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Fidelity Bank Plc Announces A 53.9% Growth In Profit Before Tax To N10.1bn For The 3 Months Ended 31 March 2021

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Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc recorded a strong financial performance in the first quarter of 2021, posting appreciable growth in profits for the period ended 31 March 2021.

Details of the unaudited results, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) show that Profit before Tax (PBT) grew by 53.9% from N6.6bn in 2020 to N10.1bn for the corresponding period of March 31, 2021.  Similarly, Net revenue in the period increased by 13.4% from N30.3bn in Q1 2020 to N34.4bn in 2021, just as the bank recorded growth in other performance indices.

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc commenting on the results, stated that:

“We commenced the year showing impressive double-digit growth in profitability and improved performance across key efficiency indices whilst ensuring our business model continued to deliver strong positive results in line with our guidance for the 2021 financial year.

Gross Earnings increased by 7.7% YoY to N55.1bn on account of 66.7% growth in non-interest revenue to N12.1bn from N7.2bn in Q1 2020. In absolute terms, the increase in NIR came from FX-related income, digital banking income and account maintenance charge, etc. as total customers’ induced transactions across all our service channels increased by 30.4% YoY and 17.1% QoQ.

Net Interest Margin remained unchanged at 6.3% compared to 2020FY as the drop in average funding cost offset the decline in average yields on earning assets. Average funding cost dropped to 2.5% from 3.6% in 2020FY due to a combination of improved deposit mix and a slight moderation in average borrowing cost. This led to a 26.2% decline in total interest expenses, which translated to a 17.1% increase in net interest income to N28.8bn despite a 4.3% increase in interest-bearing liabilities. We refinanced our 7-Yr N30.0bn Tier II Bonds issued in 2015 at 16.48% p.a.  with cheaper 10-Yr N41.2bn Tier II Bonds priced at 8.5% p.a., which led to a 61bpts drop in average borrowing cost to 4.5%.

Operating Expenses increased by N1.3bn (6.2%) to N23.0bn largely driven by N4.3bn growth in regulatory charges (NDIC & AMCON Charges). Excluding the increase in regulatory charges, total operating expenses would have dropped by 13.8% (6.1% QoQ) to N18.6bn from N21.6bn in Q1 2020 (Q4 2020: N19.8bn).

Total Deposits increased by 3.1% YTD to N1,751.3bn from N1,699.0bn in 2020FY, driven by 5.5% increase in low cost deposits (Demand: 6.2% | Savings: 4.1%). Foreign currency deposits increased by 15.7% YTD (N46.9bn) and now accounts for 19.7% of total deposits from 17.5% in 2020FY, as we harness the benefits of our renewed drive in Diaspora Banking as well as the recent CBN Naira-for-Dollar Incentive Scheme for diaspora remittances to Nigeria.

Retail Banking continued to deliver impressive results as savings deposits increased by 4.1% YTD to N441.6bn and we are on course to achieving the 9th consecutive year of double-digit growth in savings deposits. Savings deposits was responsible for 32.9% of the absolute growth in total deposits and now account for 25.2% of total deposits compared to 25.0% in 2020.

Net Loans and Advances increased by 7.6% YTD to N1,426.3bn from N1,326.1bn in 2020FY. However, the actual growth was 6.8% while the impact of the currency adjustment (2020FY: N400.3/$ – Q1 2021: N407.6/$) accounted for a 0.8% YTD growth in the loan book. Cost of risk came in at 0.4% and the NPL ratio dropped to 3.6% from 3.8% in 2020FY.

Other Regulatory Ratios remained above the required thresholds with liquidity ratio at 33.9% and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at 18.4% from 18.2% in 2020FY.

We are committed to sustaining our growth trajectory and achieving the long-term strategic aspirations of the Bank as we look forward to delivering another set of good results in the next quarter”.

BUSINESS

Millionaires Emerge In UBA Savings Promo As 10 Customers Win N1m Each

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has rewarded 10 of its loyal customers with a total sum of  N10m in the quarterly draws of the ongoing UBA Savings Promo.

This promo, which is held every quarter, is intended to appreciate loyal customers of the bank, who have stayed with the bank over the years,  and offers fresh opportunities for potential and intending customers to join the growing number of UBA millionaires who have in the past benefitted from several Promo.

The virtual and transparent electronic draw which was held on Friday was transmitted live via zoom and the Facebook platform in strict compliance with social distancing rules as directed by the Federal and Lagos State Government.

UBA’s Head Personal Banking, Osita Ede, who addressed participants just before the draws, said there is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support, they can get to make life more meaningful.

He said, “As a bank, UBA has been rewarding customers, we have been doing this for several years now; from the Wise Savers Promo, Bumper Draws, and now this. We have been doing this to touch lives and to show appreciation to our customers to tell them we are grateful for their business. This is also an opportunity to reward them for their loyalty to the bank.

Ede added that the promo is also a way of encouraging savings in a bid towards promoting financial inclusion, as statistics show that a lot of Nigerians are still largely underbanked.

“Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support them and encourage them to save and ultimately grow as well because we are aware that they are invaluable to all that we do;” Ede explained.

