Nairametrics|Tier two lender, Sterling Bank has entered into a partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). The partnership will benefit the bank in two ways. Access to a new set of cusromers and access to foreign exchange.
The government through its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has emphasized the need for the country to diversify its exports base away from crude oil. Difficulties in accessing foreign exchange (forex), has made many firms to go into production of goods and services that they can export. Aligning with exporters, gives the bank a steady source of foreign exchange.
As the companies grow, so also does business for the bank. The staff will need consumer loans, the industries will also need finance for expansion and raising capital. The economic recession has meant that majority of banks’ borrowing customers are in a tight spot or are defaulting on loans obtained. The Oil and Gas industry is struggling, as well as trade and commerce.
Nigerian banks made a fortune from forex transactions last year. GTBank led the pack with gains of over N80 Billion. This was due to the sharp devaluation of the Naira. Although a heavy decline again in the Naira exchange rate seems unlikely, the uncertainty in the forex markets still prevails.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) was established in 1976. Its functions include to promote the diversification and development of Nigeria’s export trade and to promote the development of export related industries in Nigeria.
Sterling Bank Plc. was founded in 1960 as Nigerian Acceptances Limited (NAL) Bank. The banking consolidation in 2006 lead to its merger with four other banks, and the adoption of the name Sterling Bank. The bank in 2011 eventually merged with Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB) owned by Mike Adenuga.