Zenith Bank is balancing the scorecard with ESG policies

Zenith Bank’s head business in Lagos, Nigeria&nbsp

Author: Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Team Running Director and CEO, Zenith Lender

July 14, 2021

In just more than 30 years, Zenith Lender has grown to develop into Nigeria’s most significant – and one of Africa’s greatest – economical institutions by tier-1 capital, with shareholders’ money in extra of NGN1trn ($2.6bn) as of December 31, 2020. A obvious leader in the Nigerian economic house, with quite a few firsts in the deployment of progressive items and remedies that be certain comfort, speed and protection of transactions, Zenith Lender has shaped progress in Nigeria, environment the speed in numerous sectors of the financial system.

The lender has demonstrated rare resilience and doggedness that has translated to exponential progress in almost all locations, and nowadays, Zenith is definitely Nigeria’s most financially rewarding fiscal establishment, recording an impressive end result for the calendar year ending December 31, 2020, with a year-on-year progress of 10 per cent in earnings just after tax (PAT) from NGN208.8bn ($547m) recorded in 2019 to NGN230.7bn ($607m). This is in spite of a very challenging macroeconomic natural environment exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zenith model is not only bullish on progress and profitability it is also fully commited to the over-all welfare of its quick group and modern society in typical. In fact, the financial institution remains a person of the greatest corporate social obligation (CSR) contributors in the Nigerian fiscal companies business. Its sustainability and CSR initiatives hinge on the belief that today’s organization efficiency is not all about the economical numbers – it believes that an institution’s social investments, contributions to inclusive economic expansion and progress as very well as enhancements in the issue of the actual physical setting, all add to a balanced scorecard.

Auspicious beginnings
Started by Jim Ovia (CON), Zenith Financial institution Plc was recognized in Could 1990 and commenced functions in July of the exact same year as a professional lender. The bank grew to become a general public constrained enterprise on June 17, 2004, and was mentioned on the Nigerian Inventory Trade (NSE) on October 21, 2004, next a hugely profitable Preliminary General public Supplying (IPO).

Headquartered in Nigeria’s business capital of Lagos, Zenith Bank provides personal shoppers and corporate clientele with a array of financial products and solutions and companies from around 500 branches and enterprise places of work throughout all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. It also has a presence in the British isles, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, China and the UAE. The bank’s shares are traded on equally the Nigerian and London Inventory Exchanges.

Zenith Bank’s administration workforce is created up of seasoned pros led by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the Group Handling Director and CEO. He took over the reins in June 2019 following the retirement of Peter Amangbo, who succeeded Godwin Emefiele (CON), the present-day Governor of the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN). Successive leaderships of the bank have drawn from the strong pedigree and good basis laid by its founder, Jim Ovia, in harnessing the prosperity of talent, fantastic company tradition and constant deployment of point out-of-the-artwork know-how to retain the institution at the forefront of Nigeria’s banking field. The seamless changeover at the financial institution is very clear proof of strategic foresight and is dependable with the bank’s classic succession technique of grooming leaders from inside.

Stepping up sustainability
Zenith Financial institution has clearly distinguished by itself in the Nigerian economic services marketplace as an institution that is committed to making a additional sustainable and inclusive financial system and just one that encourages responsible organization methods in Nigeria by means of the integration of sustainability ideas in its daily enterprise operations. With executive administration assistance, all the bank’s credit and investments are now staying screened for environmental and social (E&S) challenges.

To align its processes with most effective tactics, the bank carries on to keep its commitments as signatory to numerous domestic and worldwide sustainability frameworks which includes United Nations Sustainable Improvement Aims (SDGs) United Nations World wide Compact Ideas Central Lender of Nigeria Sustainable Banking Concepts and International Finance Company Efficiency Standards.

The financial institution is a founding signatory of the United Nations Surroundings Programme Finance Initiative, Concepts for Responsible Banking. Immediately after signing up for 130 banks throughout the globe to start these ideas in September 2019, the financial institution has vigorously pursued the implementation of the principles thereafter, signifying its intention to make value for its shareholders, shoppers, shoppers, traders, communities and the setting as a result of its practices, operations and investments. The financial institution has been a chief in monitoring and reporting sustainability affect.

Considering that becoming the to start with bank in Africa to publish a stand-by itself sustainability report in accordance with the GRI Specifications: Main Option in 2016, Zenith Financial institution has revealed five stand-alone studies as of 2020. The financial institution is one particular of incredibly number of establishments in Nigeria that track their carbon emissions working with a certified instrument that is created on the internationally recognised GHG Protocol.

