Experian has today been recognised for its market-leading identity verification technology and solutions, achieving certification through the Government’s Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF).
The framework outlines the Government’s vision and rules for the future use of digital identities, with the ambition to make it easier and simpler for individuals to prove who they are using modern technology, as well as setting new and transparent standards for providers verifying identity to meet.
Following ongoing assessment of its services by independent certification bodies, Experian has now been recognised as a certified Digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP) for Right to Work, Right to Rent, and DBS checks.
It is the first Credit Reference Agency (CRA) to have achieved certification and has been certified against the highest number of medium and high-strength use profiles of any provider to date.
By supporting verification routes through both Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) and Document Checking, Experian identity verification solutions will help increase consumer inclusion, meaning more people can verify their identity and access services digitally.
Eduardo Castro, Managing Director, Identity and Fraud, Experian UK&I, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised as one of the leading providers of verification services in the UK.
“The framework – and the certification – is a vital step in helping to Improve access to digital services for everyone. Millions of people will require Right to Rent and Right to Work checks this year, as well as access to other services.
“Being a Certified IDSP with several approaches to verification means we can help more consumers access digital services, verifying their identities easily and securely, giving confidence to both the organisation and the individual.
“The certification is a result of much hard work by the team and acknowledges our ongoing commitment to the very highest standards in compliance and regulatory requirements.”
The Government recommends organisations, landlords and employers use a certified IDSP when carrying out identity verification checks, helping to provide confidence that their chosen provider meets the standards and criteria laid out in the framework. The certification will be renewed on a biannual basis to ensure standards continue to be met.
It was recently announced that Experian verification solutions will be used in the Scottish Government’s Digital Identity Service, which aims to make accessing online public services easier and simpler, by enabling users to use one account to securely login to a variety of services.
As well as verification services, Experian is also a market leader in fraud prevention technology and Know Your Customer (KYC) validation, helping businesses meet compliance and regulatory requirements. Earlier this year, it launched Experian Fraud Score, the next generation in fraud prevention services allowing organisations of all sizes to have access to an advanced fraud prevention system ‘out-of-the-box.’
Today’s enterprises must navigate markets affected by global forces, advances in internet-based technologies and increasingly sophisticated corporate strategies used by their competitors.
At the same time, the interface between business and financial management is becoming more complex and more significant in determining outstanding corporate performance. Management accounting and financial control information are critical in helping enterprises to perform and increase their competitiveness.
This course provides an introduction to the management accounting and financial control concepts that are used in strategic decision-making, in order to effectively perform in a competitive business environment. Covering issues such as technology and digitalisation, corporate strategy, marketing and modern cost management tools, you will be able to critically analyse how these tools can be used to increase performance.
Recognising the growing international nature of business, the course also considers international financial control issues and comparative cross-country differences in managerial control systems. Using practical and highly applied learning material, you will be exposed to real-world cases and practical techniques to make business decisions. By the end of the course you will have a firm understanding of innovative managerial accounting and financial control tools and how to apply them in various business settings.
The EU carbon removal framework has the right level of ambition, but needs clearer definitions and strategy to drive growth in this market, writes Victoria Harvey.
Victoria Harvey is carbon removal research associate for BeZero Carbon, a global ratings agency for the Voluntary Carbon Market.
Similar to the UK and US, the EU has now identified carbon removal as a major economic and climate opportunity to be grasped in the years to come. Last week’s release of the Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF) was their first significant response.
While this is a welcome progression, to unlock the potential of the carbon removal market in the EU this new framework will need to be followed up with clear definitions, robust reporting requirements and detailed pathways for regulatory integration.
The CRCF offers a voluntary certification of EU carbon removal. It aims to accelerate the deployment of high-quality carbon removal and address growing greenwashing concerns in the new market by certifying projects.
To gain certification projects must meet the QU.A.L.ITY eligibility criteria: measurable quantification of removal; demonstration of additionality; distinguish long-term storage; and be supportive of sustainability initiatives, such as biodiversity, climate change mitigation or circular economy.
These eligibility criteria are defined in Articles 4-7 of the CRCF regulation. This is the first time a national or regional government has defined ‘Additionality’ in regulation, a leading move by the EU.
By this definition, projects must demonstrate both financial additionality and that they are going beyond Union and national statutory requirements. Though exactly what those statutory requirements are is left for interpretation.
Earlier this year the IPCC labelled carbon removal as unavoidable in any net zero by 2050 scenario. Through the launch of the CRCF, the EU is responding to this urgency, aiming to use this mechanism to place the region on a trajectory towards global targets.
This is a noble ambition. But the reality is that the CRCF needs more definition and strategy if it is to be a tool, rather than a hindrance, to the growth of this market.
As it stands, the framework acts as a catch-all for every carbon removal project. From nature-based carbon farming projects to tech removal through Direct Air Capture, to storage in products such as wood used for construction – all these projects would be certifiable.
But inclusivity without defining high quality – for instance through factors such as additionality, over-crediting and non-permanence – creates risk of opening the doors to a wide range of projects, with their feasibility and viability unproven. This could potentially increase the risk of ineffective projects gaining certification.
The methodologies that the different carbon removal projects would be certified against are yet to be defined. The framework proposes that methodologies will be drawn up after it is clear what types of removal projects are claiming certification from the CRCF.
In practice, this means certification will be contingent on currently undecided methodologies. This approach risks not prioritising high-quality carbon removal in lieu of the projects that apply for certification first. Thereby not accelerating the removal agenda as it so intends.
Lastly, it makes a call for consistency with existing EU policies and regulations but doesn’t define a system or strategy on how this would work in practice. The CRCF identifies programmes such as the Common Agriculture Policy, the Innovation Fund, the EU ETS, and even Voluntary Carbon Markets, as potential systems this certification would align with.
How the CRCF would interact with them or how financing in other policies would be directed in response to a project gaining certification, is left undefined.
The CRCF is moving the carbon removal agenda forward for the EU. But, without addressing these shortfalls in the near term, this new standard is in danger of creating further complexities instead of catalysing much-needed growth.
The EU needs to work at pace to provide the methodologies for acceptable projects, define high quality, and define and distinguish durability between different methods. It also needs to define and outline the roadmap for removal projects that are certified by the CRCF to become tradeable within the EU ETS.
On top of this, the CRCF needs to embed transparency mechanisms and require minimum standards for reporting.
To avoid greenwashing, an identified priority of the CRCF, in what is currently an opaque sector means removal policy support needs to ingrain transparency in its very foundations. Addressing current gaps in the CRCF will better ensure the EU delivers on its ambition.
