Since 2011, Nigerian banks began to change structure

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Good morning.“Imagine how much money the government could make if you could upgrade to Election+ and get all the results right now.” – One Twitter user’s
hilarious solution to waiting for ages to get the final results of the U.S elections.

In today’s edition:

-Nigerian banks are making big changes
-Art meets technology
-The BackEnd


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From 2011, several Nigerian banks have changed their corporate structure and have become holding companies. A holding company exists for the sole purpose of controlling other companies.

So instead of operating within the narrow confines of the banking industry, a holding company structure means that these banks can expand into insurance, fintech and whatever catches their fancy.

First Bank, GTB, Sterling Bank, UBA Group and Stanbic IBTC are some of the banks that have adopted the holding company structure. While GTB and Sterling bank have become holding companies only recently, most of the other players changed their structure in 2011.

CBN’s rule change in 2011: In 2011, Nigeria’s Central Bank forced banks to give up their non-banking businesses. In line with global best practices, CBN’s risk management strategy separated lenders from entangling with other financial services like insurance or investments.

But banks are thinking bigger now: Access bank is thinking global expansion, GTB has its eyes on the fintech sector, and Sterling bank is looking at insurance underwriting. While the ambitions of these banks are in different directions, their eyes are on the big picture: a bigger bottom line.

Go deeper: Why three of Nigeria’s banks are restructuring to holding companies


Since I bought a painting from an artist in Abuja last year, I’ve been pretending to understand art.

So when Kay wrote this brilliant article on how art galleries have had to use technology to stay relevant in these unprecedented times, you can bet I’d have some hot take.

What’s been happening in the art world: Not a lot of exhibitions thanks to Covid-19, social distancing and a disruption in the world as we know it. In the year I finally planned to
attend major art exhibitions like the Venice Biennale, it got postponed to 2021.

Prominent museums, like the Zeitz MOCAA in South Africa, have been closed for nearly seven months.

Finding solutions: From hosting virtual reality-enabled exhibitions to artists’ talks on Zoom, we’re seeing some
interesting changes in the way art is shared and consumed.

Read Kay’s brilliant article here: In 2020, home is where the art is

In the last two weeks, we’ve done a bit of talking about the Nigerian loan marketplace, Evolve Credit.

Now Alex has done us a solid on this week’s BackEnd, by looking under the hood to see how Evolve Credit really

If you haven’t caught any previous editions of the BackEnd series: The BackEnd explores the product development process in African tech. We take you into the minds of those who conceived, designed and built the product; highlighting product uniqueness, user behaviour assumptions and challenges during the product cycle.

An excerpt: “Want to find a loan but don’t know which company to apply to? Evolve is promising to show all you need to make an informed decision.The web app offers price comparison features, and unmasks terms and conditions for at least 286 personal and SME loan offers.”

“A quick glance shows offers from Carbon, GT Bank, Quickteller, ALAT and Fairmoney. Then, there are a host of brick-and-mortar microfinance banks and brands that may not show up on Google.”

“It is a digital lending kindergarten for the uninitiated, an aggregator for the industry and possible source of original credit insights for researchers and policymakers.”

Get into it: The BackEnd: Evolve Credit’s three ambitions for Africa’s credit industry


The second episode of Building From Ground Hub with Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade has been rescheduled for Friday, November 6. The event is created in partnership with UK-Nigeria Tech Hub.

Do mark your calendars if you have registered, and if you haven’t, you can still register for the event here.


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