Sterling Bank Plc has won the ‘Housing Friendly Commercial Bank of the Year’ award for its remarkable impact on housing delivery in Nigeria’s housing sector.
Receiving the award at the 12th edition of the Abuja Housing Awards in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja recently, Sterling Bank’s Non-Interest Banking (NIB) Group Head, Mr. Basheer Oshodi said, the bank was delighted at the recognition of the innovative efforts of the NIB group in the housing sector. Oshodi said the model of engagement created by the NIB group enhanced the ability of many Nigerians to own houses under a flexible mode of payment, adding that the NIB group has done so much in making affordable housing available to Nigerians. According to him, customers who expressed interest in the home ownership model were made to contribute between 20 and 30 per cent equity over the construction period of 18 months after which the facility is booked for future ownership. He added that rentals in the scheme were less than what would have been paid in a conventional banking arrangement. “We have developed an innovative method of home ownership for Sterling Bank customers. The model gives an opportunity to the buyer to own a house without the stress of bulk payment. “Where the house is already built, a prospective home owner simply makes equity contribution and is booked for future ownership. “Even if there is no house on the ground and the customer signifies an intention to access a mortgage, the next step will be to start contributing equity,” Oshodi said. He explained that once off-takers were identified and profiled, current accounts are opened for them so that they would start saving towards meeting their equity quotient while the deposits serve as a liability to the bank. He said since the rules does not allow NIB to invest in treasury bills or interest bearing securities, the deposits are normally used to buy off-plans from developers through a lease structure. The lease can be either off-plan, which means the bank books the facilities even before construction starts, or a home finance which leads to ownership. On his part, Executive Director, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Sterling Bank, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, said the bank has made significant commitments in the real estate segment, especially in Lagos State and is willing to provide facilities to real estate developers.