Policies supporting carbon removal in Europe are currently sparse. Ambitions by the EU to fill this policy gap are well placed. But, to harness the power of the market and help carbon removal methods scale, this latest policy package from the EU needs to be followed up with defined terms, and clear pathways for integration into existing regulation and reporting requirements.
Only with clear and transparent policy mechanisms will this, or any regulated market for that matter, be a success.
Skillsoft Corp. (NYSE:SKIL) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript December 6, 2022
Operator: Hello, and welcome to the Skillsoft Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results Conference Call and Webcast. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It’s now my pleasure to turn the call over to Eric Boyer, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.
Eric Boyer: Good afternoon, and welcome to Skillsoft’s third quarter fiscal 2023 earnings call. After the market closed, we issued our Q3 earnings press release and posted supplemental materials to the Skillsoft Investor Relations website. Today’s call will contain forward-looking statements about the Company’s business outlook and expectations, including statements concerning financial and business trends, our expected future business and financial performance, financial condition and outlook. These forward-looking statements and all statements that are not historical facts reflect management’s beliefs and predictions as of today and therefore are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause real results to differ materially from expectations.
For a discussion of the material risks and other important factors that could affect our real results, please refer to the risks described in the Safe Harbor discussion found in the Company’s SEC filings. During the call, we will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures, which are not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. GAAP requires accounting periods before and after the merger and leaseback on June 11, 2021 to be separated the predecessor and successor periods to reflect the change in ownership and lack of comparability between periods due to different ownership and investment basis. In addition, Global Knowledge activity is only reflected in the GAAP financial statements after June 11. References on this call to pro forma results referred to our results that have been prepared and presented to reflect historical periods as of Skillsoft, Global Knowledge and Codecademy had merged on February 1, 2021.
A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures, including today’s commentary and in the supplemental materials to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures as well as how we define these metrics and other metrics is included in our earnings press release, which has been furnished to the SEC and is also available on our website at www.skillsoft.com. After our prepared remarks, Jeff Tarr, CEO; and Rich Walker, CFO, will be available to take questions. With that, it’s my pleasure to turn the call over to Jeff.
Jeff Tarr: Thanks, Eric. Good afternoon, and thank you all for joining us. Today, I’ll provide some financial and operational commentary on the quarter and then turn the call over to Rich Walker to cover our financial results in detail. I’m very grateful that Rich has agreed to take on the CFO role. Rich has been involved in Skillsoft since before the company’s return to public markets, served as our Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, and was previously the CFO of two public companies, including HIS, where we worked together. Before turning to the business, I also want to thank Gary Ferrera for his contributions to our company and his commitment to a smooth transition. Q3 results were in line with our expectations and we are pleased to reaffirm our full-year guidance.
Importantly, we successfully stabilized our Global Knowledge instructor-led training or ILT business, delivering 3% sequential bookings growth. While the segment was down year-over-year in the quarter due to reduced subsidies by one large partner, we’ve seen healthy growth in other products within the segment. With a new general manager with deep experience in instructor-led training reporting directly to me, we are cautiously optimistic in the potential to deliver continued progress. We also remain focused on integrating instructor-led training into relevant subscription offerings and continue to believe it can be a meaningful differentiator. Turning to our core Skillsoft Content segment. We believe the best way to look at bookings growth is on a trailing 12-month basis.
This metric was up 5% in constant currency, driven by customer wins and cross-sell and upsell success with large enterprises. That said, our Skillsoft Content business was down in the quarter due primarily to a downgrade by one account. Despite the general macro headwinds, we continue to expect solid growth in Q4, which generally represents approximately half of our subscription bookings. Finally, turning to Codecademy. As a reminder, we acquired the business earlier in the year to establish a leadership position in tech and dev, where Skills gaps are most acute. Codecademy is one of the strongest brands in tech and dev learning, and we are still early in realizing the potential of the acquisition. Codecademy bookings were up 6% and revenue was up 16% in constant currency.
We believe our revenue growth and traffic are outpacing other B2C competitors. We also continue to see early traction cross-selling Codecademy to our enterprise customers. It is important to note that we had a slow start to the quarter due to a promotion that depressed short-term results in return for longer term benefit and returned the business to double-digit bookings growth on a constant currency basis in October. We’ve learned a lot during our first two quarters since acquiring Codecademy that will help us achieve what we believe to be a substantial cross-sell opportunity. We are in discussions with more than 100 enterprise customers regarding Codecademy and have already cross sold the offering into some of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands in tech, retail, pharma and professional services.
Given the impact of currency exchange rates, wage inflation and slower economic growth, we’ve been relentlessly focused on managing our cost structure and I’m grateful to our team members for making numerous difficult decisions, doing more with less and shrinking our employee base through attrition, reductions in staffing, and a disciplined approach to hiring. We are fortunate to have an important base of operations in India that’s helped us manage our labor costs. Managing our costs will be an ongoing focus while continuing to make selective investments in growth. Overall, I’m optimistic about the future. We serve a large and growing market and an important purpose, propelling organizations and people to grow together through transformational learning experiences.
Through organic investment and acquisition, we’ve built a community of more than 80 million learners who we serve with a highly differentiated suite of capabilities. Our content covers leadership, business skills, technology skills and compliance. We leverage a wide array of modalities, including micro videos, hands-on-learning, assessments, coaching and mentoring, instructor-led training, and blockchain-enabled badges. We deliver our content through a flexible AI-driven learning experience platform, and we add additional value to our clients with a team of nearly 200 instructional design professionals and systems integrators. Together, we believe no one is better able to deliver on the complex workforce transformation needs of the world’s most demanding and sophisticated customers, including approximately 70% of the Fortune 1000.
In Q3, we continue to extend our tech and dev offerings with the release of our cloud career journey, which helps learners achieve proficiency in cloud platforms such as AWS and Azure with hands-on practice and instructor-led classes. The strength of our instructor-led training was recognized by AWS as their 2022 training partner of the year in North America. Similar recognition was awarded to Skillsoft by Nutanix, Palo Alto, Red Hat, VMware, and EC Council. We released new code of conduct training to the market, featuring 12 engaging scenarios that help our learners navigate the complexities of highly nuanced situations. And we released the first editions of our newly-refreshed business skills courses, featuring real-world perspectives from our leadership coaches in Topics such as problem solving, critical thinking and wellness.
These courses have been well received by learners with NPS in excess of 60 and are designed for the way people learn online. We continue to expand our local language coverage and have recently released an AI-powered automation caption capability that makes our content available in a dozen languages. We also continue to expand our assessments offering and add new and compelling courses to our content collection focused on helping our customers deliver under most important reskilling, upskilling and workforce transformation initiatives. As a result of these investments in content and platform, we are seeing strength in our most important learning metrics. At the end of Q3, on a year-over-year basis, monthly active users are up 23%, completed courses are up 19%, and badges issued are also up 19%.
