Fintechs and Betting Companies Are Threats to Banks – GTBank CEO, Segun Agbaje

MD/CEO, GTBank, Segun Agbaje

Seye Joseph

The Managing Director/CEO, Guaranty  Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje has said that financial technology firms, betting  and telecommunication companies are the major threats to banking services..

Agbaje said in an interview with strategy+business, a publication of PwC that  banking is  more interesting and more challenging now than before.

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“When I started banking, whenever we carried out competitors analysis, all we would look at were banks but today when we carry out the same analysis , what we are looking at are fintechs, telcos, and companies that are  into fast-moving consumables

“You would probably also look at betting companies. Basically, anyone who has the potential to use mobile wallets and mobile technology is a potential competitor”, Agbaje said.

He cited some online betting companies that have up to 25 million mobile wallets.

“If you have 25 million mobile wallets, you have 25 million potential customers for financial services,” he concluded, adding that it is most likely those companies are deploying data analytics and artificial intelligence to target customers. “Some of these companies  might even have started finding ways to extend credit. So I think that whatever the telcos believe they have today [in terms of data] to compete in the financial-services space, the betting companies probably have just as much”, he revealed.

Agbaje joined GTBank in 1991, the same year it commenced operations. Having trained as an accountant in the United States, he worked his way up the ladder.

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In 2007, Agbaje led GTBank’s listing on the London Stock Exchange that raised US$750 million, and successfully placed Nigeria’s first private Eurobond issuance. Four years later, he was named CEO . GTBhas total assets of more than $9.7 billion.

Under him, GTBank’s retail clientele has grown nine fold to 18 million making it one of Nigeria’s biggest banks by customer base. It has also created the continent’s largest consumer-focused fairs in food and fashion as a way to help develop sectors that Agbaje believes are essential to promoting enterprise for indigenous small businesses and critical to boosting the country’s sluggish economic growth.