By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc have been told to be rest assured of getting further impressive performance in the third quarter of this year.
This assurance was given by the MD/CEO of the lender, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, while reacting to the financial statements of Fidelity Bank for the period ended June 30, 2019.
The firm, in the first six months of 2019, recorded a double-digit growth in key revenue lines whilst achieving significant traction in digital banking uptake despite the country’s challenging and fiercely competitive business environment.
According to Mr Okonkwo, the bank remained focused on the execution of its medium-term strategic goals and targets for the 2019FY whilst promising that the bank would continue to sustain the momentum and deliver another strong set of results for the 9M 2019.
“Gross Earnings increased by 12.3 percent to N103.7 billion driven by a 52.4 percent growth in our fee-based income and a 7.2 percent growth in Interest Income,” the bank executive said.
Digital Banking, Mr Okonkwo stated, has continued to gain traction driven by new initiatives in retail lending segment and increased cross-selling of its digital banking products.
“We now have 45.0 percent of our customers enrolled in the bank’s mobile/internet banking products, 82.0 percent of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 29.0 percent of fee-based income now coming from digital banking,” he added.
The Fidelity CEO pointed out that retail loans were steadily on the rise after the launch of the bank’s new digital lending product dubbed Fidelity Fastloan, further adding that the bank has deepened lending partnerships with select Financial Technology (FinTechs) companies.
Buoyed essentially by innovative digital technologies, Fidelity Bank’s retail strategy has become a major game-changer for the business.
This was again evident in the H1 2019 results as savings deposits now account for about 22.6 percent of total deposits – a clear sign of the bank’s increasing market share in the retail segment. “We are on course to achieving the 6th consecutive year of double-digit savings growth”, he stated.
Business Post reports that the audited half-year results of the lender showed a 15.7 percent rise in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from N13.0 billion in the earlier period to N15.1 billion in the reporting period, while Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 15.6 percent to close at N13.6 billion from N11.8 billion recorded in 2018, with the gross earnings increasing by 12.3 percent from N92.3 billion to N103.7 billion.
In other indices, Total Assets rose by 12.8 percent to N1.940.2bn from N1,719.9bn in the previous period, while Total Deposits, a measure of customer confidence, increased by 12.0 percent to close at N1.097 trillion from N979.4 billion in 2018 Financial Year (FY).
The non-performing Loans (NPLs) ratio improved to 5.4 percent from 5.7 percent in the 2018FY due to the growth in the loan book.
With regulatory ratios such as the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 17.0 percent, Liquidity Ratio at 34.8 percent, well above required threshold, Mr Okonkwo was optimistic that the bank will sustain this sterling performance in the second half of the year.
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