the assets and some of the liabilities of Bank PHB – Bank PHB alongside Spring Bank and Afribank had failed in their capacity to show they can meet the CBN’s re-capitalization deadline.

Aside from being a commercial bank licensed to operate in Nigeria by the CBN, the above is what most people know about Keystone Bank Limited. However, there is a lot to know about the bank than just when the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) set it up to save a bank from collapsing. This article will discuss 5 facts about Keystone Bank Nigeria you never knew before now – trust me, you might just discover how little you know about the bank.

The History of Keystone Bank

What most people know about the history of Keystone bank is that it is the bank that succeeded Bank PHB. However, there’s more to its history than what you read in the introductory part of this article. In fact, it might interest you to know that the history of Keystone bank dates back to 1981 when Habib Bank Nigeria Ltd was founded.

The bank operated as Habib Bank until 2005 when Habib Bank merged with Platinum Bank, leading to a change of name – Platinum Habib Bank (PHB). As at the time Bank PHB was functioning, its assets was valued at $6 billion. It was also stated to be the 5th largest financial service provider in the country.

After the withdrawal of its banking license, Keystone took over its assets. As at that time, Keystone was still under AMCON. AMCON on the 22nd March 2017, sold the bank to Sigma GolfRiverbank consortium for 25 billion N

ira. The bank is currently under the chairmanship of Umaru H. Modibbo while its acting CEO and managing director is Mr. Abububakar Sule.

Keystone Bank is Africa’s Most Innovative Bank of the Year, 2018

At the European Global Banking & Finance Award, Keystone Bank bagged the award of the Most Innovative Bank in Africa, 2018. Interestingly, the former CEO of the company, Obeahon Ohiwerei bagged the “Best Banking CEO in Africa” Award. The blend of the
company’s culture and use of technology had earned Keystone and its CEO these awards.

Known as the whiz-kid in the industry by a financial analyst, Keystone Bank is the first and only bank to introduce Zero Data Banking on their mobile app. With this feature, the customers even without data can use their banking app for a transaction. They are also the first to deploy a chatbot on Telegram and Facebook – this chatbot named Oxygen provide guides to customers on how to carry out transactions.

They are also the first to introduce the Cheque Deposit Feature in their mobile banking platform. With this feature, customers can pay Cheque into their accounts using the bank’s mobile app. The bank is also said to have one of the most innovative mobile banking apps in the country. The bank with all these innovations had written their name as innovation-driven in the industry.

controversies exist surrounding its ownership

Some weeks to the 2019 general election in the country, there had been noise from the two key presidential aspirant’s camps and parties regarding the ownership of the bank. The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had accused members of President Muhammadu Buhari family of suddenly becoming rich and owing large share in the bank and 9mobile, a telecommunication company.

The All Progressive Congress (APC), on its part, accused the former vice president and his friends of owning the bank by proxy. However, none of the two camps had been able to provide substantial evidence to support their claim.

The two claims had however been debunked by investors of the bank – the investors claimed neither of the presidential aspirants owns the bank. Why they chose the bank to play politics is still the unanswered question on the minds of many.

Keystone Bank has some philanthropical belt to their waist

Keystone Bank is more than just a bank – it is a social institution committed to extending beyond traditional banking service. One of such is giving back to the community and that’s done through their Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

This bank had developed a model which they use in reaching out to those in need. Their philanthropical schemes range from Youth & Women Empowerment to some Health Initiative, Educational tailored schemes, Financial Inclusion, Employee Volunteer Scheme and Eco-friendly inclined schemes among others.

Sometimes back, the bank reached out to 100 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), giving them N50,000 each. Some of their educational initiatives include the National Scholars Scheme, their motivational Series, Mentoring Scheme, and their ICT library projects.

Keystone bank have had their own share of troubles

After reading the sector that talked about their corporate social responsibility and initiatives introduced into the Nigerian banking industry by the bank, one will think the bank is standing on a rock, foot down and strong – that assertion is wrong.

Some of the problems the bank had faced and is still facing includes:

  • In 2018, the bank lost $1.3 billion.
  • The bank’s non-performing loan is on the increase.
  • The expenditure of their administrative activities is growing excessively, suppressing the bank’s income
  • The bank former CEO Obeahon Ohiwerei faced a blackmail scandal

After going through these 5 facts about Keystone bank we think you never knew, I am sure you have learned something new about the bank. For some seconds ponder – do you actually know all these 5 things discussed in the article before now?  

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