Exclusive: Stanbic IBTC scrapping Non-Interest Banking operation, may begin customers conversion

http://www.3solarbids.com/pay-for-an-essay-is-fine/ source By Abdulwaheed Usamah

source link There are indications that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s introduced Non Interest Banking (NIB) system as financial inclusion designed to meet some religious dictates has reached its peak, as financial houses who obtained certificates of the system operation may soon start backing out.

source site Since inception of the NIB in 2011, none of known conventional lenders who approached the CBN for the certificate of operation, including Sterling Bank and Stanbic IBTC, aside Jaiz Bank founded to run full fledged  system, were reported to not have been able to achieve good performance or result through the system as those others practicing interest-attracted system, despite the apex bank’s sensitization and other efforts to ensure the scheme stay.

Masters Research Thesis Against struggle to survive such hurdles, operating banks such as Stanbic IBTC may soon boot out of the system, as revealed by its NIB unit.

Although the bank is yet to come out open about the decision but members of its staff from the unit have began reaching out to customers to inform them of the development and for account conversion, that is, from interest free, to that of interest attracted accounts, as directed by the bank.

A source from the financial institution who confided in Custom Essays For Sale The Guild, disclosed that after a management meeting recently, during which pros and cons on NIB operation was weighed, the lender resolved to scraping of the system since it could not account for any good value.

The source further said that the development may not have been borne as result of not-so-good performance of the unit as various board members disapproved of the its continued operation.

She hinted that the bank informed entire members of the unit of its decision to scrap the NIB operation at the end of 2017 and that it was expected to take effect once work resumes by 2018.

When asked what could be cause of the development, the source explained that its the not-so-good performance and several hurdles including non acceptability of the operation by some set of Nigerians which the scheme was designed for may have formed the the bank’s resolve.

She noted that the bank’s inability to break-even or drive the system and create value added from it may have also formed the arrived decision and that customers who considered not have benefited from the scheme were already complying to the financial institution’s directive.

“The bank’s NIB unit have been told to start informing customers on closing down of the unit and for account conversion and other migration process.

“We have been calling our customers to inform them of the development and even someone of us at the unit are beginning to receive letter of transfer”.

“I have been transferred from the branch where I serve under the NIB to another where I am to work as a conventional banker and same is happening to others”.

Although, there have not been any strong recommendation on the side of the bank over the operation by the watchdog of the NIB.

However, findings by The Guild, after contacting several customers of the bank, on the latest development, most of those reached, reacted to the decision and that some of them would have to drop their accounts since the bank has reneged against agreement.

One of the customers who spoke to our correspondent revealed that the bank had contacted him on the development and he had been invited to sign a conversion form.

He explained that though he was indifferent to the bank’s decision but the bank must have operated on the wrong grounds before coming to the conclusion of closing shop.

Another customer who also maintained anonymity claimed that she was yet to be contacted and if that turned out to be the case, she would have to close down her account.

“I have no intention to open a conventional account with Stanbic IBTC except for the Non Interest Banking aspect introduced then because I believe it would assist some of us who are religious and not ready to partake in anything unlawful.”

Meanwhile, in 2011, CBN issued Stanbic IBTC a license to operate Islamic banking services in Nigeria, with preliminary license been awarded to the bank  week earlier for a Shariah-compliant banking window, the first of which approved to a commercial bank in Nigeria.

Prio to the development, the CBN’s then governor, Lamido Sanusi, said Nigeria wants to be a hub of Islamic finance in the region and plans to sell its first Islamic bond, known as Sukuk, within 18 months.

After the statement was released, the apex bank disclosed that an approval issued to Jaiz International Bank, a local lender with international investors, to open the country’s first Shariah-compliant bank, after which Stanbic was licensed to begin operating Islamic banking branches within six months and if it fails to do so within that time, the lender will need to reapply for approval,

According to Moghalu, Islamic banking has significant potential but its subject to the risks that go with every other type of banking activity.”

But against public decry over the world Sharia as declared by he apex bank and fear that the country could be Islamised, CBN issued a new guidelines which addressed the scheme Non-Interest Banking contrary former.

Through a statement released then, the apex bank informed that the new guidelines were the outcome of the review of the earlier guidelines issued based on the recommendations of various stakeholders.

