Mr. Walter Akpani is managing director/CEO, Providus Bank – a new bank with a regional licence he unveiled its brand identity in April 2017. A seasoned banker with more than two decades of top level experience in the banking business, Akpani has launched out in an industry he knows inside out. Having played the roles of a start-up tactician and a turnaround engineer for a number of banks, he seems to have what it will take to build a bank in a bad weather and give it a firm standing.
Headlong confrontation with the competition is a good strategy for a start-up to announce its arrival in the marketplace. That is precisely what the inauguration of the bank’s headquarters in Nigeria’s prime financial district in Victoria Island means. Akpani is running with a vision to build an enduring and sustainable customer-focused financial institution. “We want to be a niche player and our nimble size will enhance cost saving”, he said.
He is coming into the market with a promise to focus on service excellence, low cost orientation, speed, transparency, innovation and technology. These are described as sharp edges in the competitive space with which complacent operators could surrender their market shares to the new bank before they realise it.
Akpani’s market entry strategy speaks well of his acclaimed depth of knowledge and experience in the banking business. His niche banking focus will be propelled by customised business solutions and advanced products designed to meet customers’ business and personal needs now and in the future.
There is yet a long way to go for banks to truly live up to their claims of being financial partners in the businesses of their customers. Many years after claims of customer-focused banking services became a chorus of noise pollution in the marketplace, banks are still being called upon to design relevant products for the real sector and to come down to earth to support small and medium-scale enterprises. Customer focused banking claims seem to be more in words than in action.
Providus Bank is promising to bridge the gap, hoisting a flag of Future Forward Banking. The defined service portfolio of the bank and the indicated delivery efficiency are certain to add some refreshing fragrance and sweeteners to banking services.
The new bank is betting to match action with words by letting customers and their businesses be at the heart of everything it does. It plans to make this happen through personalized services and a tailored style of delivery, leveraging on technology to move ahead of the competition.
Akpani is coming into the banking business with a strategic philosophy that is anchored on partnership. The bank speaks confidently of the human resource capacity at its command, which it said consists of people passionate about going along all the way with customers to nurture their businesses jointly towards sustainable growth. “We are motivated by the opportunity to enrich lives, empower people and support businesses for success”, the bank assured.
The bank is set on a mission that propels it to seek new ways of improving business performance and maximising value for its customers. Living up to this promise can be expected to stir the competition to a new level and bring banking operations at least one step closer to the needs of customers.
For the courageous take off of a new banking operation in Nigeria, Akpani is named one of the top 10 CEOs of the year, 2017 by Top 10 Magazine.