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Shareholders’ of Access Bank okay N14b dividend


Access Bank official new logo. Photo/thewillnigeria

Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have approved a total dividend of N14.46 billion, declared by the bank for the financial year ended December 31, 2018, at the bank’s 30th yearly general meeting held in Lagos. 
The dividend translated to 25 kobo final dividend and 25 kobo interim dividend paid earlier in the year to its shareholders, making a total dividend paid out for the period to be 50 kobo per share.
The shareholders, who commended the board and management for sustaining dividend payout policy, also noted that its merger with former Diamond Bank has brought smile on the faces of shareholders of both banks.
Specifically, the National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sony Nwosu, applauded the board for the successful merger scheme.
He berated the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and other regulators on the fees slammed on the bank during the year under review, saying it has become a major concern to investors in the recent times.
He stressed the need for shareholders to organise themselves in such a way that they can direct their complaint to the government and regulators on the issues affecting banking business in the country.
Reviewing its performance, the chairman of the bank, Mosun Belo-Olusoga, said that despite unfavourable operating environment, Access Bank delivered a strong performance, demonstrating an effective strategy backed by strong governance.
“In January 2018, we began the implementation of another five-year strategy. A key aspect of our intent over the next five years is to build a large diversified bank, by consolidating our wholesale franchise and embedding ourselves firmly in the retail market,” she said.
She also noted that the bank’s merger with Diamond Bank Plc, will create the required scale, customer base and support our desire to achieve a wider reach across the continent. 
“The combination will significantly fast track the achievement of a number of our strategic intents in the short term. It provides us with a competitive advantage that will withstand the realities of market uncertainties, while ensuring sustainable revenue in the years ahead.” 
Also, the Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Hebert Wigwe, said that money deducted from the bank’s profit was designed specifically to support the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and other sectors in an effort to boost economic development of the country.

Wigwe said that the bank began implementation of its five year strategy with focus on retail banking growth, adding that the quarterly contribution of the segment to group profits during the year assured that the strategies and investments were prudent.
Our ongoing collective efforts to deliver exemplary value will be paramount in guaranteeing our profitability and the long-term sustainability of our business,” he said.

The Group recorded a profit before tax of N103.2 billion for the year, as total assets grew by 21 per cent from N4.1 trillion in 2017, to N4.95 trillion in 2018.
Deposits also grew by 14 per cent in 2017 to N2.56 trillion in 2018, as shareholders’ equity, however, fell by four per cent from N511 billion in 2017, to N491 billion in 2018, reflecting the impact of the implementation of IFRS 9 on retained earnings.

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