COVID-19 has validated the need for mortgage to go digital – CitiTrust boss


COVID-19 pandemic has further validated the need for businesses to go digital to help patrons access loan facilities.

This was disclosed by the Country Chief Executive Officer of Cititrust Financial Services, Peter Ikechukwu.

He said, "The truth of the matter is that fintech is the way, and any business that is not positioned for that right now will experience a dramatic nosedive. We are not there yet but we are putting the virtual processes in place.

"The platforms are being built as we speak, the engagement with vendors is actually in top gear. So, between now and the end of the year, we should be playing actively in that space because the truth is, it is an investment that cannot go wrong. Plans are seriously in motion and before the end of the year, we will be active in that space."

On the investment firm's listing plan, he told Nairametrics that the firm had perfected arrangements to list by introduction on the nation's bourse before the end of the second quarter.

He added that the company's decision to list on the exchange was to make its shares available to more Nigerians and raise capital as well.

He said that the company would also grow its balance sheet size of N36 billion by 50% before the end of 2021.

"We are also looking at growing our lending powers, we have a risk asset portfolio of about N12 billion, we are looking at growing that by another 50 percent incrementally by the end of this year," he stated.

He said that the company was also making plans to migrate Living Trust Mortgage Bank, which is listed on the Exchange, from a state licenced mortgage bank to a national mortgage bank.

"We are coming up with a programme through our Cititrust Academy on April 15, where people can learn the basics of business and be able to impact their operational lives as they move on.

We expect that by mid next year, all our subsidiaries will be top industry players in the space where they play, because we believe that money is made at the top," he said.

Speaking on the company's loan exposure, he said it was minimal and within the threshold of regulatory requirement of 5%.

He attributed the reason for high non-performing loans to lack of effective monitoring from the point of disbursement.

"If you don't monitor these loans properly, you will discover that even the customer that has the capacity to pay, will not pay.

"When proper structures are on ground, the monies will come back. When the monitoring is there, things will not go bad. The structure of the loan is another thing that should be looked at. Once all these dynamics are properly understood, the exposure will be minimal," he said.


View on Naira Metrics