We are encouraged by these strong positive trends and believe there are evidence that learners are embracing our unique science-based approach to reskilling and upskilling. Importantly, we are in the early innings of integrating our capabilities to create a new, more absorbing and connected way to learn online and are excited by the potential of what we are creating. We’ve also largely completed our go-to-market transformation. We’ve hired key talent, made investments and tools and technology, and realigned our salesforce to a coverage model that better enables cross-sell, upsell and acquiring new logos. We also redesigned compensation to drive higher levels of performance. This transformation was predictably disruptive, but now better positions us for future growth and value creation.
In Q3, some notable wins include two large U.S. government agencies, a large French energy company, a global hospitality leader, and a major media corporation. Finally, we are pleased to have released our first annual impact report entitled, Living Our Values, a Responsible Business for a Sustainable Future. This report serves as an important milestone in our ESG journey. During our first five quarters as a public company, we’ve made much progress transforming Skillsoft into a business that can deliver growth and margin expansion over the long-term. We acquired three businesses and divested another, have been executing a complex salesforce transformation and made important investments in content and platform. We’ve returned our Skillsoft Content segment to growth on an LTM basis and stabilized our Instructor-Led Training segment on a sequential basis.
Despite a challenging macro environment, we are entering our important Q4 and next year with confidence and look forward to updating you on our progress. And with that, I’ll turn it over to Rich.
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Rich Walker: Thanks, Jeff. Welcome, everyone. I just want to start by saying how excited I am to be able to take on the role of Chief Financial Officer. Gary has built a strong finance team, which I’ve been working with closely already, and this has made for a seamless transition. I will now begin with the summary of Q3 results before turning to our thoughts on the remainder of the year. The prior year comparisons will be presented on a pro forma basis as if Skillsoft, Global Knowledge and Codecademy had been merged and their fiscal quarters had been aligned to end on January 31, 2022. Additionally, due to the SumTotal divestiture, the pro forma comparisons exclude SumTotal for all periods. Before I get into the financials, I want to provide just a few high level thoughts on the Skillsoft financial model as it has gone through changes over the past year due to acquisitions and divestitures.
Skillsoft now has approximately 70% of its revenue from the content business, which is primarily subscription-based with a large portion that are multi-year contracts. This part of the business is the SaaS-like business with strong operating leverage and low capital intensity. The seasonality of the business remains largely the same, with approximately half of our content bookings in the fourth quarter. Therefore, looking at the business on a quarterly basis can be difficult. As such, we try to focus on the last 12-month trends as a more useful measure. The remaining 30% of the business is our Global Knowledge or Instructor-Led Training segment, which is transactional and lower margin. Over time, we expect the Content segment to grow more quickly, which should drive margin expansion.
Now moving on to the Q3 results. Bookings for the total company for the third quarter were $133 million, down 13% and down 9% on a constant currency basis, which is due largely to declines in our lower-margin transactional business and the downgrade of a large customer that Jeff referenced in his comments. We continue to believe our subscription content bookings are on pace to have a solid end to this year. Notably, as a result of our realignment efforts and incremental focus, our ILT bookings grew sequentially, both on a reported and a constant currency basis. Content bookings in the third quarter were $85 million, down 6% and down 4% in constant currency due to the aforementioned downgrade of one larger account. Due to the smaller contribution in our first three quarters, it does not take much to move our quarterly year-over-year growth rate in either direction.
On an LTM basis, content bookings growth was 5% in constant currency. In the third quarter, Codecademy bookings grew 6% on a constant currency basis and is included in the Content segment. We continue to make progress closing more enterprise deals in Q3 and are encouraged by the success in building our pipeline for this product. We would expect to report material progress in cross-sell bookings in the fourth quarter, which is our heaviest renewal period, and when we signed the bulk of cross-sell activity. Bookings for ILT in the third quarter were $48 million, down 23% and down 16% in constant currency. On a constant currency basis, the year-to-date decline was due primarily to changes in the training program with two large technology partners, one of which has recovered in the quarter.
We have also largely stabilized the sales efforts within our ILT business and expect the productivity of recent sales hires to continue to improve. Turning to revenue. GAAP revenue was $139 million in the quarter, down 8% and down 3% on a constant currency basis. We are no longer reporting adjusted gross revenue to conform with GAAP accounting, which is net of reseller fees. Reseller fees in the quarter were $7 million. GAAP revenue for the Skillsoft Content segment in Q3 was $98 million, which was flat and up 3% in constant currency. GAAP revenue growth for Codecademy, which is included in the Content segment, was up 12% and up 16% on a constant currency basis. Our quarterly DRR was 96%, and on an LTM basis it held steady at 98%. Q3 GAAP revenue for our ILT business was $41 million, down 22% and down 15% in constant currency.
The decline was due to lower prior quarter and in-quarter bookings as these bookings typically convert to revenue within two quarters. Moving on to profitability. As we’ve mentioned on previous calls when comparing adjusted EBITDA year-over-year, you need to also consider the increase in public company costs as we move through the first year as a public company. Accordingly, Q3 adjusted EBITDA was $28 million, down $6 million, a decrease of 15% compared to last year and down 8% in constant currency. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter was 20.1%, down approximately 160 basis points from the prior year. Our GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $520 million for the quarter, which included an approximate $571 million impairment of goodwill and intangible costs.
Our adjusted net loss was $31 million for the quarter. Moving on to capital allocation. At the end of Q3, we ended the quarter with $175 million of cash on the balance sheet and pro forma net leverage of 4.6x, which includes the negative contribution of Codecademy for periods, which we did not own them. On a reported basis, net leverage was 4.1x. As previously mentioned, we closed the SumTotal transaction in mid-August. Net cash proceeds after all fees and other adjustments were approximately $175 million. We paid down $31 million of debt in the quarter. We also repurchased 645,000 shares. Our trading window was cut short due to information that has now been shared publicly. Moving forward, we expect to continuously weigh the benefits of reducing debt versus share repurchase based on market conditions.
We are reaffirming our prior outlook, however, as I mentioned earlier, we are moving to a GAAP revenue presentation to conform to GAAP accounting, not due to a change in the fundamentals of the business. As such, our GAAP revenue outlook is now $520 million to $550 million, and we are trending above the midpoint of the range. Our booking range remains $580 million to $615 million, our adjusted EBITDA range remains $105 million to $125 million, and we are trending towards the lower end of the range due primarily to revenue mix. With that, I’ll turn the call back over to Jeff.
