IMPACT OF UNIVERSAL BANKING CONCEPT IN FINANCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY
The project addressed itself with the evaluation of impact of universal banking concept in the financial service delivery of Nigeria with emphasis of first bank of Nigeria Plc.
Both primary and secondary data were collected to solve the research problem. The population of study comprised of the personnel of first bank of Nigeria, customers of the bank and officials of the central bank of Nigeria.
The research instruments used for data collection were questionnaires and oral interview. Tables, frequencies and percentages were used in presenting and analyzing the data collected.
From the data analysis, the researcher came up with the following findings, among others:
(1) That universal banking scheme has led to the creation of level playing field for operators in both what was then the merchant and banks sub – sector as well as eliminating the dualism that typifies the industry
(2) That universal banking scheme has engendered significant economies of scale for the financial industry in general and first bank Plc in particular. This is made possible through the synergy derivable from the integration of its services made possible by the multi purpose banking arrangement engendered by the universal banking scheme.
The researcher thus concludes that universal banking scheme has impacted positively on financial service, industry in general and first bank Plc in particular.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
From 1891, when the first banking institution was established in Nigeria to 1986 when the structural adjustment programme (SAP) was introduced, banking practice was essentially regulated with clearly defined functions both commercial and merchant banks. With SAP, improved policy environment triggered off an unusual increase in the number of banks registered in the country.
The genesis of universal banking in Nigeria can be linked to the distress syndrome that has characterized the banking industry due largely to deregulation which led to the expansion and stiff competition among the existing banks and new entrants. The ensuring struggle by individual banks for survivals and growth, also contributed in no small measure. Like a drowsing person catching any straw many banks had agitated for widening of their scope, the belief that the wider the scope, the larger the room to maneuver ability to generate activity and opportunity to maximize profit or minimize loses.
Successive policy aimed at relaxing the regulatory framework further, saw to the removal of hither to rigidly entrenched dichotomy between the operations of commercial and merchant banks.