SunTrust Bank will be a National Bank 6 years from now- Mrs Raliat Oyetunde
Mrs Raliat Oyetunde is the Head, SME Banking and Acting Regional Manager, Lagos/West at SunTrust Bank Nig.Ltd; where she oversees the day-to-day activities of the SME Banking, Commercial and branches in the Lagos and West.
Prior to joining SunTrust Bank, Raliat was the CEO/Lead Consultant at Prinsult Global Consulting Limited and a Managing Partner at Blackstone Capital Ltd, where she had the responsibility for the strategic and tactical decisions for the development and growth of the small and medium scale consulting business. She also provided leadership to the capacity-building arm of the company and is the chief liaison officer with Government Agencies and major Financial Institutions in the company portfolio. She also served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of GEM Factor Events, a leading event Management Company in Nigeria.
With over 17 years direct experience in Banking, Raliat has held a wide range of financial services and has served in various roles including Public Sector Management, Retail and Commercial Banking via Branch Management and large corporate. She was a key resource in the smooth transition and merger of Oceanic Bank Plc and Ecobank Nigeria Limited in 2011.
Raliat is a Thought Leader on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with consultancies for Commercial Banks, Bank of Industry (BOI) among other reputable private and public institutions. She is among the Pioneer BOI Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs), a key facilitator for the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) and Youth Entrepreneurship Support Product programme (YES-P). In these roles, she has successfully built capacity for over 10,000 SMEs, launched 100Entrepreneurs within 7 years who have a combined asset size in excess of USD 10million. She was also a pioneer Judge on Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE)realityShow for SMEs in Africa.
Her passion for women empowerment led Raliat to launch a new tribe of conversation #womenMORE December 1, 2017.The sole object of this conversation is to help create a new tribe of women catalyst in the society.
Raliat’s areas of expertise includeInvestment Banking,Marketing Strategy,Credit and Marketing,Business Development,Sales,Change Management,Project Management and Motivational speaking.
Raliat Oyetunde is a Certified Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) and International Finance Corporation(IFC)Trainer, a certified Centre for Management Development, Nigeria(CMD) Management Trainer;a certified Nigerian Business Development Service Provider(BDSP); An Associate of the Nigerian Institute of Management(NIM), a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria(CIBN),an alumni of Lagos Business School (LBS), the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC-Pan Atlantic University), Cranfield School of Management (UK), University of Ilorin, and the University of Agriculture Makurdi.
She sits on the board of Aleef Television,Chairman of Cerebral Palsy Centre, Lagos, a member of the Ethical Committee of Nordica Fertility Centre and the Advisory Board of Jordan Hill Creative & Reading Workshop. In an Exclusive interview with Olubukunola Raliat Talks about SunTrust Bank services extensively.
Can you briefly talk about SunTrust Bank ?
We are Nigeria’s Number One Financial Technology (FinTech) Bank, the products and services usually provided in other banks physical branches, are easily accessible through our electronical channels. We strive to create the best outcomes for our clients and customers with ﬁnancial ingenuity that leads to solutions that are simple, creative, and responsible. The Bank focuses its lending activities on SME Finance, Retail/Consumer Banking, and Medium to large Corporate Finance and explores other specialized Development/Infrastructure ﬁnancing activities. Our competitive edge will be the strong reliance on technology and the Bank encourages its customers to access its services from the comfort of their homes and oﬃces and as such will not be engaging in a proliferation of branches. At SunTrust Bank, we are passionate about Financial Inclusion.
How many years has SunTrust been in Nigeria? Do you have annex in strategic places?
SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited was launched to the General Public on August 15, 2016. Inspired by the future, it is a privately held Commercial Bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the BOFIA.
We have our Northern Regional Office in Abuja, and Port Harcourt for the South.
From research, the opening of account is free! What are the benefits that’s comes with being an account holder with SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited?
Opening account with suntrust bank Nigeria is free like you just mentioned. And this comes with a lot of benefits to our customers because SunTrust Bank is poised to create value for its customers by leveraging on our competencies and a team of highly motivated staﬀ, who work tirelessly to develop and provide a broad range of unique ﬁnancial services and products to consumers, small business, corporations, governments, and institutions which will positively impact their business.
And this can be seen in products and services we have like the SME finance, Retail, corporate, agribusiness Trade finance and the Non Interest Banking window.
A lot of SMEs are springing up day by day What are the services available for SMEs in Nigeria?
The SunTrust bank Nigeria SME banking group supports small scale business to access finance easily for their businesses without collateral and at competitive interest rates.
At SunTrust Bank, we have designed a loan package which helps our SME customers meet their financial challenges, through the SunTrust Bank Flash Loan. This product will enable them have access to fund and expand their business.