According to the statement, the new guidelines clarify the contextual definition of Non-Interest banking which is not restricted to Islamic banking, but also include other form of non-interest banking not based on Islamic principle. This is in accordance with the provisions of Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) which clearly provide for the two variants of Non Interest banking.

“This ensures that discrimination on any grounds in the participation by individuals or institutions as promoters, depositors or other relevant parties in any transaction regarding a non-interest financial institutions, whether based on Islamic or other model, is strictly prohibited.

“Another significant review is the removal of any reference to Sharia Council which has been changed to Advisory Council of Experts whose responsibility is to advise the CBN on the appropriateness of relevant
financial products to be offered by the institutions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, section 23 (1) and section 66 of the BOFIA 1991, (as amended) explicitly provide for the licensing of Non-Interest Banks (NIBs). The CBN is obliged, by law, to issue licenses to appropriate entities for the establishment of NIBs provided they meet the regulatory requirements for licenses.

“In view of this, the CBN is open to receiving and evaluating applications for licensing of non-interest banking institutions based on other principles rather than the Islamic variant and will soon issue separate guidelines for non interest banking under other principles.

 

 

 

CBN pushes $210M into inter-bank foreign exchange market

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

The Central Bank of Nigeria has oushed $210 million into interbank foreign exchange market, the development of which was aim at extending efforts to boost liquidity and alleviate dollar shortages.

It said that had released 100 million dollars earmarked for wholesale market, 55 million dollars for small businesses and individuals, and 55 million dollars for certain dollar expenses such as school fees and medical bill.

Through a paper released yesterday, the bank explained that the interventions were for the Wholesale, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments of the market.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications,  CBN, Isaac Okorafor, stated that the bank considered  $100million for wholesale segment, while the SMEs and invisibles segments each received the sum of $55 million.

Through the statement the bank’s boss explained that releases were meant to boost liquidity, trade and ease of remittances for legitimate personal commitments.

In spite of the stable rate of N360/$1 and the expected inflow from various sources such as the Eurobond and remittances from the Diaspora, Okorafor assured that the bank would continue to intervene in the inter-bank forex market to guarantee liquidity.

While also noting that the interventions had largely checked unwholesome activities of currency speculators, he maintained that the CBN would not relent in its daily monitoring of activities in the market in order to ensure that all concerned operate in line with extant rules.

Meanwhile, the naira maintained its steady rate against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

Fidelity Bank creates electronic platform for Lagos revenue collection, tax payment

By Abdulwaheed Usamah, 

Business owners and other tax payers, as well as revenue collectors, may soon start receiving sensitization on new development and latest adopted system of tax collection after Fidelity Bank introduced an electronic solution designed for Lagos State Government for internally generated revenue (IGR) and other payments.

However, in conjunction with the state government, Fidelity Bank developed the tax collection and payment solution via its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) with  *770# code.

Specially, the solution was created as response to challenges faced in making tax payments and remittances to Lagos state government.

The Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Richard Madiebo, said that the introduction of the USSD for the payment of state taxes was an innovative step that would enable average tax payer fulfill his or her obligations to government conveniently.

Through statement released on Monday by the bank’s Head, Corporate Communications, Ejike Ndiulo,  Madiebo stated that the payment option was borne largely from the institution desire to always provide easy and convenient payment channels to the semi-formal and informal tax markets in Nigeria.

He added with the introduced system, tax payers could make payment efficiently and that the new platform would eventually lead to a reduction of leakages in the system for the state.

According to the statement, Fidelity Bank has, over the years, positioned itself as a key player in the Nigeria’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) across Federal and State mandates.

The Bank successfully deployed easy and convenient payment solutions in Anambra, Abia, Imo, Kano and Sokoto Sates through Point of Sale (PoS) Terminal Tax Collections, Automated Electronic Motor Vehicle License, Land Registry Automation Processes and web payment platforms.

In his part, Head, Enterprise Solutions, Fidelity Bank, Zee Agetua, expressed satisfaction on the state government partnership, adding that, the bank committed to helping to improve its IGR position.

“We are working to institutionalize a robust and efficient revenue collections and payments culture through our partnerships with State Government agencies and departments through the years.

To her, the creation of the platform was borne out of conviction that revenue collections market has indeed huge potentials with increased digitization.

From same statement, the Head , E-Banking, Fidelity Bank, Ifeoma Onibuje, explained that customers were simply expected to complete account opening and registration process by simply dialing the code on phone linked to their account, choose the tax payment option and conclude their transactions.

