- Access Bank, 27 Lenders Develop Global Banking Principles
Following the development of the Global Principles for Responsible Banking (GPRB) by Access Bank, 27 other global banks and other financial institutions have now become early endorsers of the principles.
The banks include Caixa Bank, Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo (Ccofide), DGB Financial Group, GLS Bank, KB Financial Group,KBC Group, Keystone Bank, Natixis, Qatar National Bank, Standard Chartered , and Zenith Bank .
The GPRB was launched for public consultation in Paris three weeks ago by the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) (Egypt), Access Bank (Nigeria),Banco Pichincha (Ecuador), Banorte (Mexico), Barclays (United Kingdom), BBVA (Spain), BNP Paribas (France) and Bradesco (Brazil). Others are Caixa Bank, CIMB Bank (Malaysia), Commercial International Bank (CIB) (Egypt), Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo (Ccofide), DGB Financial Group, First Rand (South Africa), Garanti Bank (Turkey), GLS Bank and Golomt Bank (Mongolia).
Also in the list are Hana Financial Group (South Korea), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (China), ING (Netherlands), KB Financial Group, KBC Group,Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group (Kenya), Land Bank (South Africa),National Australia Bank (NAB) (Australia), Natixis, Nordea (Sweden), Piraeus Bank (Greece), Qatar National Bank, Santander (Spain) and Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea).
Societe Generale (France), Standard Bank (South Africa), Standard Chartered Plc, Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Westpac (Australia), and YES Bank (India).
The principles will first be available for signature in September 2019, but until then banks and stakeholders can signal their support for and join the initiative by becoming official endorsers of the Principles. The global principles will align the banking industry with, and scale up its contribution to society’s goals as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
By adopting the principles, Access Bank and the other institutions have signified a commitment to help promote the uptake of the principles among their members and networks. As a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Access Bank is a leading partner on the initiative.
Speaking after the announcement, Group Managing Director/CEO Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, explained that as a member of the UNEP FI, sustainability is an important global platform for the bank, especially in achieving sustainable growth through socially-responsible corporate practices.
“At Access Bank, we have stayed committed to ensuring that we place priority on not just being a profitable venture but also one that is deeply concerned about the planet and the people. With specific guidelines that have been developed, applied, and with rigorous monitoring, we can all ensure that we build a sustainable and prosperous future, achieve long-term business and financial benefits while driving urgent action that reduces the risk to the environment,” he said.
Access Bank’s Head, Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan said: “In order to continuously increase on impact through sustainability practices, we will consistently align our corporate strategies with ideas and activities that contribute to our customers’ needs, proactively engage and partner with relevant stakeholders in order to achieve Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks to which the country remains committed.”
Head, UNEP FI, Eric Usher, said: “Today we welcome the first official endorsers of the Principles for Responsible Banking. I am delighted that the Principles are already gathering support as we know that we need to see urgent action to address climate change and the other social and environmental challenges the world faces.”
UNEP FI Banking Lead Simone Dettling added: “The Principles for Responsible Banking provide an actionable framework for banks of any size and at any starting point to align their business strategies with society’s goals. We commend the first group of endorsers for taking this important step, and call on banks around the world to endorse the Principles and help develop the sustainable banking system of the future.”
The European Banking Federation, Natural Capital Coalition, SITAWI Finance for Good, the Spanish Banking Association, the European Association of Co-operative Banks, the European Sustainable Investment Forum, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation and the Spanish Savings Banks Confederation also officially endorsed GPRB.
The GPRB set the global standard for what it means to be a responsible bank and will ensure that banks create value for both their shareholders and society. They provide the first global framework that guides the integration of sustainability across all business areas of a bank, from strategic to portfolio to transaction level. The transparency and accountability mechanisms in the Principles require signatories to manage what matters most, set public targets and report back on progress.
Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development
In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.
“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.
“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.
Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.
The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.
Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021
Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.
According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.
Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.
In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.
Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.
Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.
Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.
The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.
Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”
On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.
“We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.
FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021
FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.
Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.
Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.
Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.
Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.
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