By Bayo Bernard
Big lender, Fidelity Bank Plc, has continued to keep its word with shareholders and over four million customers across Nigeria by remaining strong and profitable ahead of competitors.
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs friendly bank posted an impressive financial performance for the 3rd Quarter of the year.
The bank, analysts insist is now on course of finishing strong in the 2018 financial year.
According to the 9-months results for the period ended September 30, 2018, released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the Nnamdi Okonkwo led new generation bank showed a double-digit growth in revenues and profitability.
Further details from NSE indicate Gross Earnings grew by 6.9% to N139.0 billion from N130.1 billion reported in the same period in 2017, while profit-before-tax soared by 23.6% from N16.2 billion to N20.1 billion.
Other indices show impressive performance as total assets grew by 21.9 % to N1,680.8 billion from N1,379.2 billion in the same period last year.
Total deposits; a measure of customer confidence, increased by 27.3 % to close at N986.8 billion from N775.3 billion in 2017.
The managing Director of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo said his management employed deliberate for positive results.
“We are delighted with our 9 months financial performance with the continuing execution of our medium-term strategy which has further yielded positive results, leading to impressive growth across key performance indices including profitability, total deposits and balance sheet size etc, Okonkwo said”
He explained further that the bank has continued to grow its market share driven by significant traction in its chosen business segments such as Corporate, Commercial, SME and digitally led Retail Banking.
“Gross earnings increased y-o-y by 6.9 per cent to close at N139.0 billion primarily driven by the growth in earning assets by 19.2 per cent which led to a 9.1 per cent increase in interest income to N120.4 billion”, he said.
The management said the competitive edge the bank enjoys was made possible by huge investments in customer friendly digital products.
This has paid off considering that savings deposits increased by 12.9 per cent to N201.7 billion, leading to double-digit savings growth for the fifth consecutive year, while low cost deposits, now account for 73.6 per cent of total deposits.
Within this period also, the digital banking push has resulted in over 40 percent customers’ enrollment on the mobile/internet banking products including over 80 percent of total transactions on digital platforms.
The Bank’s expenses grew by 6.5 per cent to N50.6 billion due to increased technology investment and higher AMCON Charges, while cost to income ratio remained relatively stable at 68.4 per cent compared to 67.5 per cent in the 2017FY.
Non-performing Loans (NPLs) Ratio improved to 6.0 per cent from 6.4 percent in the 2017FY despite a 3.4 per cent growth in the absolute NPL numbers with the NPL coverage ratio at 109.9 percent.
Other regulatory ratios remained above the required thresholds with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 17.0 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 38.3 per cent, the bank said.