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  • Business - Banking & Finance
  • Updated: June 24, 2020

Zenith Bank CEO Addresses Negative Impact of Coronavirus On Bank, Others

Zenith Bank CEO Addresses Negative Impact of Coronavirus  On

The Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has admitted that the coronavirus outbreak will adversely affect the Nigerian banking industry following the disruption of the financial sector's operation. Oneagwu said the banks are exposed to the COVID-19 fallout due to the oil industry.

He said the bank will be negatively impacted by the oil price crash and with revenue being challeneged, what is left is restructuring. According to Onyeagwu, banks are not expecting much growth as banks will continue to be challenged until a vaccine is developed.

“In terms of banking, the drop in the price of crude is affecting directly the exposure that banks have created in the oil and gas sector. Revenues are challenged now, no doubt. And you have a situation where revenues are challenged, the obvious next step will be for you to restructure,” He said.

Onyeagwu added that, “In this moment too, as far as banking is concerned, we are also going to experience the fact that we don’t expect a situation where there will be growth in loan books. Loan growth will be challenged. World Bank’s screen now is on different sectors of the economy and how the COVID impacts them restructuring the loan book. The Central Bank has even given a dispensation to this effect, asking banks to come up with the  various proposals they have for the restructuring of the loan book.”

He further stated that banks are not the only sector affected by the pandemic, adding that, “In a situation where you have a lockdown of the economy, if you lock down all the agents, there is no way business volumes will not be bad or impacted.” Onyeagwu said in an interview with CNBC Africa.

Onyeagwu revealed that amidst the coronavirus outbreak, Zenith Bank has seen an increase in the usage of its various digital channels. He said customers are now eager to use the various digital channels to transact businesses rather than the traditional walk-in preferred by customers post-COVID-19.

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