By Bayo Bernard
Fidelity Bank Plc has proposed N3.2 billion dividend payout to shareholders ahead the Annual General Meeting, AGM coming up later this year.
The development, the tier two lender said came following strong financial results it recorded for the year-ended December 31, 2018.
Some shareholders of the bank who spoke with the magazine over the issue said they were happy that the bank has sustained the tradition of paying dividends despite the harsh business environment.
Some banks have not paid dividends for years.
While speaking on the issue the managing director/ CEO of the bank said the sterling performance is due to efficient management and digitalise banking operations.
The place of digital banking in the bank’s sustained cannot be over-emphasized, considering that over 42 per cent of customers are now enrolled on the bank’s mobile/internet banking products and more than 81 per cent of total transactions done on digital platforms, resulting in 25 per cent of fee-based income, coming from digital banking.
He explained that the bank has sustained performance in the last few years while maintained its position as one of the leading banks in the country through the provision of seamless banking solutions to its numerous customers.
According to Okonkwo “We are delighted by our 2018 numbers, which clearly shows a sustained performance trajectory.
We are growing our market share with continued traction in our chosen business segments.
We recoded double digits growth in interest income on our liquid assets, digital banking, FX and other income lines.”
He explained further that the bank’s electronic banking operations stand out among its competitors because “as seen in recent years, the bank’s digital retail banking approach has continued to yield positive results.
Savings recorded its fifth consecutive year of double digits growth with a 27.7 per cent increase to peak at N228 billion.
Savings accounts for over 23 per cent of our total deposits, an attestation of our increasing market share in the retail segment,” he said.
Fidelity posted a 4.8 per cent growth in Gross Earnings from N180.2 billion to N188.9 billion while Profit Before Tax grew by 30.6 per cent to N25.1 billion, when compared with the N19.2 billion it recorded in 2017.
To prove that its customers still have confidence in the bank Customer Deposit grew by 26.3 per cent from N775.2 billion to N979.4 billion while total assets grew by 24 per cent from N1.4trillion to N1.7trillion.
Also, profit After Tax increased by 29 per cent from N17.7 billion in 2017 to N22.9 billion in 2018, while Operating Income rose by 13.9 per cent from N85.9 billion to N97.2 billion.