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The Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, has reiterated the commitment of the bank to continue supporting start-ups and innovators in the Fintech space by providing relevant data and infrastructure to enable them to scale appropriately.

Adeduntan made the disclosure at a virtual meeting on the bank’s FinTech Summit 5.0 event with the theme: Open Banking and its derivatives Opportunities in the Financial Ecosystem.

He said that the summit was organized to create a global platform for conversations around the future of innovation in the financial services sector and specifically in the financial technologies space.

The FirstBank boss said that the objective was to contribute to the rapid evolution in the banking and financial services delivery angle of the economy.

According to him, “The summit gives us a very good platform to hear from leading experts in the space; because open data, cloud technology, artificial intelligence and the way they operate together to create the right environment for innovation or evolution is becoming important.

“For us, Open Banking demonstrates the practical fusion of these variables presenting potentials that can redefine product development, customer experience, and overall value creation within the financial services system.

“With significant multiplier effect, not just for players but also for consumers of financial services products. The regulatory framework for open banking in Nigeria, as issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the rules and regulations which financial services can take place across the system.”

The First bank MD hinted that NITDA and the data protection regulations are indications of regulation around open banking.
He added: “We believe there is enough space for continuous innovation and for us as an economy to rapidly embrace this in the view to materially upgrading the quality of financial services in Nigeria.

“As an institution that is over 127 years old, our bank has series of industry transformations and would continue to play a leading role in forging the conversations on refining regulatory frameworks and shaping the industry not just for open banking but for all contemporary issues to back our industry. We will also continue to demonstrate our support for start-ups and innovators in the Fintech space by providing them with relevant data, support, and infrastructure to enable them to scale appropriately, through our SMEConnect platform.”

The Deputy Director, Payment System of the CBN, Mr. Musa Jimoh, who was represented by senior management staff at CBN, Mr. Olubukola Akinwunmi, said the framework looked specifically around the risk management that needed to be built.

Jimoh said: “Eventually when we go full blast open banking regime, we take care of the main concerns of customers. One of the main aspects of the open banking regime is the registry.

“The current framework has already indicated that the bank will be engaging the industry stakeholders to come up with defined guidelines on how a number of the positions of the framework will be translated into operations. The Open Banking registry will ensure transparency and ensure that customers can look up and know who they are dealing with.”

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