According to her, registered users can easily transfer and withdraw funds, buy airtime as well as pay utility bills.

“User safety is also key to Fidelity Bank. We have incorporated an ‘instant blocking’ feature to the platform such that a customer who feels that his or her code has been compromised can disable the service immediately using any other phone” she added.

Bankers, economists warn about Bitcoin’s risks

Newsroom with agency reports

Several international bankers have sounded a warning about the mega risks involved in embracing bitcoin, which this week soared to a new record high of more than $8,000. Six years ago, it traded for just one dollar.

The head of Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam, warned recently in comments that immediately sparked an uproar on social media among bitcoin’s supporters.

The head of the French central bank or Banque de France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, warned in the summer: “People are using the bitcoin today are clearly doing it at their own risk and at their own peril.”

Nobel laureate, Jean Tirole, also insisted that the current bitcoin boom was a “bubble.” “It’s something that has no intrinsic value,” he said on the sidelines of a conference in Paris this week, adding that it could collapse from one day to the next.

Bitcoin is not regulated, but is traded on specialist platforms. It has no legal exchange rate and no central bank backing it. Launched in 2009 as a bit of encrypted software written by someone using the Japanese-sounding name Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin is controlled and regulated by its community of users.

Economists generally are of the view that Bitcoin is the monetary equivalent of Uber, since it bypasses central bank regulation and can be used for illicit purposes and are highly speculative by nature.

“Bitcoin? It’s about ‘Uber-ising’ currency, about not having a central bank that decides the price,” said the Chief Economist at credit insurer Euler Hermes, Ludovic Subran, referring to Uber, the ride-hailing app that has set the cat among the pigeons in the taxi sector in recent years.

Bitcoin supporters are of the view that cynics are raising issues irrelevant to the merits of the cryptocurrency.

“Yes, it’s exactly that: it bypasses a central regulatory authority. That’s the genius of this invention,” agreed Yves Choueifaty, founder of the Paris-based asset management firm Tobam, which this week launched the first European fund investing in bitcoin.

Investors are already referring to it as “digital gold”, as the bitcoin soared to a new record high of more than $8,000 this week, a staggering rise in value from just under $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

“We have no need for central banks,” said Yves Choueifaty, suggesting that institutional investors may be behind the recent sharp gains, even if insisted that there was “no bitcoin bubble.”

The growing interest in bitcoin is catching mainstream attention as the CME Group of Chicago, one of the world’s biggest exchanges, has decided to launch a bitcoin futures marketplace. And prestigious US universities are offering courses in blockchain technology, on which cryptocurrencies are based.

Virtual currencies could also prove attractive to economic players in countries such as Zimbabwe or Venezuela, whose fiat currencies have been ravaged hyper-inflation. Caracas, for example, has had to issue a new 100,000-bolivar bill, when just a year ago, the biggest-denomination banknote was 100 bolivars.

“Think of countries with weak institutions and unstable national currencies. Instead of adopting the currency of another country — such as the US dollar — some of these economies might see a growing use of virtual currencies. Call it dollarization 2.0,” said the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, recently.

Economists also suggest the bitcoin could be of interest to developing countries where individuals often find it easier to access the internet than traditional bank accounts.

Euler Hermes economist Subran called on the financial authorities to make potential investors more aware of the risks.

“There’s a lot of money to be made. And a lot of money to be lost,” he said.

“We are seeing more and more people wanting to venture there, but they are not fully aware of the risk.”

AfDB’s support for Nigeria’s economy hits $6bn

By Abolaji Adebayo

African Development Bank (AfDB) has declared that it has supported Nigeria with about $6billion to put its troubled economy together as the country was in serious need of support from international bodies since it faced economic recession.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, the President, AfDB, Dr. Adewumi Adesina, explained that when Nigeria was going through a tough economic time, the bank led the world in rallying support around for a budget to help build more resilient economy as it showed a better diversified economy.

He said, “If you look at our total active portfolio in the country now, it is over 6 billion dollars. Take for example, we invested over $300million from the private sector part of the bank in Dangote industries – Petro-chemical industries and the fertilizer manufacturing companies.

“We also invested over 100 million dollars in the Indorama fertiliser companies as well; they are looking at us to do more, additional 100 million dollars for them.’’

