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Shareholders Furious Over FBN Holdings High NPL Ratio of 22.8%

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Shareholders Furious Over FBN Holdings High NPL Ratio of 22.8%

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The board and management of FBN Holdings Plc have been tasked to make efforts within their reach to recover almost all the Non-Performing Loans (NPLs).

Expressing their frustrations at the firm’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on Tuesday, the shareholders said the bad loans were affecting performance of the company.

They said the N150.4 billion reflected in the group’s 2017 financial statements as payment for impairment charges was too high despite being lower than the N226 billion paid in 2016.

As at December 31, 2017, the NPL of FBN Holdings stood at 22.8 percent, which shareholders said was very high.

But responding to this issue, Group Managing Director of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr Urum Kalu Eke, assured shareholders that something would be done to address the NPLs.

He said the company was also worried about the issue because it had affected its performance in the past.

According to him, the management was taking necessary strategies to recover the bad loans, saying these steps were yielding results as seen in the reduction of the NPL to 22.8 percent in 2017 from 24.4 percent.

“Even though we have not recorded a full resolution of our NPLs, we have made significant progress in dealing with a number of these names and more fundamentally, ensured a strong asset quality from recent credits.

“As a result, NPL for the period declined from 24.4 percent in 2016 to 22.8 percent in 2017,” the bank chief said at the meeting.

On his part, Chairman of FBN Holdings Plc, Mr Oba Otudeko, said the institution made significant progress last year.

According to him, the group’s flagship subsidiary, First Bank Nigeria Limited, sustained its leadership position in the e-payment space, emerging as the first financial institution in Nigeria and West Africa to issue 10 million cards to customers.

He added that the bank was recognised as the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve an electronic transaction volume of 100 million in a month.

Mr Otudeko said FBN Holdings would consolidate on the progress made in the previous year to deliver a strong and sustainable performance that enhances returns to shareholders.

Also at the Tuesday’s event, the shareholders approved the payment of N8.974 billion dividend proposed by the board. This represents 25 kobo per share for the 2017 financial year.

A look at the firm’s performance last year showed that its gross earnings grew by 2.3 percent to N595.4 billion from N581.8 billion in 2016, while its profit before tax appreciated to N56.3 billion from N22.9 billion.

Furthermore, its customer deposits went up to N3.14 trillion from N3.10 trillion in 2016, while the total assets increased to N5.2 trillion from N4.7 trillion two years ago.

Also, the group posted a net-interest income of N331.5 billion against N304.4 billion in 2016, while the non-interest income dropped by 31.3 percent to N113.7 billion from N165.5 billion a year earlier.

The operating income during the year went down to N444.8 billion from N469.9 billion in 2016, while the operating expenses increased by 7.7 percent to N238 billion from N220.9 billion two years ago.

Last year, its impairment charge for credit losses stood at N150.4 billion in contrast to N226 billion in 2016, while the profit after tax went up by 178.8 percent to N47.8 billion from N17.1 billion in 2016.

As at the close of transactions on the floor of the exchange yesterday, shares of the company were traded at N11.50k per share.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Banking

Ecobank Assures Customers Sustained Excellent Service Delivery

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Ecobank Nigeria Jubril Mobolaji Lawal

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Customers of Ecobank Nigeria Limited have been assured of excellent service delivery as the bank celebrates the annual customer service week.

“For us as a bank, we are inspired by your confidence and support to us in numerous ways. We are proud to celebrate your trust in our products and services and use and reliance on them across our touch points. Indeed, your word-of-mouth recommendations of them make us delighted to serve you better,” the Managing Director of the company, Mr Bolaji Lawal, said in a statement issued by the lender.

The financial institution lauded its customers over their continued patronage and dedication to the brand, assuring that the bank will continue to meet and surpass their expectations with product offerings.

Mr Lawal said customers’ loyalty to the bank over the years has made the Pan African bank one of the most preferred financial institutions in the country.

He pointed out that the choice of this year’s theme, Celebrate Service particularly resonates with Ecobank’s philosophy that service is a game changer.

“It is the reason we are constantly investing in our technology and equipping our staff with the requisite skills and resources to provide you with the relevant solutions you need and cutting-edge banking experience,” he stressed.

Mr Lawal reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to implement their feedbacks, noting that “we will continue to be relentless in our efforts to make financial services readily and easily accessible to you.

