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Zenith Bank GMD, Onyeagwu, urges ‘high level’ regulation of Fintechs to curb startups’ excitement



Zenith Bank Group Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, has called for the regulation of the financial technology market, stating that there’s too much excitement in the Fintech space.

The investment banker also stated that Nigerian Fintech startups lack compliance and risk management. He advocated for the “high level” regulation during the Nigerian Fintech Week on Tuesday.

Onyeagwu said the financial industry is a regulated sector, so Nigerian Fintech startups shouldn’t be absolved from regulatory oversight, by allowing them develop products without supervision.

“The emergence of African unicorn, and in particular, the Nigerian unicorn, from what we see in the valuation, is driving a lot of excitement, the energy level is high in the fintech community.

Read also: Zenith Bank grows customer deposit to N5.77trn in H1

“But we need to moderate that excitement, otherwise, we would see players running wild in the market. So in order to have sustainability in this respect, we need to have regulation if you are coming into the finance industry.” Onyeagwu said.

The Zenith Bank boss added, “The finance industry is heavily regulated. You can’t just jump in and jump out. You can’t just come in, develop a product, put it in the market without putting it through the supervisory authority.

“So one will be advocating that we need to have a high level, high dose of regulation to govern what the Fintechs are doing.”

He said to resolve the compliance and risk management issue of Fintech startups, they need to work closely with banks, which will “act as big brothers.”

In his remarks, Onyeagwu noted that Fintechs can’t survive the industry without the backing of the banking sector, but “a bank can exist without the Fintech.”

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