PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVE HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: A CASE OF FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
The study is anchored on human resource development (HRD) as the critical element that propels the financial institutions towards achieving and sustaining competitive advantage in this age of explosive information technology which has brought in revolution in the global economic landscape with impact on individuals and challenges on businesses. It assesses the relevance of Human Resource Development in addressing the issues and also present techniques that may be applied by decision makers for the effective utilization of their human capital resources in the financial institutions. This is very necessary considering the pace with which the business environment and individual value system are changing. The researcher gave a theoretical framework and reviewed some related literatures that are in line with human resource development. The responses from the questionnaire were analyzed using simple percentage and frequency tables for proper clarifications. The findings revealed that many problems exist in the financial organizations such as underutilization of human resources: unproportional investment on material resources than on the development of employees, knowledge gap among employers, unethical practices, and inadequate provisions for training and development by human resource unit of the financial institutions. Based on the findings, the researcher made some recommendations on the best way to handle the training and development of their employees for effectiveness and efficiency in the financial institutions which includes training and retraining of their employees, and investing more on human resources.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
The main source of income and profitability of the bank remains the spread or difference between the rate at which funds are borrowed and the rate they are invested or loaned out. In modern time the number of services offered by financial institutions such as commercial banks have increased immensely this is to enable them boost their deposit base and risk taking which is a fundamental nature of banking remains unchanged. The risks of mismatches between assets and liabilities and between borrowing and lending rates.
In managing the risks the bank has to satisfy the following sectors; surplus unit from which the bank borrows and who in turn expect maximum liquidity from the bank; deficit unit,these are those who borrow from the bank who are also expected to liquidate the fund within a specified period. Another sector is the shareholders who will require adequate return on their investments in order for them to invest more; the regulatory authorities who ensures that banks operate prudently and within the stipulated regulatory requirements and finally the community within which it operates and who expects contribution of the organisation towards the development of the host environment.
The financial institutions had witnessed continous evolution all over the world especially since after the second world war. From the collapse of Bretton
Woods system of floating exchange rate of the British government which resulted to increase volatility of exchange and interest rates in 1944 to the imbalance of capital flows as a result emergence of bigger industrial companies in the developed countries such as Germany, Latin America, Japan etc.
A view on Nigeria banking and financial system also indicates that the banking sector had undergone remarkable changes over the years in terms of the
number of institutions, ownership structure as well as the scale of operations. Some notable and significant changes that took place were the deregulation, innovation of a range of new financial markets and instruments and advances in computer and information techonology..
One of the effects of these development is the expansion of banking activities. The number of international banks increased considerably while the
domestics banks went international and globalized their operations in order to preserve business relations with the international banks in the face of possible competition. Just like their counterparts in other part of the world and in order to conform with the international standards foreign banks were stablished in Nigeria, while Nigerian banks also established in foreign countries.
This is in order to share in Nigeria’s international trade, and in the enormous advantages and opportunities which they hope to achieve by such venture and to provide a training ground for officers and staff from Nigeria coupled with the wish to deal direct with their customers and associates in the foreign countries. The foreign banks and branches provided international links in the financing of international trade and the flow of foreign exchange. They also exposed national banks to competition and to the inflow of new financial technology. The establishment of Central Bank of Nigeria in 1956 opened a new chapter in the annals of the evolution of banks in Nigeria. It set the stage for a new era in which monetary policy could be used as an economic management.
More banks (government and individual) were established in the country after the independence in 1960. Government, in a bid to have total control of the
indigenous banks and as part of National development plans, established some banks like the Nigeria Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBCI), Nigerian Agricultural and Co-operative Bank (NACB) etc. Nwankwo(1991) observed that, in order to escape from the suffocating political climate of government controlled banking establishments, the federal character syndrome and frustrated by the break on their career advancement and fearing premature retirement when they still have much to offer, several banking practitioners floated new banks where they hoped to put their expertise and drive into practice.
The establishment of these banks brought a dramatic change to the two major banks which were established by the British and dominated the financial institutions in Nigeria in terms of structure and scope.
As at the end of 2003 insured banks stood at 89 with various sizes and degrees of soundness. The total banking sector’s asset increased, the market share based on the industry’s total assets distribution shows that the sector was highly concentrated with the ten largest banks accounting for more than 50% of the total assets.(Nwankwo 1991).
