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After conquering the banking sector in Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc is looking to disrupt the financial technology (fintech) space by formally launching its payments arm.

The Managing Director of the lender, Mr Segun Agbaje, informed analysts this week that an application for the establishment of GTBank’s fintech company would be filed before the end of the week.

According to Mr Agbaje, this payments company will be part of the new structure of the company from the first quarter of 2021.

GTBank is planning to operate as a financial holding company, which will enable the organisation to operate in other sectors and thereby increase its revenue and profits.

In the past, GTBank and other banks were allowed to delve into other businesses, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which regulates the sector, later directed banks to only face their core business, banking.

This forced most lenders to sell-off their other businesses in insurance, stockbroking, asset management and others. Only those allowed to still have these arms are banks operating under a holding structure like Stanbic IBTC, FBN Holdings and a few others.

GTBank is planning to become a holding company from next year to allow it to operate in other sectors in the financial services industry.

At the analyst call monitored by Business Post, the MD/CEO of the financial institution said the proposed GTBank Holding Company (Holdco) will operate an asset management company, Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), a payments company and the banking business.

However, he said the banking arm will be split into three and will comprise GTBank Nigeria, GTBank East Africa and GTBank West Africa.

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He noted that the managing director for the GTBank Nigeria will likely be announced by October 2020.

“On the Holdco structure, arrangements are going very well and as you know, it is a financial holding structure, which means we will need regulatory approval from the central bank, SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and other areas we do business,” Mr Agbaje said.

He explained that, “We will have the central unit, which will be the controlling body and a couple of business units.

“In terms of the bank operations, we are going to split it into three; GTBank Nigeria, GTBank East Africa and GTBank West Africa.

“We will then have other business units like asset management, a PFA and a payments company. Hopefully, this week, we will put in our application for final approval for the payments company.”

Speaking further, the banker, who is retiring from the position in 2021, stated that, “For the asset management and PFA, we are going through due diligence as we speak on an entity.”

“I believe we will be ready to go live will the Holdco structure by the first quarter of next year. We are just working on an operating model and others in preparation for the kickoff,” he declared, noting that, “I am really excited about the Holdco structure. I think everything that happened in the pandemic has proven that we are on the right part.”

He expressed optimism that the proposed payments company of GTBank will succeed because of the level of inflows and outflows in the space.

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GTBank is not relatively new in the payments industry in Nigeria as it already has a platform called GTPay. However, the ecosystem is filled with top players like Interswitch, Paga, Paystack, Rave by Flutterwave, PayU, Remita, QucikTeller and a couple of others.

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