Babatunde Macaulay is the Head, Transactional Products & Services, Stanbic IBTC Bank. He serves as the Head of Transactional Products & Services at Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC.
He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry and an MSc in International Human Resource Management at Cranfield University, UK. Macaulay has over 15 years experience in the banking and manufacturing sectors. His banking experience cuts across operations, cash management, commercial banking, transaction banking and human resources.
Stanbic IBTC Bank has just organised a trade and finance forum for stakeholders. What do you intend to achieve through this initiative? Will it be an annual event?
Definitely, the event will be an annual one and will take on topical and relevant issues as it relates to trade finance in Nigeria. I must, however, quickly point out that this client series will not be limited to trade but will cut across our three transactional products areas namely: Trade Finance, Cash Management and Investor Services.
What then do you intend to achieve through this initiative?
SIBTC typically organises thought leadership forums not just to build the brand and showcase our capabilities but also to have periodic engagements with our key clients and industry players. So the Trade Conference was one of such annual events.
You are at the head of the Transactional Products and Services team of Stanbic IBTC Bank. What do you actually do in that unit and how critical is it to Stanbic IBTC Bank?
TPS is a key strategic business unit within the bank. We are responsible for providing solutions and product offerings around Investors Services, Cash Management and Trade Finance. We provide working capital solutions to target clients comprising multinationals, local corporate, financial institutions and public sector groups using technology as an enabler. As head of TPS, I provide strategic direction and supervise the teams responsible for sales, product management and channels. We ensure that we deliver the right solutions to our esteemed clients in the different sectors and segments in the economy.
Expectedly, Stanbic IBTC Bank's expansion programme has come with the introduction of a wide array of specialised products and services targeted at various segments of the market. Is the market ripe for many of these products when most bank customers simply want a safe place to keep their money?
Beyond recent innovative banking products and services, customers have become even more sophisticated in their demand for specialised solutions. We are all witnesses to the growth of mobile telephone, the adoption of card solutions, and the drive towards financial inclusion and a cashless society which provide insights into how aware and savvy the banking public has become. Stanbic IBTC as a leading international bank focuses on developing customized products and solutions for different segments of our market.
Most people are often sceptical about accessing financing from banks because of the hidden charges that trail some of these transactions. How has Stanbic IBTC Bank been able to tackle this challenge?
One of our core values is "upholding the highest levels of integrity." As such we are transparent in dealing with our customers and their transactions. We follow the CBN guide to banker's tariff and all modifications are discussed internally and communicated to client prior to implementation. In addition, we aim to offer competitive pricing and have an approved pricing framework within the bank. Specifically on financing, we have a proven track record of funding various initiatives and projects in different key sectors of the economy such as power, manufacturing and agriculture.
What are Stanbic IBTC Bank's priorities regarding its technological infrastructure towards making its products and services more accessible to its customers? Is there a future for branch banking given the literacy rate of the general population?
Stanbic IBTC is currently investing in a multi-million dollar IT infrastructure that will improve and deliver better efficiency in transaction initiation and execution within the bank and to our clients. This is coming on the back of our recent core-banking implementation in 2011 and subsequent upgrades. We are committed to providing "branchless" transactional banking for our clients via integrated automated systems with robust channel capabilities to aid convenience, reduce cost, improve overall service experience.
With every new day comes more innovation in product and service delivery from the banks in the country. What measures have Stanbic IBTC Bank taken to ensure that it is not left behind in the innovation race? Are there lessons you are drawing from Standard Bank's operations in other markets?
As a member of the largest African banking group i.e. Standard Bank Group, Stanbic IBTC has a unique advantage of leveraging the experience and expertise of its businesses in the various geographies. "Being Proactive" is one of our core values as a bank. Hence, we pride ourselves in creating innovative products and solutions by continuously engaging our markets and clients to understand market trends and customer needs. This has earned us several accolades including best sub-custodian bank, best bank for cash management overall in Africa, best bank in payments and collection, amongst others.
How are you able to design products and services that are targeted at different countries and markets given that the Standard Bank Group, to which Stanbic IBTC belongs, operates in about 20 countries within Africa and also have a strong global footprint?
At Stanbic IBTC, we have a dedicated and experienced product management team that focuses on product development and commercialization, amongst other things. We also have a robust governance and new products framework that ensures our products/services are fit for purpose, satisfy various risk benchmarks and ultimately meet our customers' needs. We consistently engage and work with top companies in the key sectors of the economy with a keen focus on Oil & Gas, Power & infrastructure, Telecoms, Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Conglomerates and Diversified Industries to understand the "voice of the customer" and roll-out tailor-made solutions in our various markets.
Banking is always evolving, and it is more so in Nigeria that is increasingly adopting technological solutions to deliver services across different segments of the economy. Where do you see banking in Nigeria in the next five years in terms of service delivery?
We are all witnesses to the significant transformation experienced in the Nigerian banking sector over the last decade. We believe the next five years will continue along that path. Nigerian banks will continue to explore alternative banking platforms leveraging technology to promote wider inclusion of the unbanked and delivery of products/services to the banking public. We see a completely cashless Nigeria with fewer brick and mortar branches and increase in alternate channel adoption across all the sectors and segments of the Nigerian economy. We see a drive for a West African regional trade and payments ecosystem driven by cards and account-based transactions. We see a more sophisticated banking public driven by convenience, security and system availability, among others.