Gradual deregulation which began in the industry was accelerated with the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986 by the Federal Government of Nigeria was designed to give room for the operation of free market forces, give banks more discretion in their operations and stimulate competition in the financial market. With no more free funds available to the banks to invest and scoop unearned profits, the measures jolted the banks rather violently from their cosy armchairs to the field to scout for deposits and for business.
Fierce competition as a result of the deregulation in the major international capital markets, diversification and sophistication of funding and investment
techniques, concentration of savings with sophisticated institutional investors and the globalisation of the international financial markets (Nwakwo: 1991) not only have banks had to face competition from other companies whose business activities which previously characterized banks are now being performed by them (even though they may not be classified as financial insitutions) but they have also faced it from other banks, many of which have globalised their operations.(Bamidele: 2005). Business has had to be fought for now unlike in the fifties and sixties a corporate customers of any size look for the best financial package they can get and retail customers get richer, smarter, more sophiscated and demanding. The effect is increased competition and aggressive banking.
PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVE HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: A CASE OF FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
They now compete fiercely and scramble actively for deposits because without adequate deposits, they cannot lend and without lending they cannot create the asset base to earn income and without income they cannot recover overhead expenses and pay dividends, let alone plough back profits to shore up the capital base.
The competition also brought about innovations through computerisation, new products, better packaging of old products, and increased emphasis on
corporate services such as equipment leasing, loan syndication, buying of loans and debt factoring. Public relations efforts have therefore become the order of the day too and some are even shifting their emphasis from big corporate clients to small and medium size enterprises and business advisory services. Amidst the fiercely competitive environment is another feature in the nature of banking; heavy dependence on the confidence of depositors. The viability of the banking system is seen as crucial to the continuance of business efficiency and general well-being not only of the bank itself but of the economy generally. It is not suprising that banks are under the constant eagle eyes of the regulatory authorities. It is in fact, the banks that are the most highly and closely regulated of all businesses. This has been due to the overiding and imperatives necessity to ensure that the banks conduct their business prudently. Another feature in the nature of banking is recurrent financial crisis and bank failures.
These financial crises and bank failures have brought banks into increasing disrepute and have necessitated increased oversight by the regulatory authorities. This failures and crises also led to mergers and acquisitions among financial institution which are also occurring at a rapid pace in the United States of America, Europe, Japan and Eastern Europe, Far East Asian countries and Africa . Apart from failures other reasons such, Costs Savings, Revenue Enhancement, Improvement in information Technology, deregulation, shareholders pressure, consistency with international trends have been adduced for the form and pace of consolidation.
The financial instutions in Nigeria were not without their problems like in other banks the world over. This is endorsed by the fact that Nigeria banking history is replete with bank failures occassioned primarily by inefficient management resulting in poor internal controls, ineffective checks and balances and poor performance. In addition to these are, unwholesome practices and gross mismanagement, which contributed substantially to the failure of most of the banks. Some deficiencies and malpractices which pervades the industry in the formative years in the country still persist till today.
While it could be said that the performance of the nation’s banking industry was fairly good especially when the assessment is done in isolation to other sectors of the economy and/or in isolation of what obtains in other emerging economies.
However, when the nation’s banking financial conditions and performances are assessed against its expected role in the economy and or when compared with the banking sectors in South Africa, Malaysia, Europe, United States of America, it could be rightly described as fragile, poorly developed and extremely small. The Nigeria banking sector has not been able to actually support the economy nor lend for long term to customers. This has been one of the banks fundamental problems due to the limitation of resources, banks have to manage their assets and liabilities very well and no bank want to have doubtful or bad debts. This was why at a time in this country, banks were just trading in goods, local purchase order financing, discounting among others which did not help the economy.
Government did not also help matters in the history of Nigerian banks, like other banking system of other countries, they were subjected to extensive prudential regulation from the sociopolitical evolution of the country. The regulation sought to ensure sound and healthy banking and financial system, protect depositors effectively, accelerate the economic development of the country, develop banking habit etc. The controls were too rigid and generally unacceptable coupled with the strong control of some of the banks especially the foreign banks.
These problems necessitated lots of reformation in the industry. The notable one is the 2005 consolidation policy in the Nigerian Banking Sector which stipulated a new minimum capital base of N25billion for Nigerian banks which led to the reduction of the number of banks from 89 to 24. Also as a way of checking the : 2006) posits that the successful implementation of every business plans depends on workers to a large extent,