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By NBF News
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Banks in the country are now prepared to increase their support to the real sector of the Nigerian economy, using opportunities presented by the pension funds, bond market and grants by governments to certain sectors of the economy, says Mrs. Faith Tuedor-Matthews, Managing Director, Mainstreet Bank Limited.

Speaking in an interactive session with the media in Lagos, weekend, Tuedor-Matthews said that banks are ready to tap into the benefits of the long term nature of the pension fund, the bond market and government grants to extend their relevance and contribute their quota to the development of the Nigerian economy.

According to her, the level of support the banking industry or any bank can give to any sector is dependent on the size and tenor of the funds available to the player.

'Historically, given that the funds available to Nigerian banks were largely short-term, the industry has been constrained. However, with the emergence of longer-tenured funds such as pension funds, the bond market and the various government interventions to key sectors, the banking sector will definitely begin to play a more active and supportive role to the real sector,' she said.

She said that most of the challenges hindering banks from playing their roles in the society include: weak physical and communications infrastructural support; inadequate power supply, insecurity among others.

She noted that these challenges drive up cost of operations and impede productivity and efficiency.

She said that Mainstreet Bank has put in place a number of measures to address the challenges confronting its operations, especially in building the confidence of customers, staff and stakeholders.

She explained that the bank is aware of the fact that confidence and trust are important factors in banking and is determined to rebuild these by building confidence in its staff, through investment in capacity building via training and culture reorientation.

She further stated that the bank is upgrading its technology and is seeking to promote integrity and transparency in its dealings with its customers.

She said, 'We also intend to rebuild confidence and trust in our bank by consistently seeking to promise what we can deliver and see our ultimate success as a bank in the progress and survival of our customers' business.

'We also intend to communicate our financial, leadership and operating status as aoften as possible, to all our stakeholders; so they come to understand that Mainstreet Bank is truly rock-solid in terms of capital adequacy, liquidity, leadership and mindset; and in the institutions' resolve to be among the leading banks in Nigeria in the shortest possible time.'

Tuedor-Matthews said the bank has adopted a number of strategies to differentiate it from other banks in the market.

The strategies, according to her include customer intimacy, service excellence and innovative product leadership.

'We plan to offer our customers products that best meet their needs, deliver services flawlessly in a friendly, appropriate and conducive environment or channel, by people who understands and appreciate their needs,' she added.