Hassan Usman, managing director/CEO, Jaiz Bank Plc, is in charge of the premier non-interest bank in Nigeria established in 2011. The bank took off with a regional licence of the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate in the northern part of the country and transformed to a national bank in 2016 with key presence in all the geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Usman is driving the institution on the path of its foundational principles of trust, professionalism and excellence to deliver innovative financial solutions and exceptional customer experience. His mission is to deliver the core values propelling the bank towards its purpose of leading ethical banking in sub-Saharan Africa.
Defying the economic lockdown and the operating difficulties in 2020, Usman took the bank to higher heights on both earnings and the size of the balance sheet. At the end of half year operations, he achieved a 44 percent advance in after tax profit year-on-year to N1.1 billion. Profit grew ahead of a 39 percent rise in gross earnings to over N8 billion at half year.
He expanded the bank’s operating capacity with stable growth in key assets leading to an increase of 11.5 percent in the size of the balance sheet to over N186 billion in the first six months of the year. The assets are built on liabilities of over N100 billion, investment account equity holders of N70 billion and owners’ equity in excess of N15 billion at half year, 2020. The bank is owned by over 26,000 shareholders spread over Nigeria’s six geo-political zones.
Usman graduated with a first class degree in accountancy in 1985 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and became an Associate Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1989. He obtained a post graduate diploma in management in 1995 from Maastricht School of Management. He also attended the Oxford University Advanced Management Programme in 2002.
He worked as financial controller of Nigerian Development Company Limited, Kaduna and later joined NAL Merchant Bank Plc now part of the amalgamated Sterling Bank. At NAL Merchant Bank, he held the posts of financial controller and treasurer between 1996 and 2001. Usman also had a brief stint with Inland Bank where he served as general manager, banking services before returning to NAL as deputy general manager and head, business and financial advisory group.
He joined Jaiz Bank in 2005 as a pioneer staff and was a key member of the team that led the process leading to the licensing of the bank in 2011. He served as general manager- business development from January 2012 till April 2013 and was executive director in charge of operations and information technology prior to his appointment as managing director/CEO in June 2016.
He has been instrumental from the beginning to the positioning of non-interest banking as an alternative financial service offering in Nigeria, which is open to all irrespective of race or religion. He was part of the development of the bank’s strategic business focus, which is mainly retail banking alongside some corporate and commercial banking services. The retail focus is designed to capture an estimated 50 percent of Nigeria’s population found to be desirous of ethical banking services.
Usman is on the saddle to provide for socially responsible investment outlets to meet the yearnings of the large captive market. Jaiz Bank presently has a number of such investment channels on offer. These include Jaiz Wakala Investment, a product tailored to corporate and high-net-worth individuals that need high returns with commensurate risk on their investments.
Others include working capital financing (Murabaha), designed as a convenient way of financing the working capital requirement of businesses. The product is ideal for financing the purchase of inventory and other processing materials for production.
There is also project financing/construction (Istisna’) under which the bank will construct and sell the project on completion as per agreement with customer. Another product is lease to own finance (Ijara wa Iqtina), which is a banking facility that allows customers to hire and subsequently purchase assets from the bank.
Usman hasn’t lost sight of digital banking services in his bank’s product offerings. The bank avails customers of online banking services for opening various accounts such as savings, current, kids’ savings, domiciliary and investment accounts.
He is set on a clear goal of delivering on mandate for the bank, which is to keep operations 100 percent Shari’ah compliant – that is not to sacrifice Shari’ah principles for profit. He has maintained high growth in profit while at the same time sustaining it on the path of high ethics with best practice corporate governance and sound risk management framework.
This is a clear demonstration that it is possible for businesses to make profit without sacrificing ethical values. Usman has also ensured innovative responses to customer needs, best-practice operations and functional framework and meeting the interests of equity holders all within the confines of ethical principles of fairness, transparency and objectivity.