He noted that the bank had also been supporting the recovery effort of the Federal Government in the North East, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the investment made so far in rebuilding the North East, adding that the country had to rebuild the infrastructure including road and schools in the region.

He further hinted that the bank had executed a Basic Livelihood Support Programme for over $250million for the North East of Nigeria, noting the the Board had just approved a programme called Enable Youth in agricultural sector.

He informed that the programme was to create a generation of young commercial farmers in Nigeria, stating that about $430million would be invested in the project.

Adesina, who won the 2017 World Food Laureate Award in Agriculture in the U.S., further said that the bank had been doing a lot of line credit in Nigeria for commercial banks to lend to small and medium size enterprises.

He informed that the bank had been talking with the Minister of Power about how to help in the power sector in Nigeria.

“We have invested a lot in the transmission companies of Nigeria. We are also helping them to have an additional $200million to post bonds, to be able to raise money to modernize the transmission network in Nigeria.

“I remember during COP 22 in Morocco, I spoke to the Minister of Power, Fasola and I told him to visit Noor Ouarzazate, the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the World, which was financed by the AfDB in Morroco. He said he was very pleased with the idea and we are supporting his ministry now with a big project, we are going to do in Jigawa a project on Solar.”

He hinted that the bank was planning over $4.1 billion for Nigeria to cover agriculture, infrastructure, power sector, basic livelihood in terms of water and sanitation.

Adesina, however, expressed optimism over the implementation of the bank projects in Nigeria, adding that there was a very stringent monitoring system to ensure implementation of set targets.

CBN votes for 14% lending rate retention

By Abolaji Adebayo

Consequent upon the vote by nine members at the last meeting held by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally pegged its lending rate at 14 per cent due to persistent uncertain economic conditions and high inflation.

It was reported that eight members voted to retain the MPR and other monetary indices, one person voted to reduce the MPR by 100 basis point.

Addressing journalists at a news conference on the outcome of the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year 2017 in Abuja on Tuesday, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the means that the Cash Reserve Ratio still remained 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio, 30 per cent, adding that the Asymmetric corridor is at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

According to him, the committee took note of the gains made so far as regards its earlier decisions, thus extensively debated whether to hold, to tighten, or to ease the policy stance.

“While tightening will strengthen the impact of monetary policy on inflation with complementary effect on capital flows and exchange rate stability, it nevertheless could also dampen the positive outlook for growth.

“On the other hand, loosening may strengthen the outlook for growth by stimulating domestic aggregate demand through reduced cost of borrowing; it would nonetheless aggravate the upward trend in consumer prices and exchange rate pressures.

On the argument to hold, Emefiele said that the committee believed that key variables have continued to evolve in line with the current stance of macroeconomic stability policy and should be allowed to fully manifest.

The governor, who hinted that the committee expressed satisfaction with the slow but gradual growth in the economy, noted that the economy has begun to show strong signs of recovery as public investment has picked with increase housing construction at the federal and state levels as well as rising at the ports to support the purchasing manager index.

He explained that the committee was of the view that policy makers must not relent in their aggressive policy initiatives aimed at continuing the positive growth trajectory.

As he said, the committee affirmed its commitment to maintaining price stability which was crucial to sustainable economic growth and development.

Emefiele commended the fiscal authorities for the early submission of the 2018 Appropriation bill for considerations, saying that if approved on time, it would help reposition the economy on the path to growth.

On financial stability, he said that the committee noted the concentration of non-performing loans in some sectors but observed that the overall outlook for the banking system was stable as deposit money banks’ balance sheets remained strong.

Meanwhile, the committee called for strengthening of oversight and early warning systems in other to promptly identify vulnerabilities and proactively manage risks in the banking system.

When asked to comment on the sale of 9mobile, formally known as Etisalat, Emefiele said that the CBN would do all in its power to ensure smooth transfer of ownership to new investors.

“I am optimistic that the sale process is still on track, there is a determination that that sale must take place before Dec. 31, 2017. We remain focused on it. There are rumors that Barclays Africa, the financial advisers wants to withdraw from the transaction. If Barclays decide to do so, they will do so in a letter.

“Barclays was hired in a letter and if they decide to withdraw, they will do so in form of a letter; but as I speak with you, there is no letter from Barclays,” he said.

Lagos settles N141.59bn bond debts

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Lagos State Government said it has paid the total sum of N141.59 billion to bond holders in its various fixed rate bond programmes.

