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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fidelity Bank MD Assures Investors Of Better Dividends Ahead

Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc on Friday approved the payment of 11kobo dividend, this translating to a total of N3.2 billion.

Speaking during the Annual General Meeting in Lagos, the Shareholders also commended the Board and Management of the Bank for its consistency in the payment of dividend to members in the 12 years.

The Bank also reassured its shareholders that its five-year strategic growth plan and benefits from its continued proficiency in prudent operational management and retaining of capital will continue to see outperform its peers in the banking industry, even as its posed in returning good yield to members .

According to the trio of Mr. Patrick Ajuduwa, Chief Timothy Adesiyan and Mr. Norna Awoh, all shareholders’ leaders who spoke variously on behalf of others, also commended the bank’s probity in the management of its operations despite the contraption in the domestic economy.

They said despite the challenging times, the bank was able to rise above board to pay its shareholders dividend, and further growing its deposit base to double digit and reducing cost of operation.

While frowning at the structure of some committees of the bank, they equally enjoined the bank to liaise with institutions in the industry to help bring down the bank’s N2.7 billion dividend, even as it should check the continued payment of 50kobo stamp duties charges by deposit.

Responding to shareholders questions, Fidelity Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said that despite unfavorable market condition, the bank delivered a strong performance, demonstrating an effective strategy backed by strong governance.

He noted that being two-year ago, when the bank began the implementation of another five-year strategy, explained that, it would continue to translate to better returns in the years ahead.

“We are a performing driven institution. All the numbers seen is because our staff are well motivated, and we will continue to keep a strong adequacy ratio of 16 per cent. We once paid CBN’s charge of N28 billion at once, on scaling up our report to IFRS standard. We did this because we wanted a strong bank. Our five year growth strategy is clear. Presently 80 per cent of our operations are digitally driven. We will continue to keep down our NPL ratio”.

On the growth of deposit in the bank, the CEO said for a bank to have grown its base to double digits in the last five-years to N75 billion, which is commendable, noted that if the bank continue in that trajectory in a couple of years’ time, the bank will hit the N1 trillion mark.

On demand by shareholders for increased dividend, and operations in the North, the CEO explained that while the bank is mindful of retaining capital, “We would continue to pay good return on investment to our investors. The current 11 kobo dividend reflects’ the bank policy drive to have a strong adequacy ratio of 16 per cent. The headwinds in the economy necessitated the dividend payout. Someday, aside paying huge dividend, we will be paying interim dividend. Presently we have senior management personal in northern part of the country who are doing a great job”, he added.

A cursory look at the bank’s performance in the year under review, showed that it posted a 29 per cent increase in profit after tax for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2018.

Profit after tax during the period under review stood at N22.9 billion, compared with N17.7 billion realized in the comparative period.

Also, its profit before tax soared by 30.6 per cent to N25.1 billion in contrast with the N19.2 billion posted in 2017.

The bank reported gross earnings of N188.9 billion against N180.2 billion in the corresponding period, an increase of 4.8 per cent, while operating income rose by 13.9 per cent, from N85.9 billion, to N97.2 billion.

Its customer deposit, which is a measure of consumer confidence, rose by 26.3 per cent from N775.2 billion, to N979.4 billion, just as total Assets grew by 24 per cent, from N1.4 trillion to N1.7 trillion.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 3.8 million customers who are serviced across its 240 business offices and various other digital banking channels.

The bank has in recent times won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank, among several industry awards and recognitions.

The bank was also ranked the fourth Best Bank in the Retail Banking Segment in the 2017 Banking Industry Satisfaction Survey conducted by KPMG.

Focused on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the bank is rapidly implementing a digital-based retail banking strategy which has resulted in an exponential growth in savings deposits over the last three years and a corresponding surge in customer enrollment on the bank flagship mobile/internet banking products

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