By Bayo Bernard
Top new generation bank, Fidelity Bank Plc has surpassed last year profit margin with over N8 billion. The management of the bank disclosed this at the recent annual general meeting held in Lagos. According to the record made available to the magazine, the bank ended the 2017 fiscal year with 83.5 percent increase in profit after tax to N20.3bn from N11.1bn in 2016.
The managing Director of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo said the phenomenal profit margin recorded by the bank came despite high inflationary environment in the country in 2017. According to Okonkwo, the financial performance indicates that the bank recorded double digit in all key indices. “We were able to achieve this stride through discipline balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction and driving retail banking strategy on the back of a robust electronic digital banking infrastructure.
Noting that the business environment was harsh in 2017, the chief executive officer of the high flying bank said “ business operations were restrictive in 2017, the limited foreign currency liquidity in the banking industry, low financing opportunities, especially in the public sector space, and high cost of business operations.”
Okonkwo noted that the restrained business climate moderated growth in non interest income of banks. Particularly, earnings from trade finance businesses and electronic banking activities as most banks either suspended or partially restricted the use of naira denominated cards for international transactions.
He explained that gross earnings increased by 18.3 percent to N179.9bn primarily driven by an increased yield on earning assets to 15.4 percent.
According to Okonkwo “ we expect the current economic recovery to continue with headline inflation receding to lower double digit. However the yields on fixed income securities would most likely trend downwards as the federal government re-balances its debt profile towards more foreign debt issuance. We are aware of our growing opportunities in our market.“
“We will continue to focus on redesigning our systems and processes to enhance service delivery deepen our cost optimization initiatives to reduce operating expenses and cost-to- serve , and enhance our overall risk monitoring capacities to ensure both internal and external risks are identified and mitigated before they crystallized” he said.