According to the government, the bonds included the Lagos State N80 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 1 floated in 2012 with a maturity date of 2013; N87.5 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 2 floated in 2013 with a maturity date of 2020 and N47 billion fixed rate programme 3, series 1 floated in 2016 with a maturity date of 2023.

The figures were revealed on Tuesday at the 5th Annual General Meeting, AGM, between the state government and bond holders held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.

Following the analysis of the bond by the government, in the N80 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 1 bond, the state government as at September 2017 had paid N76.17 billion to bond holders out of the N97.43 billion it contributed to the bond, leaving a balance of N30.34 billion invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

In the N87.5 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 2 bond, the sum of N61.44 billion was paid to bond holders out of the N75.91 billion contributed by government, leaving a balance of N18.49 billion invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

In the N47 billion fixed rate programme 3, Series 1 bond floated last year, the sum of N3.9 billion had been paid to bond holders out of the N4.2 billion contributed by the government as at September 2017, leaving a balance of N229.7 million which had been invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

Addressing people at the AGM, the Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade noted that the various bonds had been used to upscale infrastructural development in the state in the areas of roads and bridges construction, water, transportation, health and waterfront infrastructural development.

According to him, $50 billion was needed to address infrastructural deficits in the state, which he said, was part of the reasons the government floated bonds to bridge the gap, adding that over time, two bridges had been constructed with the proceeds from the bonds while major infrastructure were upgraded across the metropolis.

Ashade said the state government was committed to uplifting its debt ratings and would borrow at reduced rate, saying that in the coming year, government was going to invest massively in projects.

The commissioner added that the state government was looking for ways to increase its revenue and that part of the move was to review existing rate systems which had been in use since the 80s with ridiculous rate.

“We will update our laws to increase revenue. Those revenue laws have been in existence since the 1980s and they have ridiculous rates,” he said, while calling on all to support the government by paying their taxes appropriately.

Manufacturers commend CBN’s foreign exchange window for enhancing productivity

By Abolaji Adebayo

Manufacturers have described the introduction of Investor and Export (I&E) foreign exchange (FX) by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a means to ensure efficiency in production because since its launch, the policy has been enhancing productivity of the companies importing production inputs

The policy has been said to be efficient having reduced interest on loans of foreign currency taken by the manufacturers through the window.

They confirmed recording bottom-lines improvement in their nine months results after their level of finance costs reduced significantly.

The reduction in finance cost was due to improved FX exchange that resulted from the introduction of I&E window by the CBN.

According to the manufacturers, Nestle’s cost of finance fell by 56 per cent from N19 billion for the nine months in 2016 to N8.606 billion in 2017. This development contributed to the company recording a jump of 4,638 per cent in profit after tax from N5.504 billion to N34.479 billion in 2017.

Also, it was gathered that Nigerian Breweries finance cost fell from N10.2 billion to N7.9 billion, making the company to end the period with a 24 per cent increase in profit to N34.42 billion, from N27.79 billion in 2016.

It would be recalled that CBN recently said the I&E window has performed beyond expectations since introduction in the country.

The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Dr. Joseph Nnanna, disclosed that the performance of the window had been a great success, transcending the expectation of the bank.

He noted that within four months the I&E window was introduced, the bank has recorded a volume of over $10 billion, even as he explained that the different exchange rates were slowly converging and that the CBN has no plans to force this convergence in order to speed up the appreciation of naira in the parallel market.

“The IMF consistently talks about the need for a single exchange rate. This single exchange rate can be achieved organically or inorganically. The CBN believes that the organic convergence is the way forward. The inorganic convergence involves engaging all possible measures to force the various exchange rates to align. This will definitely lead to arbitrage. That is exactly what we do not want.”

he noted that the “We can say we have achieved stability in the FX market and we expect it to remain stable even as we conclude the last quarter of the year. The sustainability of the naira is already evident.”

He further explained that despite the prominent gap between the inter-bank rate and the indicative exchange rate for I&E window, known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX), the CBN would not in any way force a convergence, adding that the convergence, which might appear to be happening slowly, would occur naturally in due time.

Fidelity Bank to host loyal customers, declares N3.25m cash rewards

By Abolaji Adebayo

As part of effort towards recognizing customers’s loyalties and years of patronages, the Fidelity Bank has declared that it would be rewarding no fewer than ten customers who have been banking with financial institution, with some of N3,25 million at an ongoing trade fair in Lagos.

