Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank Plc, headquartered in United Kingdom, has announced plans to shut down around 50% of its branches in Nigeria, a step targeting prioritisation of digital banking.
The closure began in December, which indicates that just 13 branches of the bank will be up and running eventually, compared to around 25 operating before the move.
Lenders are deploying mobile money services on a vast scale in Nigeria to tap the market of the unbanked population comprising approximately 38 million adults, which Dataphyte estimated to be worth N26.2 trillion for the first 11 months of last year.
Formidable competition from mushrooming fintech companies therefore means players late to agency banking rave like Standard Chartered Bank could struggle to gain power.
According to anonymous sources, the bank is now firming up mobile banking operations and enlisting agents to expand its patrons.
Since its launch in the country, the lender has centred its operations on corporate banking but is giving increasing attention to retail banking. The retail banking however led to the introduction of digital lending which is aimed at easing access to soft loans and ramping up the size of retail credit.