Fidelity Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading financial services providers, has reported a N21.3 billion profit before tax (PBT) in the nine month period ended September this year, thereby sustaining its impressive financial performance over the past years.
Analysis of the lender’s results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed improvements in key performance indices as its profit before tax (PBT) rose by 3.6 per cent to N21.3 billion, while profit after tax (PAT) rose by seven per cent from N19 billion to N20.4 billion in the period under review.
However, the lender’s gross earnings marginally dropped by 3.7 per cent, from N161.1 billion in 2019 to N155 billion in the period under review.
The bank’s other performance indices showed that its total assets grew by 21 per cent from N2.1 trillion in 2019 to N2.5 trillion; customer deposit increased by 22.3 per cent, from N1.23 trillion to N1.5 trillion, while net loans rose by 12 per cent from N1.12 trillion to N1.27 trillion.
Commenting on the results, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, pointed out that the impressive performance reflected the lender’s resilient business model and commitment to customer-focused service delivery, particularly in the very challenging COVID-19 pandemic period.
The banker attributed the drop in gross earnings to the decline in interest and similar incomes caused by lower yields and drop in fee incomes.
He explained: “Net fee income declined by N1.3 billion largely due to a reduction in foreign exchange-related income on account of the revaluation gains recorded in the first half of 2020.
“Digital banking, however, continued to gain traction as we now have 52.3 per cent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products from 47.4 per cent in 2019 full year and 88.2 per cent of customer-induced transactions are done on digital platforms.
“Similarly, digital banking income increased by 20 per cent quarter on quarter due to improved adoption by customers and new services migrated to our digital channels.
“The growth in savings deposits accounted for 40.2 per cent of the total growth in customer deposits and savings deposits now represent 25.7 per cent of total deposits, up from 22.3 per cent in 2019
“We will continue to monitor and pro-actively manage evolving risks as business activities improve and look forward to delivering another set of resilient results in the remaining quarter of 2020 full-year”, Okonkwo assured.
According to him, the bank has disbursed over N50 billion in intervention funds to customers in the last three months in critical sectors to kick-start the economy after the lockdown and is optimistic about ending the year strongly.