SunTrust Bank Nigeria (SBN) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) have signed an agreement to establish a new non-interest banking window in Nigeria.
Under the agreement, SunTrust Bank and Saudi-based ICD agreed to facilitate information and expertise exchange in order to setup a window that incorporates non-interest banking products and services in Nigeria.
“We look forward to strengthening mutual efforts in establishing the non-interest window and move a step forward in achieving one of ICD’s main objectives to promote Islamic finance in our member countries,” said Khaled Al-Aboodi, the CEO/General Manager of ICD – which is a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
Nigeria has a burgeoning market for Islamic financial products given the country’s 70 million-strong Muslim population. Jaiz Bank, the largest Islamic banking franchise in Nigeria, operates as a stand-alone bank with more than N50 billion in assets and N20 billion in customer deposits. Stanbic IBTC and Sterling Bank, however, have been licensed to operate Islamic banking windows alongside their conventional banking operations. There are also several asset management and investment companies operating as Islamic finance entities.
“We realize the many benefits of our close collaboration. By establishing the new window, we will diversify our banking offer and will attract investors not only from Nigeria but also from the Islamic Development Bank Group member countries, and we consider ICD as our strategic partner in those countries,” said Muhammad Jibrin, SBN’s Managing Director/CEO.
SunTrust Bank Nigeria began operations as a microfinance bank in 2009. The bank received its commercial banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria in September 2015. In the 2016 financial year, the bank said its net operating income rose 166 percent to N1.31 billion, while after-tax profit grew 75 percent to N212.71 million. Total assets, however, fell marginally to N17.52 billion.