As Fidelity Bank Remains Investors’ Toast
In an increasingly uncertain macroeconomic environment, Fidelity Bank Plc has remained appealing in the banking sector. This is evident in its full year 2022 financial results which showed a better-than-expected performance amid the headwinds in the economy.
Specifically, in the full year 2022 results, Fidelity Bank’s gross earnings increased to N337,050 billion as of December 31, 2022, significantly higher than the N250,776 billion recorded at the end of 2021. Also, Fidelity Bank’s Net Interest Income climbed to N152 billion in the year under review, up from N94.879 billion the previous year.
Also, its profit before income tax stood at N53.677 billion in the year under review, higher than N25.215 billion the previous year. Fidelity Bank’s profit after tax for the year under review stood at N46.724 billion, higher than the N23.104 billion it realised in 2021. Additionally, its total assets increased to N3.989 trillion in 2022, up from N3.278 trillion in 2021.
While its loans and advances to customers in the year under review stood at N2.116 trillion in the year under review, up from N1.658 trillion the previous year, customers’ deposits grew to N2.580 trillion, higher than N2.024 trillion the previous year.
Owing to this, the Board of Directors of the bank have proposed a final dividend of 40 kobo per share which in addition to the 10 kobo per share earlier declared as interim dividend amounts to N0.50 per Ordinary Share of 50 kobo (2021: Dividend of N0.35 per Ordinary Share of 50 kobo each amounting to N10,136,904,992.20) from the retained earnings account as of 31 December 2022.
On the back of an impressive first half 2022 results, Fidelity Bank had declared an interim dividend payment of 10 Kobo per 50 Kobo ordinary share, subject to appropriate withholding tax, to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on September 12, 2022. The interim dividend payment was the first in the bank’s 34 years history. Fidelity Bank had reported a remarkable 21.6 per cent growth in its half-year 2022 profit to N25.1 billion.
Since she assumed the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc in 2021, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe has made it clear that her target is to deliver a financial institution that meets all stakeholders’ expectations, even as she continues to push the bank to rise to be among the tier-one banks in the country.
In August 2022, Fidelity Bank intimated the public of its proposed acquisition of Union Bank United Kingdom as part of its expansion plans and in line with regulatory stipulations. The bank’s plans to acquire a 100 per cent stake in Union Bank UK marked its first foray into the international market.
Commenting on the transaction, Onyeali-Ikpe stated, “This transaction aligns with our strategic plan of expanding our service touchpoints beyond the Nigerian market and providing straight-through services that meet and exceed the needs of our growing clients.”
Indeed, the Nigerian banking sector is evolving, with the changes being driven by competition, accelerated adoption of technology and the move by banks to meet the banking lifestyle of an evolving demography.
This has seen a lot of banks, including Fidelity, embrace innovative means to satisfy their customers.
It also organised the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect (FITCC), which is the largest trade exhibition by Nigerian-based businesses in the United Kingdom in recent times. It was a major move in increasing Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
At the end of the maiden edition which held in London, it recorded pipeline deals of over $200 million, more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts and over 2,000 attendees over two days.
“In collaboration with our strategic partners, we have created this platform to connect Nigerian exporters with UK buyers. This inaugural edition of the FITCC hosts more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts.
“Fidelity Bank is a leading financial institution in Nigeria and a market leader in supporting small and medium scale enterprises and export-oriented businesses. This event is therefore an extension of the support that we provide to the business ecosystem in Nigeria as work to help them compete favourably on the global stage,” Onyeali-Ikpe said in her welcome remarks at the event.
It is expected that the impressive financial would continue to attract investors to the bank even as it continues to meet the expectations of its customers.
Zenith Bank Recognised as ‘Best Corporate Governance Financial Services’ in Africa for the Fourth Year Running
For the fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom.
For the fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom. The award, which was published in the Spring 2023 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, is in recognition of the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalization of corporate governance, setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.