A representative of the National Regulatory Commission, Peace Ibadie, who witnessed the draws, congratulated the 10 winners and commended the bank for its efforts at rewarding loyal customers, especially in the tough economic and business environment.

“Congratulations to all the winners, I am glad to be a part of this; UBA is always transparent in their promos and we can fully attest to this. It is important that the bank is also actively encouraging the savings culture. Again, I say congratulations,” she said.

The winners who cut across all the zones of the country are Emeka Onyemauche; Ezeigbokwe Oluebube Purity; Omoniyi A Jaiyeola; Olawale Omotayo Idowu; Zaharadeen Yandaki Umar; Aliyu Yaro Bakari; Samuel Enan Esua; Joseph Eze; Deborah Folusho Adebayo and Lucia Chinyere Adim.

When contacted via their mobile phone, the winners expressed their gratitude to the bank as they said the winnings will go a long way in meeting their pressing needs, especially in these trying times.

One of the winners, Samuel Enan Esan, who was delighted at the news that he just won N1m, was full of praises. “Thank you UBA,” he stated.

Aliyu Yaro Bakari. who was extremely excited at the news, said, “Oh I am very happy, UBA is the best, you are the best, thank you very much,” he remarked when he learnt he was also one of the beneficiaries of N1m.

To qualify for the promo, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to make a one-time deposit of at least N30,000; before each draw date. Savings account holders eligible for this draw include Target, Bumper, NextGen, Savings, Teens & Kiddies.

Apart from the savings promo which is held every three months, the bank also has the UBA Bumper Promo which is held monthly, where the first three winning customers are rewarded with N2m, Rent for a year at N1.2m and N500,000 respectively; with 20 others winning N100,000 each as consolation prizes.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints, in 20 African countries. With its presence in New York, London, and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance, and ancillary banking services.

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BUSINESS

Heritage Bank Partners Road Transport Workers On Insurance Scheme For Travelers

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Heritage Bank in partnership with the Road Transport Employee’s Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has launched the Travelers’ Accident Insurance Scheme (TAIS) to assist road accident victims across the country.

The scheme which was launched on Friday aims to address deaths associated with the inability of travelers involved in accidents to offset hospital bills.

The Regional Executive, Abuja, and North, Heritage Bank Plc, George Okoh-Oboh, speaking at the launch of the scheme in Abuja, commended the thoughtfulness of the Association in coming up with such program to save the lives of accident victims.

He stated that the partnership would help address the road safety crisis due to the tragic loss from a road crash death or severe injury which was compounded by the harm to families, social networks, and national economies.

According to him, the majority of victims are part of the working-age population (between 15 and 64 years old). In fact, road crashes have become the #1 killer of the young worldwide.

He pledged the continued support of the bank in ensuring the success of the scheme.

Okoh-Oboh said, “At Heritage Bank, we believe in this project and we are ready to support it as it seeks to address accidents on the road.

“This project will save lives of many Nigerians, so we are not just here to see what comes in but we are here to add value and ensure that it succeeds.”

The National President of RTEAN, Musa Muhammed in his remarks said that the scheme aims at promoting the welfare of passengers while ensuring security for passengers’ property.

He explained that the scheme would provide support to passengers who may be involved in accidents at the course of their journeys.

“This scheme covers all Nigerians involved in accidents that require medical attention while on a road trip.

“This is part of an effort to assist and improve the Nigerians transport system,” he added.

According to him, the scheme will cover only parks owned and operated by members of the Road Transport Workers Association.

He further stressed the need for the government to deepen investments in road infrastructure while ensuring security along the major road.

Nicholas Tofowomo, Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District of Ondo State at the 9th National Assembly, urged transporters to ensure that workers are properly licensed and vehicles insured.

This, he noted, would ensure the effective implementation of the scheme.

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BUSINESS

Goodbye Grobank, Hello Access Bank South Africa

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Following the completion of all regulatory procedures, Grobank Limited has been officially renamed Access Bank South Africa Limited. The deal was finalized after Access Bank’s acquisition of controlling shares in the former Grobank Limited, South Africa.

With this new development, Access Bank South Africa Limited is positioned to deliver a robust banking operation that connects key African markets.

At an official closing ceremony in Sandton on Monday, top executives of the two banks were upbeat about new opportunities for clients, noting that the Bank will continue to support all its stakeholders while opening doors to growth opportunities both in the short and long term.

CEO of Grobank, Bennie van Rooy said, “This is an extremely exciting day for the South African banking industry. Our corporate customers will now have increased access to trade finance, treasury, international payments, and loans through the wider distribution network offered by Access Bank’s presence in the key trade corridors that connect Africa to the rest of the world.

“Banking with Access Bank South Africa means greater security as well as access to more products and services through a best-in-class digital platform, and a full retail banking suite will soon be on offer.”

Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of Access Bank Plc, said: “Today’s ceremony in South Africa seals our commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World, in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

“We look forward to the many opportunities our collective experience and deep understanding of the African market brings to our valued clients, and the journey ahead being one of great promise for our institution and the continent.”

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