Jeff Tarr: Thank you all for joining our call. While there is uncertainty in today’s operating environment, we believe our approach provides unique benefits to organizations and their employees. By optimizing our solutions for how people learn online and aligning with the strategies of our enterprise customers, we believe we are uniquely positioned to deliver on the upskilling, reskilling and workforce transformation needs of the most complex and demanding organizations. Operator, please open the call for questions.
Operator: Certainly, we will now be conducting a question-and-answer session. Our first question today is coming from Raimo Lenschow from Barclays. Your line is now live.
Sheldon McMeans: Hi. This is Sheldon McMeans on for Raimo. Thanks for taking our questions. I wanted to first ask about the core content business. This quarter was the first time in a while that we saw negative bookings growth here. You discussed a reduction in the quarter. And my question is, what gives you confidence that this is an isolated incident as you approach the large Q4 renewal period? And I have a follow-up.
Jeff Tarr: Sure. Thanks. As you pointed out, the quarter we feel was an anomaly. It was due to one large customer that was experiencing severe financial pressures and downgraded quite significantly their business with us. We really don’t have many accounts of this size, and we really don’t have any significant revenue concentration at all. So the loss of an account that is neighborhood 1% of revenue was a really unusual event. As we look at the quarter going forward, we’re one month into the quarter. We can see how large our pipeline is, how much business we’ve closed. We’ve closed approximately 60% of our quarter, and that’s ahead of where it was last year this time. So we feel really good about that. We feel really good about the pipeline. And so despite the fact that the economy is a little shaky, we feel good about how we’re keyed up for our most important quarter.
Sheldon McMeans: Got it. Thank you. And then second for Richard. First, congratulations on the new role. I wanted to ask just a broad question on how you feel your guidance philosophy is relative to previous. Is there any changes to call out there? Thanks.
Rich Walker: Thanks for the question and the remarks. I don’t have a different viewpoint in how we think about guidance. We only provide annual guidance. I think it’s so critically tied to how we finish our forward planning for the coming year. And that’s informed by how we finished the quarter, in this case, our fourth quarter. We are trying to make sure that when we guide, we’re giving consistent guiding metrics. I personally want to look at bookings and think if there’s not more relevant metrics, perhaps looking at total bookings, the lifetime value and then showing a backlog against that. But short of looking at bookings guidance, no change in philosophy at all.
Sheldon McMeans: Got it. Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. Next question today is coming from Tom Singlehurst from Citi. Your line is now live.
Thomas Singlehurst: Yes. Good evening. Thank you very much for taking the question. Yes, I suppose I wanted to go back to that. You’re very clear about the driver of that one account, sensitivity to the cycle. I was just wondering whether you can talk to that, whether there’s any difference in outlook for smaller companies versus larger ones, international versus U.S. Any color on, as I say, sort of your perspectives around sort of broad cyclicality? You can start with that, and I have a quick follow-up if that’s okay.
Jeff Tarr: Thanks, Tom. It was a little broken up. So if I didn’t get the question exactly right, just let me know. But I think what you’re asking is are we seeing segments of customers that are performing better or worse than others or than we’ve seen historically, and you asked specifically about SMB. So historically, SMB has performed €“ has had lower retention rates than our large enterprise. So when we provide you a dollar retention rate, you should anticipate our large enterprise customers are meaningfully outperforming that blended rate, and our SMB customers are underperforming that blended rate. We haven’t seen significant change in that other than the fact that our mix has shifted, and we have less exposure to SMB than we had a year ago.
So at this point, we consider roughly about 20% of our enterprise €“ of our customer base, rather, to be SMB. And I hope that answers the question. And we would expect in this cycle that to continue to see more pressure on SMB, less pressure on large enterprise. When we look at the business through the lens of geography, the biggest impact we see is the impact of currency, which has been a quite substantial headwind given that we’re a global business and do have exposure outside the U.S. But other than that, nothing really new or remarkable to report.
Thomas Singlehurst: Very clear. And then on the cash usage, you sort of talked about the €“ well, you sort of intimated that the buyback has been somewhat curtailed. I just €“ I mean can you just sort of once again sort of outline the sort of priorities for cash usage from here on in, especially in the context, I suppose, of rising interest rates and therefore sort of higher interest cost?
Rich Walker: Great. It’s Rich. I think it’s pretty simple. Given the magnitude of fourth quarter, we’ve consistently signaled that as our confidence grows with that quarter, we’ll be informed as to what we want to do from a capital allocation. Second, if juxtaposing between debt and share repurchase. On the debt side, I think the simple answer is we are definitely going to do something. It’s a question of when and how much, particularly as exacerbated by the current rate environment. Even since our second quarter call, there’s been two rate increases, 150 basis points. So when you put a very specific disciplined financial analysis, attending to the capital structure and the debt profile is probably an increasingly higher priority for us. We did announce and approved up to a $30 million share repurchase. We only executed about less than $2 million against that. And that plan is still in place, and we’ll continue to evaluate share buyback.
Thomas Singlehurst: Okay. Very clear. Thank you very much.
Operator: Thank you. Next question is coming from Raj Sharma from B. Riley. Your line is now live.
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.
Dec 04, 2022 (The Expresswire) -- In 2023, Current Education and Training Market Size | CAGR of % to 2029 | newest  Pages Report
The latest Education and Training Market report researches the industry structure, sales (consumption), production, revenue, capacity, price and gross margin. The industry production status, market share, status and company profile of the manufacturers are presented. Primary and secondary research is conducted on Education and Training companies to obtain the latest government regulations, market information and industry data. Education and Training market Data were collected from the manufacturers, product types (, Technical, Non-technical), end users (, Student Education, Corporate Training, Others), distributors, governments' industry bureaus, industry associations, industry experts, third party database, industry publications, and our in-house databases.
Education and training is the process of learning the skills for a particular job or activity.Education and Training market has witnessed a growth from USD million to USD million from 2017 to 2022. With a CAGR of %, this market is estimated to reach USD million in 2029.
report focuses on the Education and Training market size, segment size (mainly covering product type, application, and geography), competitor landscape, recent status, and development trends. Furthermore, the report provides strategies for companies to overcome threats posed by COVID-19.
Technological innovation and advancement will further optimize the performance of the product, enabling it to acquire a wider range of applications in the downstream market. Moreover, customer preference analysis, market dynamics (drivers, restraints, opportunities), new product release, impact of COVID-19, regional conflicts and carbon neutrality provide crucial information for us to take a deep dive into the Education and Training market.
Powerful new research technologies introduce risks and opportunities that businesses can struggle to keep up with. Impact on the Education and Training market, and how it could impact business in the near and distant future.
