Standard Chartered Bank announced that it will close 50% of its Nigerian branches to concentrate on digital banking. The bank was established in Nigeria in 1999.
According to Bloomberg News a Nigerian subsidiary began closing down offices in December. It may then drop the number of branches from 25 to 13.
Further, the report revealed that the bank terminated the plans under pressure from mobile money providers. This is part of the company’s strategy to join Zenith Bank and First Bank in agent banking.
Standard Chartered Bank aims to strengthen its mobile banking services and recruit agents to reach new clients and manage cash withdrawals and deposits across the country.
Nigerian banks embrace digital banking in order to compete with African fintech products and tap into the growing popularity of mobile money services.
There is a lot of competition in Nigeria’s banking industry. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has issued licenses to Mobile Network Operators to operate mobile money businesses within the country. To keep up with the mobile money operators and fintech, traditional banks have to set up fintech divisions.