“As your preferred financial partner, we are happy to listen to you and remain committed to tailoring our products and services to suit your lifestyle and power your aspirations. We will continue to evolve with you and innovate our products and services to make banking a more rewarding experience for you.”

Customer Service Week is an international celebration of the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers daily. It is celebrated annually during the first full week of October.  This year’s celebration holds from October 3 to 7.

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Banking

Unity Bank, Lagos Food Bank Address Hunger, Malnutrition

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Unity Bank Lagos Food Bank

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Food items worth millions of Naira have been donated to Ogundimu Ilaje, a riverine community in the suburb of Lagos, by Unity Bank Plc and Lagos Food Bank.

No fewer than 150 cartons of food items tagged Unity Box of Hope were distributed to hundreds of households in the underserved community.

The gesture is a collaborative initiative to support and promote interventions addressing hunger and malnutrition in communities.

It is also part of the strategic Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSRs) of Unity Bank aimed at sustaining the improvement of health and social well-being of communities it operates.

The lender, in a statement, further said it supported the programme because its goals align with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative, a non-profit organisation committed to providing welfare programmes to indigent people.

The donation comes on the heels of the worsening economic situation in the country, especially with the soaring food inflation at 23.12 per cent as of August 2022, which has alleviated hunger in many households.

Addressing the beneficiaries at the venue of food distribution, Mr Hillary Oguebo, Unity Bank’s Head, Corporate Resources, said the bank, as an agric-focused financial institution, was fulfilling its core mandate in line with Bank’s drive for food security, adding that the Bank is pleased to donate the food items to the community to help ameliorate the impact of the rising cost of food on them.

“Unity Bank has a financing business model that is principally anchored, amongst others, on boosting agricultural production, and it is also useful for those who have not benefitted from the bank’s Agric financing package to receive direct food intervention as it is being done today.

“Due to a lot of factors, especially growing insecurity, food production has been impacted severely, leading to historical food inflation. That has left many households struggling and battling hunger. So, this is a thoughtful gesture that we hope to sustain to reach as many Nigerians who deserve this form of intervention at this critical period,” he stated.

With a score of 28.3, the Global Hunger Index ranks Nigeria 103rd out of 116 and classifies the country’s hunger level as serious. This is a result of the country’s growing food insecurity, which has risen to more than 80 per cent from less than 20 per cent about three decades ago.

Unity Bank has led some of the most important critical interventions in the agric sector in Nigeria in the recent past and boasts significant investment in the Agric sector over the past six years and a track record of financing smallholder farmers that spur food production through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Through a CSR initiative that feeds households in underserved communities, the Bank is redefining CSR through strategic interventions that align perfectly with its business model.

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Banking

FCCPC Records Decline in Complaints from Customers of Digital Loan Sharks

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customers of digital loan sharks

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it has recorded a significant reduction in the number of consumer complaints regarding illegal digital money lending activities.

Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, said this in a statement via the agency’s Twitter handle on Wednesday.

Mr Irukera attributed the reduction in complaints from customers of digital loan sharks to the enforcement embarked on by the FCCPC joint taskforce.

“I agree that some activities of digital money lending institutions have destroyed relationships, whether professional or personal, and that is why we are doing all we can.

“I will be the first person to agree that there is a problem out there.

“Messages are still coming, harassment is still coming, but frankly, we have been tracking this for a while,” he added.

The FCCPC boss said that the complaints were the lowest recorded in the last two years, following several enforcements embarked by the commission.

“This is the lowest it has been in two years. From March, when we started this enforcement, there has been a significant reduction.

“I will say that after our enforcement last month, we counted probably less than 25 per cent looking at the tracking of the complaints that came in.

“But 25 per cent is not it, we will keep doing what we are doing, even adding more,” Mr Irukera said.

He said that the task force would continue to set the guard rails and make the loan shark businesses difficult.

“Wherever we find their bank accounts, we lock it down, whatever applications they are using, we go to google, we take them down,’’ Mr Irukera said.

He said that in pursuant to the order of the commission, Google had taken down over 70 applications, and the FCCPC had locked out over 60 bank accounts.

The executive vice chairman said Flutterwave had also taken down a dozen applications.

Mr Irukera appealed to members of the public to send their complaints relating to illegal money lending activities to lenderstaskforce@fccpc.gov.ng.

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