How big is the global Education and Training market?● Education and Training Report Coverage: This part incorporates brief data about key items sold in the wide-reaching Education and Training market followed by an outline of significant fragments and makers canvassed in the report. Education and Training market is projected to grow from USD USD million million in 2022 to USD LLLL by 2029, at a CAGR of % from 2022 to 2029. Moreover, it incorporates data about concentrate on targets and years considered for the total research study of 125 Pages report.
Who are the Top Education and Training manufacturer of the Industry?● TOP Key Industry Players: Leading Top players (, Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI), Perdoceo Education Corporation (PRDO), Desire2Learn, Global Training Solutions, Computer Generated Solutions, Apollo Education Group, ITT Educational Services, NIIT, Osiris Educational, Kaplan, New Oriental Education and Technology Group, Benesse Corporation, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Interaction Associates) of the industry are profiled here on the basis of economic activity and plans, products, Revenue, SWOT analysis, production, and other manufacturing details. Education and Training Market Size by Manufacturer, in this report, mergers and acquisitions and price, revenue, and expansion plans, are analysed.
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What is the Scope of Education and Training Market?● Short Summary: Here, the report focuses on key trends of various products and other markets. It also shares analysis of the competitive landscape, where prominent key players and market concentration ratio are shed light upon. Players are studied on the basis of their date of market entry, manufacturing base distribution, products, and headquarters.
Which region is expected to hold the highest market share 2023 to 2029?● Production by Region: Apart from global production and revenue shares by region, the authors have shared critical information about regional production in different geographical markets. Each regional market is analysed taking into account vital factors, viz. import and export, key players, and revenue, besides production. ● Primary Education and Training Market Consumption by Global Region: The report concentrates on global and regional consumption here. It provides figures related to global consumption by region such as consumption market share. All of the regional markets studied are assessed on the basis of consumption by country and application followed by analysis of country-level markets.
COVID-19 / Great lockdown has compressed the global economy and with it the manufacturing sector, production, disruption, financial.
Which is the leading segment in the Education and Training market?● By Type: It includes analysis of price, revenue, and production by type (, Technical, Non-technical). ● By Application: It gives an overview of market size analysis by application followed by an analysis of consumption market share, consumption, and breakdown data by application (, Student Education, Corporate Training, Others). ● Entry Strategy for Key Countries: Entry strategies for all of the country-level markets studied in the report are provided here.
What is the key factor driving the market?● Production Forecasts: It includes a forecast of key producers, where important regions and countries are taken into consideration, followed by forecast by type. Apart from global production and revenue forecasts, this section provides production and revenue forecasts by region. ● Consumption Forecast: It includes global consumption forecast by application and region. In addition, it provides a consumption forecast for all regional markets studied in the report.
It also discusses the Education and Training market size of different segments and their growth aspects along with Competitive benchmarking, Historical data and forecasts, Company revenue shares, regional opportunities, Latest trends and dynamics, growth trends, various stakeholders like investors, CEOs, traders, suppliers, Research and Media, Global Manager, Director, President, SWOT analysis i.e. Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat to the organization and others. Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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Detailed TOC of Global Education and Training Market Research Report 2023
1 Education and Training Market Overview
1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Education and Training
1.2 Education and Training Segment by Type
1.2.1 Global Education and Training Market Size Growth Rate Analysis by Type 2023 VS 2029
1.3 Education and Training Segment by Application
1.3.1 Global Education and Training Consumption Comparison by Application: 2023 VS 2029
1.4 Global Market Growth Prospects
2 Market Competition by Manufacturers
2.1 Global Education and Training Production Capacity Market Share by Manufacturers (2015-2023)
2.2 Global Education and Training Revenue Market Share by Manufacturers (2015-2023)
2.3 Education and Training Market Share by Company Type (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3)
2.4 Global Education and Training Average Price by Manufacturers (2015-2023)
2.5 Manufacturers Education and Training Production Sites, Area Served, Product Types
2.6 Market Competitive Situation and Trends
2.6.1 Market Concentration Rate
2.6.2 Global 5 and 10 Largest Education and Training Players Market Share by Revenue
2.6.3 Mergers and Acquisitions, Expansion
3 Production Capacity by Region
3.1 Global Production Capacity of Education and Training Market Share by Region (2015-2023)
3.2 Global Education and Training Revenue Market Share by Region (2015-2023)
4 Global Education and Training Consumption by Region
4.1 Global Education and Training Consumption by Region
4.1.1 Global Education and Training Consumption by Region
4.1.2 Global Education and Training Consumption Market Share by Region
4.2 North America
4.4 Asia Pacific
4.5 Latin America
5 Segment by Type
6 Segment by Application
7 Key Companies Profiled
7.1.1 Education and Training Corporation Information
7.1.2 Education and Training Product Portfolio
7.1. Education and Training Production Capacity, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2023)
7.1.4 Company’s Main Business and Markets Served
7.1.5 Company’s recent Developments/Updates
8 Education and Training Manufacturing Cost Analysis
8.1 Education and Training Key Raw Materials Analysis
8.1.1 Key Raw Materials
8.1.2 Key Suppliers of Raw Materials
8.2 Proportion of Manufacturing Cost Structure
8.3 Manufacturing Process Analysis of Education and Training
8.4 Education and Training Industrial Chain Analysis
9 Marketing Channel, Distributors and Customers
9.1 Marketing Channel
9.2 Education and Training Distributors List
9.3 Education and Training Customers
10 Market Dynamics
10.1 Education and Training Industry Trends
10.2 Education and Training Market Drivers
10.3 Market Challenges
10.4 Market Restraints
11 Production and Supply Forecast
11.1 Global Forecasted Production of Education and Training by Region (2023-2029)
12 Consumption and Demand Forecast
12.1 Global Forecasted Demand Analysis of Education and Training
13 Forecast by Type and by Application (2023-2029)
13.1 Global Production, Revenue and Price Forecast by Type (2023-2029)
13.2 Global Forecasted Consumption of Education and Training by Application (2023-2029)
14 Research Finding and Conclusion
15 Methodology and Data Source
15.1 Methodology/Research Approach
15.1.1 Research Programs/Design
15.1.2 Market Size Estimation
15.1.3 Market Breakdown and Data Triangulation
15.2 Data Source
15.2.1 Secondary Sources
15.2.2 Primary Sources
15.3 Author List
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City of Powell River Council has been presented with the first draft of the 2023 to 2027 financial plan, which indicates a 5.4 per cent increase in property taxation.
At the November 29 committee of the whole meeting, chief financial officer Malorie Denniston provided an outline of the city’s plans for the budget, which will go through three drafts before final adoption before May 15, 2023.
Denniston told councillors the first draft had been prepared based on direction provided at the city’s August finance committee meeting.
