Fidelity Bank to enhance shareholders’ value through digitisation
Fidelity Bank Plc has assured shareholders that they would reap greater return in this 2019 financial year, as the lender’s sustained investment in digital innovations will engender enhanced customer service delivery, and open fresh streams of revenue.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, gave the assurance during the bank’s 31st yearly general meeting held in Lagos at the weekend.
According to him, the bank will not relent on its efforts to increase the adoption and migration of customers to its digital banking platform.
He said: “We are investing heavily in digital technologies to drive our retail strategy, reduce cost, and consequently improve revenue and returns for our shareholders” he stated.
With 25 per cent of the bank’s fee-based income coming from digital banking, Okonkwo disclosed that the lender is introducing a digital lending solution and AI-Chatbots to spur further growth in the industry verticals, where it currently operates.
On the overall outlook, he said Fidelity Bank is on track towards breaking in to the league of Tier 1 bank by 2022.
“The 2018 financial year marked the beginning of the second phase of the growth aspirations of your Bank, and I am happy, we closed the year impressively”, he stated.
He said the bank’s gross earnings increased by 4.8 per cent to close at N188.9 billion in 2018, driven primarily by 22.7 per cent growth in earning assets while total deposit, increased by 26.3 per cent to N979.4 billion from N775.3 billion, just as current and domiciliary accounts grew in double digit.
Also, profit before tax soared by 30.6 per cent to N25.1 billion, when compared with the 19.2 billion recorded in 2017. Similarly profit after tax increased by 29.0 per cent to N22.9 billion from N17.8 billion in 2017.
Fidelity Bank Chairman, Ernest Ebi, also assured shareholders that the board will continue to provide the right leadership, with focus on governance, risk management and capital preservation.
“Every action and everything we have done thus far have been around these areas. The fundamentals are very strong; we intend to keep things that way,” he said.
Responding, the shareholders commended the management and staff for growing the fortunes of the bank in the last financial year, while urging them to do everything within their powers to enhance shareholders return in the current financial year.
The shareholders unanimously approved the proposed dividend of N3.19 billion, which translates to 11kobo per ordinary share of 50k held by investors at the close of business on April 12, 2019.
Specifically, the Chairman, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr. Farouk Umar, who lauded the bank for its consistent dividend payout, charged management to continue to record better financial performances.
The President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSAN), Timothy Adesiyan, extolled the bank for making strides in the digital banking space. “Digital banking has “brought us increased profitability and progress; kudos to Fidelity Bank.
Whilst commending the management for its participation in the Bank of Industry (BoI) Traders’ Moni Scheme, he said: “we are quite appreciative that the cost of risk has reduced considerably in the bank from 1.5 per cent in 2017 to 0.5 per cent.”