Today, one of the fastest growing financial service providers in Nigeria, Heritage Bank Plc, is celebrating 7 years of its existence. Established with an excellent service culture hinged on partnering with customer to create wealth, the lender has continued to provide seamless banking experience, accurate and relevant information to its customers across Nigeria. For Heritage Bank, it’s been seven years of creating, preserving and transferring wealth to its teeming customers across the country.
A story began on March 4, 2012; a story of hard-work and determination when IEI Investments Ltd acquired Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, after meeting all requirements by Nigeria’s apex bank.
Heritage Bank Internal Heritage Bank Plc was born and began its operations in Nigeria as a regional bank on March 14, 2013. After acquiring the license and structure of the old Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria which was closed down by the CBN for failing to meet the new capital requirements of N25 billion or $155 million for a national bank in January 2006, Heritage Bank returned 100% of existing SGBN account holders’ money which were frozen at the closure of the SGBN. This move brought a lot of smiles to the faces of former account holders with majority of them having confidence to continue to bank with Heritage. This was the beginning of a success story of a man bank that was dead for 10years before it was resurrected by Mr. Ifie Sekibo and his team. After 1 year it began commercial operations, Heritage Bank became the centre of the biggest event in the Nigerian banking sector.
In October 2014, the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) announced that Heritage Bank had emerged winner of the bid for the acquisition of the defunct Enterprise Bank. Heritage Bank had successfully met all the terms and conditions set by the CBN and AMCON towards owning 100% shares in Enterprise Bank. Heritage Bank which entered the market just a year defied all banking tenets and was able to withstand the might of top established players like Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, (then Skye Bank – now Polaris, Diamond Bank – Access) and others to win the bid for the acquisition of Enterprise Bank which also saw it inherit over 160 branches, over 177 ATMs, and 2000 POS terminals spread across major markets and commercial centres in the country. This move automatically transformed Heritage Bank from a regional bank to a national bank. Still, as big a move as it was, it remained just one of the many strategic moves to change the banking industry and Heritage Bank has made a lot of them since it began operations in 2013.
With a management focused on innovation and a unique philosophy to create, preserve and transfer wealth to its customers, Heritage Bank found itself in a fiercely competitive banking environment but it remained guided by passion, resilience, innovation and a brand architecture that exuded quality service, performance and sheer excellence. Heritage Bank introduced a zero Cost of Transaction to its customers in April 2013, implying that there would be no hidden charges as it continued its quest for 100% customer satisfaction. Heritage Bank also set a standard when it launched its pilot ‘Corner Shop’ to cater for traders at the Gbagada Plank Market in Gbagada Estate, Lagos to ease banking. The ‘Corner Shop’ was widely received and appreciated by the Gbagada traders as it saved them the time and money to visit a bank branch, kilometres away. Heritage Bank was not done yet. The bank went further to prove its trend-setting profile by introducing Nigeria’s first pioneer portable POS solution named ‘PortaPOS”.
The Heritage PortaPOS which is free to all Heritage Bank customers can accept all EMV chip and PIN cards, MasterCard, Verve and Visa cards. It is portable and light as a regular mobile phone and has a long-lasting and rechargeable battery. It also syncs to phones and printers via Bluetooth technology! Heritage Bank has found its feet quickly on the floor of the Nigerian Banking sector and recorded over 200% increase in the number of customers since 2013. It remains committed to its customers and continues to search for new heights to attain in the Nigerian banking sector and that is why the bank is considered the fastest growing bank in Nigeria. The Heritage Bank story is increasingly becoming a case study in corporate governance, leadership, vision and excellence.