“I am seeking direction to continue with the financial plan timeline,” said Denniston.
She said the direction at the August finance committee meeting was to maintain service levels. She added that between August and the completion of her first financial plan draft to councillors, she has worked with all of the city directors to go over their operational budgets, propose any changes and find ways to save.
Denniston said draft one was focused on the operational budget. Draft two and three will focus on special projects, she said, and there will be focus on the tax rate, because the city will have the completed rolls in January, which will be the net assessable values the city bases tax rates on.
Denniston said the first draft proposes a 5.4 per cent increase for property taxes. She said she was at a tax rate training session recently with about 20 other municipalities and participants were polled on rates being looked at by their municipalities. The lowest was 4.7 per cent and the highest was 18 per cent, she said, which is what that municipality will have to work its way down from.
“The tone of that rate setting training was about this being a difficult year for cost increases,” added Denniston.
She then had the directors of city departments present their budgetary requests, which outlined changes that some departments of the city are requesting. She said the directors, in preparation for the first draft of the financial plan, sometimes had to review thousands of line items to ensure each account had been scrutinized.
After presentations, Denniston said the 5.4 per cent increase is sometimes assumed by taxpayers to be operational costs, but there are also other considerations, such as transfers to reserve, to ensure the city has proper infrastructure replacement for the future.
Denniston said year-over-year inflation, as of the end of October, for BC, from Statistics Canada, is 7.8 per cent, “which is staggering.”
She said she cannot predict the assessments the city will receive from BC Assessment in January and that her calculations are assuming 2022 values. She also said she does not know what other taxation authorities will be requesting, such as qathet Regional District, BC Assessment and School District 47.
Denniston outlined how a 5.4 per cent increase in city property taxes would affect a tax notice, based on her assumptions, “which will change.”
She reviewed a pro-forma tax notice she prepared for an average single-family dwelling based on the 2022 figures.
“The total increases to taxes and fees would be 5.72 per cent, or $192, on an average single-family dwelling, based on current year data, given these assumptions,” said Denniston.
Councillor George Doubt made a motion that change requests made in the first draft of the five-year financial plan, which would add new positions to city staff, operational budget increases for Powell River Public Library, plus training and wages to facilitate enhanced first responder training, be included in the second draft of the financial plan.
Doubt’s motion included staff being directed to continue with the financial plan timeline, public engagement process and preparation of the 2023 to 2027 financial plan drafts based on city services funded in 2022, as approved at the August 25 finance committee meeting. It also included that the second draft be prepared in accordance with deliberations and instructions provided by the finance committee at its November 24 meeting.
The motion carried.
A new report published today by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) and Protiviti outlines four key barriers holding back the pace of Cloud adoption within the Financial Services sector.
The report entitled “State of Cloud Adoption in Europe - Preparing the path for Cloud as a critical third-party solution” finds that while Cloud can clearly be an enabler for financial services innovation, some key barriers are currently making it harder for firms to adopt and fully leverage its potential.
Fiona Willis, Associate Director of Technology and Operations, at AFME, said: “The benefits of Cloud technology for the growth of the financial services sector are clear, allowing financial institutions to deliver agile, scalable and resilient services to their clients. However, our report finds the rate of adoption of Cloud technology is currently being held back by overly complex and unharmonised regulation.”
“AFME members believe it is essential that policymakers, in the EU and globally, do not inadvertently impact the continued adoption of Cloud services. We therefore make key recommendations to help ensure regulators and policymakers can work together to unlock the full potential of cloud opportunities for the financial services sector.”
James Fox, Director, Enterprise Cloud at Protiviti, said: “Cloud technology is increasingly critical for financial institutions, creating a significant opportunity to increase productivity, flexibility and resilience in support of their digital transformation initiatives. Regulators are quite rightly taking steps to make sure that the application of Cloud technologies within financial services is properly regulated to avoid any potential risks or issues that could harm the global financial system. However, a careful balancing act needs to be struck between properly regulating Cloud technologies and not stifling innovation and competition within the financial services sector, and as our recent report shows, the current regulatory complexity is making it more difficult for financial institutions to adopt the Cloud.”
The paper sets out four key challenges that financial institutions are currently experiencing, including:
1. Concentration of Cloud Services
Globally, 65% of Cloud services are provided by just three entities, whose dominance is raising concerns among financial regulators, highlighting the risk of concentration in the Cloud marketplace.
2. Regulatory Complexity
Regulatory fragmentation, uncertainty and the time required for regulatory approvals is preventing financial institutions from innovating, slowing the pace of Cloud adoption. FIs are also subject to multiple different regulators that may ask for the same information in different formats and through different channels.
3. Data Localisation
The forthcoming EUCS certification framework could have far-reaching negative implications if the proposals to achieve “immunity against third-country law” via EU control requirements are adopted.
4. Management of Disruption in the Cloud
Several high-profile Cloud service outages have highlighted the need for greater visibility and confidence in Cloud providers’ abilities to predict, manage and communicate disruptions to their Cloud services. Regulators expect FIs to have primary responsibility for resisting threats to operational resilience, to guard against service disruptions and to recover from incidents.
The paper provides 9 recommendations for policy makers in order to help address these challenges:
Concentration of Services
1. We urge policymakers to consider how CSPs could be encouraged to provide greater transparency on resiliency, dependency and security issues within cloud services, specifically greater visibility and analysis of dependencies between regions and the underlying control plane within each CSP.
2. We recommend that the adoption of multi-cloud strategies should remain at the discretion of individual FIs and should not be mandatory, as such a mandate could increase, rather than address, systemic concentration risk.
3. We request that authorities consider an approval model for deploying services to the cloud at a platform level or remove time requirements for notifications, in order to reduce delays in the approval process.
4. We encourage greater co-ordination between the European Central Bank (ECB), European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) and National Competent Authorities (NCAs) to ensure a consistent application of the outsourcing and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) third-party registers to ensure minimum duplication for FIs and supervisors.
5. We request that policymakers and regulators refrain from requiring localisation of data or cloud hosting solutions, as it challenges resilience, inhibits innovation, and increases operational complexity.
Management of Disruption in the Cloud
6. We encourage CSPs to proactively help FIs understand their tools, resources, and configuration settings and ensure that workloads and data running within the CSPs infrastructure are properly secured. In addition, CSPs should help FIs understand the Service Level Objectives (SLO) across each service provided and the resiliency and recovery metrics.
7. We request that CSPs aid FIs in proactively architecting for greater resilience by providing dependency mapping between services and geographies, for example, that two different services share a single point of failure or how an outage that occurs in one region may affect the underlying CSP control plane.