Speaking on the recognition, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “I am extremely pleased that Zenith Bank has been awarded the Ethical Boardroom Corporate Governance Award as a regional governance champion for the fourth year running. No doubt, the bank’s board has pioneered the exemplary governance culture for which we are now renowned. Indeed, this recognition reflects our steadfast commitment, discipline and high ethos in the conduct of our business and dedication to the principles of good corporate governance. This award will motivate us to strengthen this culture internally and advocate for good governance at every forum”.
He dedicated the award to the Founder and Group Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for providing the template for an enduring and very successful institution; the Board for their vision and outstanding leadership; the staff for their dedication and commitment; and the bank’s customers for their unwavering loyalty to the brand.
Ethical Boardroom is a trailblazing and leading international magazine that delivers in-depth coverage and critically-astute analysis of global corporate governance issues to help boards stay ahead of the governance curve.
Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a Corporate Governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange. The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.
The bank’s track record of excellent performances has continued to earn it numerous awards including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.
Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Retail Bank of the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.
CBN Disburses N13.8 Billion to Manufacturing Sector Under 100-for-100 Policy
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the apex bank has disbursed a total sum of N173.3 billion to various beneficiaries under its 100-for-100 Policy on Production and Productivity since the policy commences.
Emefiele, who made this known in Abuja shortly after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said N13.81 billion of the total disbursed amount was for the development of three new projects in the manufacturing sector.
He said, “Under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, the Bank disbursed the sum of N13.81bn to three projects in the manufacturing sector.
“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N173.31bn, disbursed to 81 projects comprising 45 manufacturing, 23 agriculture, five healthcare, and eight services sector projects with an estimated 23,343 direct jobs created.”
The loan is capped at N5 billion per participant by the central bank, according to the guidelines for the implementation of the initiative.
In the guideline, the apex bank said 100 private sector organisations with projects that could transform the local economy through job creation, improve productivity, reduce imports, increase non-oil exports, and improve foreign exchange generating capacity of the nation will be selected and financed under the 100-for-100 policy.
“The initiative, which shall be bank-led, will be rolled over every 100 days (that is, quarterly) with a new set of companies selected for financing under the initiative,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian economy grew at a slower pace in the first quarter of 2023 as Africa’s largest economy expanded at 2.31% year on year.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) attributed this decline in growth to the cash crunch caused by the CBN’s decision to change the Naira notes in an effort to curb counterfeit notes and other national challenges.
50% of UBA Earnings Comes from African Operations
One of the largest banks in Nigeria and Africa, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has said about 50% of its earnings come from African operations.
Abiola Bawuah, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Africa, who disclosed this said it was made possible because of the bank’s digital offerings and products that help gain large market shares in key markets in Africa.
Speaking to the press during a hybrid media parley on Thursday, Bawuah explained that while devaluations and rising inflation in Nigeria and other African nations where the bank operates impacted overall performance, subsidiaries remained strong and continue to contribute significantly to the growth and development of trade, infrastructure and finance.
She said, “As of last month, none of our African subsidiaries is making a loss. They have all been turning in profits, this is a testament to the fact that they have navigated successfully and have all found their footing.
Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, who was appointed earlier this year became the first female CEO of UBA Africa, to take the group’s total female directors to eight.
She said, “We need the government to regulate the private sector because the sector is struggling. However, the private sector needs to be strong, and that is where UBA comes in. There have been numerous facility programmes we have come up with for consumers in the corporate sector like the Small and Medium Enterprises, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises that are being supported by us.
“It is only in UBA that I know of that you can be an MSME, and once you are faithful to us and you have run the enterprise very well, we are ready to support you, even when you do not have collateral.
“However, Africa must develop the private sector, and when you talk of the private sector, 60 per cent of the private sector in Africa are either SMEs or MSMEs, which would not be able to be developed by the foreign banks, because what they classify as SMEs monetarily is high, and most SMEs in Africa are far below that range.”
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