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HI 2018: Fidelity Bank Sustains Growth Trajectory As Profits Soar By 27% To Close At N13bn

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Fidelity Bank Plc posted an impressive half-year results for 2018, recording a double-digit growth in key revenue lines and achieving significant traction in her chosen business segments.

Details of the audited half-year results, for the period ended June 30, 2018, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday showed a 27.3 percent jump in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from N10.2bn in the previous period to N13bn in the reporting period. Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 31 percent to close at N11.8 billion from N9.03 billion recorded in 2017, whilst gross earnings rose by 3.6 percent from N85.8bn to N88.9bn.

In other indices, Total Assets grew by 13.7 percent to N1,567.6bn from N1,379.2bn in the previous period. Total Deposits; a measure of customer confidence, increased by 19.7 percent to close at N927.9bn from N775.3bn in 2017.

Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo attributed the impressive performance to the disciplined approach in managing the balance sheet growth of the bank, it’s strategic cost containment initiatives; focused attention to chosen business segments and determined execution of its retail and digital banking strategy.

He stated that “Gross earnings, net fee and commission income all grew primarily due to the increase in transactional activities. Our digital banking initiative continues to gain traction with almost 40 percent of our customers now enrolled on our mobile/internet banking products and over 80 percent of total transactions now done on our digital platforms”.

As shown in recent years, Fidelity Bank’s retail digital banking strategy has continued to positively impact the business. This was again evident in the HI 2018 results as savings deposits increased by 10.6% to N197.5 bn. “The bank is on track to achieving a 5th consecutive year of double-digit savings growth. Low-cost deposits now account for 73.8% of total deposits” he explained further.

Although Total Operating Expenses grew by 5.7% to N32.7bn, Okonkwo maintained that the bank’s cost to income ratio remained relatively stable at 67.7% when compared to 67.5% reported in the previous year. This is in spite of the double-digit inflationary environment in Nigeria. With regulatory ratios such as the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 17%, Liquidity Ratio at 33.2%, well above required threshold, Okonkwo was optimistic that the bank will sustain this sterling performance in the second half of the year.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 4 million customers who are serviced across its 240 business offices and various digital banking channels. The bank which is focused on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has in recent times won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognition.

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Senate Orders CBN To Suspend ATM Card Maintenance Charges, ATM’s To Dispense N40,000

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the suspension of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks.

This was after a motion on “illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts” was raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the plenary session on Wednesday.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, saying: “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”

The issue generated much debate on the floor of the Senate and after much deliberations, a few resolutions were made.

The Senate directed the committees on banking insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

It also mandated the committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to invite the CBN Governor to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

The lawmakers urged CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers accounts, just as they called on the CBN to instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.

The Consumer Protection Council was called upon to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian banks.

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