8. We encourage CSPs to provide greater transparency and detail of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) for incidents and outages within a CSP and create a library of previous RCAs, so that incident trends can be tracked, understood and better managed moving forward.
9. We ask CSPs to provide sufficient education and notice to FIs for service updates that may impact FIs’ responsibilities and obligations in areas such as security or resilience.
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Cornforth lies at the heart of Britain’s employment crisis. The former pit village on the defunct Durham coalfield feels “left behind”, with many of its residents wanting to work in the UK’s red hot labour market but trapped in a state of economic inactivity.
At the Cornforth Partnership, a charity helping people struggling with acute poverty or trying to find work, locals gathered to meet Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s work and pensions spokesman, to discuss an issue rising to the top of the political agenda.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, in his Autumn Statement this month, announced a government review of how to tackle the growing tide of economic inactivity in the wake of the Covid pandemic, even when the British job market is overheating with 1.25mn vacancies.
“We have seen a sharp increase in economically inactive working age adults of 630,000 since the start of the pandemic,” Hunt told MPs.
Ashworth will set out Labour’s proposals in a speech on Tuesday, including giving local communities in England more control over budgets to help people back to work, and reducing a dependence on big outsourcing companies to oversee such programmes.
Both the Conservatives and Labour say “cheap labour” and immigration is not a politically acceptable answer to the employment crunch — even as net migration reached a record 504,000 in the year to June — and are now working out how to persuade more Britons to fill job vacancies.
The national problem is complex and manifests itself in different ways, from a young mother struggling with mental health issues as she seeks work, to a fiftysomething professional retiring early and living off asset and pension wealth.
But whatever the reasons for economic inactivity, the consequences are the same: unfilled jobs, wage inflation as employers fight for scarce labour, and a clamour from business for looser immigration rules.
In Cornforth, Ashworth heard from residents about a range of issues holding them back, but the problem was summed up by Tony Cutmore, chief executive of the Cornforth Partnership. “It’s not worth people going to work,” he said.
Locals calculate that increasing the hours they work would cost them more in welfare benefits than the extra wages they bring in. The loss of support for childcare and housing costs is a recurring theme, so too is mental and physical health.
Alan Hodgson, chair of the Cornforth Partnership, talked of an area that has been left behind. “It’s Category D by stealth,” he said, referring to an infamous 1950s local plan that decreed some pit villages should simply be left to die.
The charity, celebrating its 25th anniversary, offers mentoring, social activities and employment training, including learning skills to get jobs in the local construction sector.
At the Cornforth Partnership’s office, on a high street where only a handful of shops and takeaways survive, Ashworth told the Financial Times there was an economic and moral pressure on politicians to act.
Ashworth said Britain was the “sick man of Europe”, with increasing numbers of people forced out of the labour market by ill health. Some have attributed this to Covid-related illnesses or to the NHS backlog that has left many untreated.
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The Office for Budget Responsibility said in its forecasts, which accompanied the Autumn Statement, that it had revised upwards by £7.5bn the costs to the state of health-related and disability benefits.
“This raises the caseloads for these benefits by 1.1mn (13.4 per cent) in 2026-27 relative to our March forecast,” said the UK fiscal watchdog. Ashworth noted that once people are on such benefits, their return-to-work rates are very low.
One of his answers is to break the hold of outsourcing companies and to provide control over national budgets in England — such as the Restart scheme for the long-term unemployed and the work and health programme — to local mayors and councils.
Ashworth said Labour would see what could be effectively devolved in the area of employment and skills. “There is around £20bn spent across 49 different schemes from nine different departments,” he said, citing Local Government Association figures.
Labour’s aim would be that bodies such as the Cornforth Partnership — embedded in local communities and with close personal relationships with clients — have a bigger role in delivering services.
Ashworth, in his speech on Tuesday, will also propose a big change in the role of the government’s jobcentres, which he claims have become a “frightening” place for many people trying to get back into the workplace.
He said jobcentres had become associated with “the heavy handed policing of people on benefits”, setting tests, making demeaning demands and handing out benefits sanctions for those failing to meet the rules.
While Ashworth said Labour would still impose conditionality on people receiving benefits — “we have to protect the taxpayer” — he wanted jobcentres to become a place with “an open door to help people into a job”.
The final strand of Ashworth’s plan is to seek to persuade people aged over-50, many of whom gave up work during the pandemic, to return to work, partly by improving the training offer to them to secure new skills.
“Our ambition should be to aim for the highest employment rates in the G7,” said Ashworth. Hunt’s review into what is holding back workplace participation will report early next year.
But the case work of the Cornforth Partnership suggests that solving the problem of economic inactivity is a sensitive and multi-layered task requiring interventions across the board over many years.
TORONTO - From boosting cash on hand to cutting staff, Canadian banks are taking a variety of strategies to prepare for a widely expected economic slowdown in the year ahead.
Banks outlined some of their approaches in their fourth quarter results this week, which saw executives strike notes of caution because of the variety of economic pressures, while still committing to a push for growth.
“As we look ahead to 2023, global economic growth is expected to be slower as central banks continue with their monetary policy tightening to tame inflation,” said CIBC chief executive Victor Dodig on an earnings call.
“In response to these headwinds ... we are going to continue to take actions to reposition our business to adjust to these new realities.”
Expenses jumped for CIBC in the quarter in part from severance costs as it “repositioned the business” for the changing outlook, said chief financial officer Hratch Panossian.
RBC, which announced a $13.5-billion deal to buy HSBC Bank Canada this week, said it was rolling out a two per cent discount to its dividend reinvestment plan, a move meant to boost capital and which the bank expects to add about $2 billion to its coffers.
The bid to boost capital is part of a conservative approach amid higher risk of unlikely but severe economic events, brought on in part by significant geopolitical instability, said chief executive Dave McKay on an earnings call.
“You have higher tail risk right now,” said McKay. “And therefore, we’re building a little bit of a capital buffer for uncertainty.”
BMO, which expects to shortly close its US$16.3 billion acquisition of Bank of the West that will put some pressure on its capital buffers, said it is using similar risk transfer transactions to what it has been doing in recent years, including loan syndication and synthetic securitization.
“We’ll continue to dynamically manage our capital and resources,” said chief executive Darryl White. “We do see a little bit of slowing down.”
BMO’s chief financial officer Tayfun Tuzun said the bank is so far not cutting back on any business segments because of uncertainty.
“We had very strong loan growth during the quarter. Obviously, that should be a proof that we’re still doing all the business with our clients that we have,” he said on their earnings call.
TD has a “downturn readiness playbook” that it continues to update, but for now it’s more focused on growth, said chief financial officer Kelvin Tran in an interview.
