By Dipo Olowookere In the first nine months of 2020, Access Bank Plc increased its gross earnings to N592.8 billion from N513.7 billion over the same period of last year. The bank, which released its financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2020, on Thursday, got this boost from its retail segment, according to the analysis done by Business Post. The arm of the business raked N154.6 billion in the first nine months of this year compared with the N79.4 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. Only the corporate and investment banking segment of the group recorded a decline in earnings as the commercial bank and business banking segments grew their revenues. A breakdown of the revenue showed that N317.7 billion was raked from interest income calculated using effective interest rate, lower than N349.2 billion in 2019, while the interest income on financial assets at FVTPL increased to N57.6 billion from N55.8 billion, with the interest expense down to N179.0 billion from N194.8 billion and the net interest income closing at N196.3 billion as against N210.2 billion a year ago. However, the fee and commission income rose to N87.9 billion from N66.9 billion just as the fee and commission expense increased to N16.0 billion from N10.9 billion and the net fee and commission fee up to N71.8 billion from N56.0 billion. Access Bank generated N32.8 billion as other operating income, lower than the N33.3 billion a year ago, while the personnel costs grew to N57.1 billion from N54.7 billion, while the other operating expenses rose to N163.8 billion from N122.2 billion. This left the lender with a profit before tax of N116.6 billion, higher than N100.8 billion of last year and a net profit of N102.3 billion as against N88.4 billion in 2019. The deposits from customers, according to the financials, increased year-to-date to N5.3 trillion from N4.3 trillion, while the loans and advances to customers rose to N3.1 trillion year-to-date from N2.9 trillion.