The banks disclosed that beneficiaries were expected to emerge from across various categories, as designed to be five FPSS account holders and five SWEETA account holders.

According to the lending house, customer from specified  categories will be presented cheques of N500, 000 extra income and N150, 000 school fees and other supports respectively.

Through a state released by the bank yesterday in Lagos, the amount totaling N3, 250, 000 would be given out on Wednesday during bank’s special day at the ongoing 2017 Lagos International Trade Fair.

The allocated, according to the bank, made a total sum of N192million given out to 471 beneficiaries in  fourth quarter of 2017.

The Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said that the bank would give free business and financial advisory services to Small and Medium Enterprises operators at fair in demonstration of its long-standing commitment to supporting micros businesses in Nigeria.

Through the released statement, the bank boss added the cash would be in addition to the monetary reward to its customers as part of its customer loyalty and rewards system.

According to the bank’s statement, the Fidelity SME Advisory clinic at the Fair will be anchored by a crop of qualified SME Business Advisors whose mandate is to help SMEs address challenges associated with setting up and running a growing business in Nigeria.

The bank boss urged Nigerians to take advantage of the Bank’s customer loyalty and rewards system, which ensures that customers benefit immensely.

He revealed that the clinic would provide all-round capacity building support services in the areas of Free Tailored Business Management Capacity Building, Market Access, Tailored Financing, MSME-focused Liability Products and Non-Oil Exports.

He further explained that in addition to deploying an array of a robust electronic banking solutions and services for customers and members of the banking public, the bank would also showcase its on-going savings promo where customers would win millions of naira by participating.

It was stated that a total of N110million and over 200 consolation prizes such as fridges, generators & Television (TV) sets would be given out to all participating customers.

Fidelity declares N16.2bn as profit after tax

By Abdulwaheed Usamah

The Fidelity Bank has said that its profit after tax for period of nine month in 2017 stood at N16.2bn, recording 65.1 per cent grow after impressive half year audited financial results.

It was reported that post was another impressive financial performance of the bank for the nine months period ended September 30, been released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, and which showed a remarkable growth in key revenue lines and improved efficiency and regulatory ratios.

The development showed how Gross Earnings grew by 17.9 per cent to N130.1 billion from N110.3 billion reported in the same period in 2016 whilst profit before tax soared by 65.1 percent from N9.8bn to N16.2 billion.

The Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, expressed the bank’s delight after the posted growth and increased of profit after tax, which had the Fidelity at front line of the NSE.

Through a statement released by the bank on Monday, Okonkwo attributed the consistent delivery of strong financial results to the disciplined execution of the Bank’s medium term strategy which centred on optimal balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction and increased play in the digital and retail banking space.

“We are delighted with our 9 months financial performance which showed strong growth in key revenue lines and a corresponding decline in our operating expenses, despite the high inflationary environment’, he stated.

According to him through the statement, the implementation of the initiatives from its Business Process Review Project continued to impact positively on its operational efficiency as total operating expenses declined by 2.6% to N47.5 billion, leading to the management’s cost-income ratio dropping to 66.8% from 77.3% in 2016 FYE.

He explained that the combination of strong net revenue growth of N5.1 billion (8.8% growth) and decline in total expenses by N1.3 billion (2.6%) translated to a N6.4 billion (65.1%) increase in Profit before Tax (PBT) to N16.2 billion.

“The 9M 2017 PBT of N16.2 billion is higher than the annual profit numbers in any of the last 4 financial years (2013 to 2016)” he added.

“Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 3.8 million customers who are serviced across its 240 business offices and various digital banking channels.

“The bank 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.

“The bank was also ranked the 4th Best Bank in the Retail Banking Segment in the 2017 Banking Industry Satisfaction Survey conducted by KPMG.

“Focused on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Fidelity Bank is rapidly implementing a digital based retail banking strategy which has resulted in a 93 percent growth in savings deposits over the last 3 years, 50 percent customer enrollment on debit cards and 30 percent of its customers now using its flagship mobile/internet banking products”.

“Only last week the bank successfully issued a $400 million Eurobond, which was priced at 10.50% coupon. The transaction regarded as the largest combined new issue and liability management offering by a Nigerian issuer is reopening the international bond markets for Nigerian Tier II banks” he hinted.