The Zenith model is not only bullish on expansion and profitability it is also committed to the over-all welfare of its speedy community and society in standard

In furtherance of its commitment to entrenching global ideal methods in its functions, the lender recently embarked on a grand strategy to systematically decrease its carbon emissions footprint by the substitute of diesel-powered generators in its branches with photo voltaic panels. The lender is also generating sizeable progress with the up grade of its energy centre.

The new ultramodern centre will operate 70 per cent on gasoline and 30 per cent on diesel, letting it to eliminate the use of about 30 200kva diesel turbines, which presently serve its head workplace and some of its company places of work all around Victoria Island, Lagos.

Also, in consonance with the Sustainable Advancement Objectives, the lender shown determination to empowering women of all ages-owned enterprises by introducing a particular bank loan products referred to as Z-Lady, which is specifically qualified at giving solitary digit interest level financial loans for ladies-led businesses in all sectors and segments of the economic system.

Investing in individuals to start with
As a result of its CSR initiatives, the lender has embodied the overarching aim of the 17 SDGs, which present a framework for addressing the big challenges confronting our society. Its social investments are targeted at health and fitness, education, women of all ages and youth empowerment, sports activities progress and community infrastructure improvement. All round, Zenith Bank’s total social investments in 2020 stood at NGN3.29bn ($8.62m), representing 1.66 % of its PAT.

The financial institution stays fully commited to furthering the financial, cultural and social improvement of host communities, specially by means of community-based initiatives and philanthropy. As a excellent corporate citizen, it carries on to provide assignments that have very long-time period social and economic gains for communities simply because it believes that its business enterprise is only as powerful as the communities in which it operates.

To exhibit its motivation to making and growing alternatives, the bank routinely helps make donations in the direction of the establishment of ultramodern ICT centres in several instructional establishments across the place. It also supports different developmental assignments and healthcare shipping and delivery results in in Nigeria, and contributes to the improvement of sporting activities by means of its sponsorship of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Zenith Females Basketball League, and the Zenith Lender Delta Condition Principals’ Cup, to point out a few.

The bank also demonstrates leadership when its host communities deal with disaster. For instance, following the unfortunate gas explosion incident of March 15, 2020, which led to the loss of life and properties at the Abule-Ado space in the Amuwo Odofin area authorities space of Lagos Condition, Zenith Financial institution introduced a donation of NGN100m ($263k) to the crisis reduction fund established up by the Lagos Point out Government for the victims of the explosion.

Zenith Bank considers the basic safety of communities key to the achievement of the ambitions and aspirations of equally private and corporate citizens. Consequently, the lender carries on to enhance its engagement with the government and other related stakeholders tasked with peace and stability. The assessment emanating from the engagement shaped the basis for its contribution to many States’ Governments Security Belief Fund. Consequently, in 2020 the bank invested the sum of NGN1.408bn ($3.7m) in safety rely on cash, boosting the functions and performance of appropriate stability companies and the security of communities.

Also, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its inherent influence on financial establishments, Zenith Bank leveraged an supply from Global Finance Company (IFC) for an emergency reduction doing the job cash bank loan of $100m to support the bank’s trade finance actions. This bank loan is remaining deployed to meet the trade and financing desires of its clients, and the lender remains dedicated to serving to them alleviate the financial pressures introduced upon their businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Striving toward excellence
As a testomony to its achievements, Zenith Bank received the awards for ‘Best Enterprise in Marketing of Excellent Wellbeing and Wellbeing’ and ‘Best Business in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women of all ages Empowerment’ in Africa at the 2020 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS). Also in recognition of the its keep track of history of excellent functionality, Zenith Financial institution was voted as ‘Bank of the Calendar year, Nigeria’ in The Banker’s Financial institution of the Year Awards 2020 ‘Best Financial institution in Nigeria’ in the Worldwide Finance World’s Finest Banks Awards 2020 and 2021 and ‘Best Company Governance Fiscal Expert services Africa 2020’ by the Moral Boardroom.

The financial institution also emerged as the ‘Most Useful Banking Brand in Nigeria,’ for the fourth consecutive calendar year, in Banker magazine’s ‘Top 500 Banking Brand names 2021’ and amount a single financial institution in Nigeria by tier-1 capital in the ‘2020 Top 1,000 Globe Banks’ position. In the same way, the financial institution was recognised as ‘Bank of the Decade’ (People’s Preference) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, and ‘Retail Bank of the Year’ at the 2020 BusinessDay Banking institutions and Other Financial Establishments (BOFI) awards.

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