Zenith Bank, one of the biggest banks in Nigeria today, has always been a trailblazer in the industry. With almost 600 branches and cash centres, the Bank transacts business with over 8 million customers across its network. The Bank has embraced technology in its drive for leadership in the Nigerian banking industry. Peter Amangbo, the immediate past Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank Plc. provides more insight.

“Our investments in technology has enabled Zenith Bank to consistently deliver superior performance over the past 29 years,” he says. “The Nigerian banking industry is very dynamic. Technological disruption has created such a large space of opportunities such that there are products and solutions that you don’t even see outside Nigeria.

“We have adapted well to these changes. We were the first bank to provide mobile banking services to customers in Nigeria, starting with the corporate banking segment and eventually to the retail segment. We have invested in cards and have issued over 6 million cards and significant growth in usage.

“The data from our customer transactions and interactions has even now made it imperative that we should invest in robotics and artificial intelligence. This is because some of these transactions have become very complex.”

The ability to adapt effectively to the disruptions resulting from the operating environment is one of the qualities that Amangbo believes will enable the Bank navigate the risk landscape. “There are so many risks that the banking industry is facing,” he says. “A major driver of this is the challenge posed by the larger macroeconomic and operating environment. Though the country has successfully emerged from the recession, consumer purchasing power is still very weak and earnings in the industry are declining.

“Some factors, such as the foreign exchange rate risk, remain a major challenge for us and our customers. Credit growth has slowed significantly in the last few years. Cyber fraud is also a key risk facing the industry.”

A significant number of organisations have pivoted towards digital in order to remain agile and resilient in this challenging operating environment. Amangbo believes that CEOs, as the owners of such technology and digital transformation, require a reinforcement of some traditional skills and attitudes to thrive. “CEOs must have a clear focus of where the organisation is heading,” he says. “They must show a willingness to take the tough decisions and maintain high standards to make an impact.

“Teamwork and collaboration is critical to any transformation effort, and the CEO must drive that. He or she must bring strong motivation and energy to bear.”

Throughout this document, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refer to the network of independent member firms operating under the KPMG name and affiliated with KPMG International or to one or more of these firms or to KPMG International. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewees and survey respondents and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG International or any KPMG member firm.  KPMG’s involvement is not an endorsement, sponsorship or implied backing of any company’s products or services.