In late 1980s, a financial institution came into existence known as Societe Generale Bank, Nigeria (SGBN). On January 2006, SGBN operational license was revoked during the re-capitalisation policy in the banking sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) then under the chairmanship of Chukwuma Soludo.
If a man should die, can he live again? That was a question asked by Job in the Bible. In a sense Societe Generale Bank, Nigeria became a dead bank.
The Resurrection Of A New Bank
Some religions believe in the resurrection hope (Acts 24:15) and investors too believe in resilience. Sometime in the immediate past, a group of young men and investors, came together and approached the owners of Societe Generale Bank (SGBN). After a meeting between SGBN, the new investors and the CBN, a new bank came into existence. This was the re-birth of the erstwhile Societe Generale Bank transformed to an innovative commercial bank with regional authorization called Heritage Bank.
Emerging from the ashes of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, these group of professionals led by Mr. Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank with proven track record in turn-around management, embarked on yet another remarkable mission. In October 2014, Heritage Bank acquired Enterprise bank which was on the verge of death to become a national bank.
Heritage Bank has an historic importance and banking culture. Although, still very young, Heritage Bank is among Nigeria leading banks with an excellent service culture hinged on working with each customer to create a name and heritage for today and for future generations.
What No Bank Has Ever Done Before
After the suspension of the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria license in 2006, depositors lost their money and all hope was dim that they would never get their funds back. This has always been the case in most banks in the world when they close down.
For me this is a big commendation – Heritage Bank was able to make customers get back their monies years after. Depositors who indicated their interest to convert their deposits to shares were allowed to do so.
Enterprise bank in 2014 had about 160 branches; Heritage Bank had just 11 branches but yet the smaller entity (Heritage Bank) kept alive a bigger organisation (Enterprise bank). Has any bank in the world ever done this remarkable turn-around?
Heritage Bank is a healthy bank and is growing stronger daily. The bank supports SMEs and entrepreneurs. City Supermarket will one day become bigger just like or be like Shoprite because it is a project funded by Heritage Bank. Heritage Bank is also committed to women empowerment as it recently got an award from Oyo State for commitment towards women empowerment and has won many awards.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has reiterated that Heritage Bank is not in distressed, all depositors funds are safe and the bank remains resilient enough to withstand the current economic storm.
Don’t you agree this is one bank with a true heritage?