The Conference will discuss opportunities, trends, developments and vulnerabilities facing the Consumer lending and Personal Finance sector of the Financial Services Industry, with a view to evaluating its impact on growth and development of the economy. The conference will seek to address the following problem statements;
- What is the impact of government regulation on consumer lending sector players towards achieving stable economic growth?
- How have lenders managed to keep default rates at below the average default percentage in the banking industry?
- How effective are the credit monitoring firms in monitoring and reporting activities of customers within the sector?
- What is the role of technology in creating disruption in the provision of services within the sector?
- Are regulators agile enough to identify and tackle predatory lending practices?
- To what extent are players in the Consumer lending space driving financial inclusion in the economy?
CONSUMER CREDIT CONFERENCE FOCUS
The challenge of sustainable economic growth is one that has plagued the Nigerian economy for some time. The role of the financial sector in achieving the goal of sustainable and inclusive economic growth is not questioned. The reforms in the banking, insurance, and pension industries in the past two decades played a significant role in propelling the Nigerian economy to relatively fast growth, at least until the latest slow-down.
One area which has however been left behind is the consumer credit section of the financial industry. The growth of consumer credit has lagged behind other sub-sectors of the credit industry. Consumer credit is important for the economy as it theoretically underpins domestic demand. Slow credit growth to consumers therefor restricts the economy from achieving its full potential.
The economic environment is however changing with consumer credit high on the agenda. On the policy front, the regulatory environment has placed a renewed emphasis on promoting financial inclusion, a part of which has focused on consumer lending. The policy changes have seen the Central Bank push the minimum loan to deposit ratio policy of which consumer credit is one of the preferred sector carrying additional weight. This policy change has incentivized banks to look for opportunities to boost credit to consumers amongst others.
The changes to the consumer lending space are not limited to banks. Innovations in data analytics and internet connectivity have enabled a whole new class of financial technology firms offering various products, some of which have been geared towards providing credit to consumers. The “fintech’s” as they are called have brought a new series of innovations that continue to revolutionize the consumer lending space. The telecoms companies are not left behind with their ubiquity across the country and their dominance in the digital infrastructure space. Finally, the credit bureaus and other credit information monitoring firms are playing key roles in the consumer lending space.
The push towards improved access to financial services is however not without its risks. Do consumers have the financial literacy to ensure they do not run into indebtedness problems? Will new consumer credit be channeled into demand for Nigerian products or imports? Are regulators agile enough to identify and tackle predatory lending practices?
The BusinessDay consumer credit conference seeks to bring together all the participants in the consumer lending segment of the financial industry to answer these and other questions.