The SME Flash is an umbrella product for all our asset products in the SME banking group. The main objective of the SUNTRUST BANK SME FLASH product is to make financing easy for our SME customers that do not have access to tangible collaterals but are desirous of expanding their businesses.
Our aim is also to ensure that all our SME customers are profitable, build sustainable businesses that are scalable, expandable, and exportable; thereby positioning the Bank and Nigeria in the global space.
At SunTrust Bank SME banking group, all our services and product offerings are tailored to suit individual customer to keep their dream alive and experience tomorrow’s dream today.
We have the following:
WOMEN in FASHION (WIF): This is an SME flash variant that is targeted at our women in the fashion business. There has been tremendous growth and worldwide acceptance of the African print, hence we choose to support women in fashion that produces ready to wear and trendy outfits.
These women have improved in their finished products and leveraging on online marketing to showcase these products; At SunTrust Bank they can access loans within the range of N500,000-N10m to aid the expansion of their businesses. These loans are availed within 48hours, and the SMEs have access to our weekly SME clinic.
WOMEN on WHEELS (WoW): The ladies in E-hailing business have proven that an opportunity exists in that business segment. Again, the major challenge of these woman is their inability to own their own fleet of cars for the E-hailing business. A variant of the SUNTRUST BANK SME FLASH has been designed for them to access and help in acquiring their own cars at minimal interest rate over a period of 24months.
SUNTRUST SME CLINIC (SSC): This is SunTrust Bank’s special value add to our small business account holders. They are free to walk into any of our branches or join our SME team virtually for capacity buildings and business diagnostics every week. The clinic gives the SMEs access to collaboration, access to market and an opportunity to become a SunTrust Bank SME ambassador at the end of every financial year.
SUNTRUST BANK SME JAMBOREE: This is a special week event held every quarter. The event is designed such that it brings like small businesses together with providers and buyers to create a fusion. It is the easiest way to have access to market and collaboration. We choose each sector per quarter, and we always have grateful small businesses that see their dreams coming true.
The interest rates SMEs pay back is 16% which is different from other banks in Nigeria, Is there any support from the Government?
Like I said we have designed this package to help SMEs grow their business, knowing that most commercial banks rates are higher and would need collateral.
If we must grow the nation’s GDP then SMEs must be enabled to have access to funds so we decided at SunTrust bank Nigeria to reduce the interest rate with no collateral. All you need is a level 12 officer in government or a manager in a finance house to be your guarantor.
In this digital with a lot of business going online now, can one also open account online without going physically to the bank?
Absolutely SunTrust Bank is the first Fintech Bank in Nigeria. And we have always encourages our customers to relate with us digitally. You can open an account online on www.suntrustng.com, and though our USSD by dialling *5320# and follow the prompting.
You can also reach us for queries and enquiries through email: email@example.com; SMEbanking@suntrustng.com or call us on 09082666697, 09083666697 and on our social
Instagram – @suntrustng
Facebook – @suntrustng
LinkedIn – SuntrustNG
What does customer service mean to you and how hasSunTrust team been able to keep old customers?
We strive to create the best outcomes for our clients and customers with ﬁnancial ingenuity that leads to solutions that are simple, creative, and responsible.
For us at SunTrust bank good customer service is critical to our business success, and this ensures brand loyalty one customer at a time.
Recently, SunTrust Bank supported women in fashion business and female drivers, what is the rationale behind this?
The SunTrust Bank’s Women On Wheels (WOW) is an asset finance product targeted at Female commercial car owners from the age of 18-55yrs. It is meant to support these women to own their fleet of commercials vehicles. The idea came as the SME banking group sought innovative ways to ease lending to women and make them have financial autonomy to achieve various desires of nation building and adding to the GDP of the country.
The First phase of WOW which is a SunTrust SME Flash loan was launched in Lagos in April 2021 for about 100 female Drivers and we have been overwhelmed with demands for the above subject from Abuja. This is the reason we are launching the second phase of WOW in Abuja, for another 100 female drivers, with the first 10 female E-hailing customers ready for market.
These women will make daily deposits into their accounts so the repayment at the end of the month will be very easy. The asset is for 24months and at a very low interest rate.
“WOW” is basically designed for women who are into transport business such as Uber, Bolt, etc. Ownership/Insurance will be in the name of the Bank until the final rental to the Bank is paid by the customer.
And all you required to access this facility is to be a licensed female driver, registered with Uber and or Bolt, and a proforma invoice of any car of your choice not older than Uber or Bolt requires. We hope to take this further by partnering with Auto dealers for brand new cars soon.
Where do you see SunTrust Bank in the next 6 years from now?
SunTrust Bank will be a National Bank 6 years from now.
Aide work, How do you relax yourself ?
I Like to relax with my family, I reading, watch Tv, going to the spa once a month. I like to chill out with my friends.
What is your favourite financial quotes?
“Save more than you spend.
One word of encouragement for SMEs?