“You have to invest for growth, and in a potential downturn, you’re just more selective on what you invest. But it is important to drive growth.”
He said the bank, which saw expenses up about 10 per cent in the quarter from last year, is investing to be ready for clients in the uncertainty ahead.
“We’re putting more bankers on the street, more advisors on the street to help our customers as you know, it’s a very challenging environment and want to be there for them.”
Scotiabank’s chief risk officer Phil Thomas said that the bank’s efforts to de-risk its portfolio have positioned it well to manage economic uncertainties, while chief executive Brian Porter said he expects rate pressure to soon ease.
“Central banks in Canada and the United States appear to be nearing the end of their tightening cycles as inflation finally appears to be slowing. In Canada, the economic growth is moderating, but economic levels of activity remained robust.”
While some banks are more optimistic than others on the economic outlook, they did all boost what they’re setting aside for potential loan losses. There was a wide range in provisions, from $617 million at TD on the top end to $226 million at BMO, with variances coming from portfolio size, outlook, and other factors.
RBC added $381 million to provisions, including $126 million on performing loans, as its sees economic trouble coming a little faster and more intense than before, said chief risk officer Graeme Hepworth.
“Provisions on performing loans this quarter reflect changes to our base case scenario. This incorporated an earlier and modestly more severe recession than previously expected.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.
Companies in this story: (TSX:BMO; TSX:TD; TSX:CM; TSX:RY; TSX:BNS)
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•Agent banking channels hit 1.4 million in October
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it is assiduously working towards achieving its 95 per cent financial inclusion target by 2024, with the recent launch of its Revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS 3.0) and a number of other important policy frameworks.
It listed the other initiatives to help ensure 95 per cent of Nigerians have access to financial services to include the National Strategy for Leveraging Agent Networks for Women’s Financial Inclusion; National Fintech Strategy; Nigeria Payments System Vision 2025 (PSV 2025); Nigerian Financial Services Maps (NFSMaps); the CBN Regulatory Sandbox as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria – Central Bank of Egypt Fintech Bridge.
The CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, disclosed this in a speech she delivered at the recently held 2022 Financial Inclusion Conference, in Abuja, a copy of which was made available to THISDAY yesterday.
According to Ahmad, “notwithstanding these successes, some of which were spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, certain segments such as youth, rural dwellers, women, north-east and north-west regions and MSMEs/Farmers remain relatively excluded [11%, 24%, 8%, 32% (NW) and three per cent (access to formal loans) respectively] compared to the national averages. Progress in credit, insurance and pensions have also been slow. These segments are the key target priority areas for the NFIS 3.0.
“Agent banking network growth was significant, increasing from 38,416 agents in December 2018 to 1.4 million by October 2022, primarily driven by the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) initiative of the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
“This expansion of agent network is an important lever to expand the number of financial access points per 100,000 of the population – thereby boosting access to affordable financial services by those in the more dispersed rural areas and certain urban centers. The growth in agent networks which has been significant also in the North-East (67% in 2020) will be important for improving financial inclusion in the north.
“Whilst the 2022 A2F survey is being awaited, it is anticipated that the financial inclusion rate would have improved by another 5 percentage points, drawing on the momentum on Digital Financial Services spurred by COVID-19 pandemic, and leveraging the myriad of financial services solutions in the dynamic financial system.”
Furthermore, she listed future priorities for accelerating financial inclusion for the CBN to include consolidating interagency and policy – innovation collaboration; deepening digital financial services penetration in excluded segments through the e-Naira offline solution; enhancing and harmonising digital identity for financial inclusion; and leveraging NIN foundational ID for further financial inclusion.
Others are implementing full cashless policy nationwide; implementation of the Nigerian Domestic Card project; gender mainstreaming in financial services; expending agent network penetration in underserved areas and further development of a robust payment system infrastructure.
Ahmad pointed out that financial inclusion remains an important policy goal for countries and central banks, given its role as a key driver of poverty alleviation and economic growth.
She noted that when individuals have access to financial services that are varied, affordable and meets their specific needs and circumstances, it enhances their economic opportunities, financial resilience and wealth prospects thereby boosting national productivity and inclusive growth and development.
“Global alliances for financial inclusion such as the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative (FIGI) championed by the World Bank Group (WBG), and notable partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)’s network of policymakers, serve to promote policies to ensure that over 1.4 billion people around the world without access to financial services are formally included in the financial system.
“Financial inclusion is a strategic objective for the CBN given its mandate to promote price, monetary and financial stability. The role of financial inclusion in important in enhancing its financial stability and monetary policy effectiveness.
“Policy making by the CBN in collaboration with other financial sector regulators has been an undeniable force behind Nigeria’s advancements in financial inclusion over the last decade. Nigeria’s financial inclusion journey began in 2010 when the CBN along with 10 other countries joined the Maya Accord under AFI, a global peer country partnership for financial inclusion – pledging individual commitments to financial inclusion in their countries.
“This sparked the birth of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2012, and the establishment of governance and policy frameworks through which the strategy is being executed.
“The convening power of the CBN shaped the financial inclusion narrative for Nigeria, given its role as chair of the National Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (NFISC) and Technical Committee (NFITC) chaired by the CBN Governor and the CBN Deputy Governor of Financial System Stability respectively, and establishment of a Financial Inclusion Secretariat, (now Financial Inclusion Delivery Unit within the Development Finance Department of the CBN).
“The FIDU acts as a critical coordinating unit for the NFISC, the NFITC and the Working Groups and State chapter coordinators,” she explained.
According to Ahmad, these committees and groups are comprised of a cross section of stakeholders in the public and private sector including financial and other regulators including the CBN, Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), National Pension Commission (PENCOM), and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
Others are Ministries, Departments and Agencies (Youth & Sports Development, Women Affairs & Social Development, Communications & Digital Economy, Finance, Education and Information & Culture). Private sector stakeholders include Deposit money banks, telecommunications companies, mobile money companies, insurance operators, pension fund operators, fund managers, as well as partners from multilateral institutions, think thanks, the academia, among others.
“The NFIS is a foundational policy framework referenced by the entire national ecosystem of policy makers, operators, government and other stakeholders, sets out the country target, strategies to achieve the target, initiatives, policies, products and services that ensure achievement of the target.
“Since its first launch in 2012, Nigeria’s NFIS has continued to transform over the years. The CBN has launched two editions prior to the third version which was launched this morning at the opening ceremony of the 2022 International Financial Inclusion Conference – The NFIS 3.0. All three editions identified national priorities for financial inclusion and policy frameworks for resolving the most pressing barriers to financial inclusion, scaling financial inclusion across the country, whilst defining a focus for the future to achieve the set target,” she said.