British multinational banking and financial services company, Standard Chartered Plc is reported planning to shut down half of its branches in Nigeria.
According to Bloomberg, the bank has closed 12 of its offices last year December and will eventually operate only 13 branches in the country due to alleged pressure from mobile money providers.
A source who spoke with the newspaper said the British bank has started strengthening its mobile banking unit and planning to start digital lending to process small loans quicker and increase the volume of retail credit.
The source added that the lender is planning to recruit agents to reach new customers and handle cash deposits and withdrawals across Africa’s biggest economy.
He added that the restructuring of the bank follows the move by Access Bank Plc and First Bank of Nigeria to build networks of authorized agents, or people within communities to sell their products and services.
Naija News reports that Standard Chartered has focused on corporate banking since establishing a presence in Nigeria in 1999.
However, the bank recently looked to expand its retail base and outlined a target in 2019 to grow the number of its customers fivefold from 100,000 in about two years by using digital technology to onboard clients faster.
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