Jaiz Bank Plc is embarking on aggressive retail banking and also investment in Small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) to drive its growth, its managing director has said. Islam Muhammed Nurul , who assumed duty last month, said his office was to ensure that the bank breaks even by the first quarter of 2014. Speaking yesterday at the bank's 2012 Annual General Meeting in Abuja , Islam said his strategies for realising the target include "aggressive deposit drive, investment in the real sector of the economy and also in agriculture." According to the bank's annual report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2012 , total assets of the bank grew to N14.1 billion from N5 billion when it commenced business in January 2012 . Chairman of the bank, Dr Umaru Abdul Mutallab, said the bank's first year of operation was a very challenging one, "not only being a start-up, but also a pioneer in a new finance services sector." He said the bank has also grown its network of branches from three when it started to 10 within Abuja , Kaduna and Kano with plans to expand its operational platform from regional to national. "The board has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that the bank obtains a national licence which will enable it operate in all states of the federation including the FCT. This is by way of private placement which has been very successful and soon the licence will be obtained so as to give Nigerians a feel of the alternative banking model as an option. "I have no doubt that the structures and strategies we have put in place are more than adequate for the challenges ahead of the bank. I also believe that our bank has more potential to grow and succeed," he said.
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