Fidelity Bank Plc sustained its impressive financial performance with a strong third quarter results for the year 2020 released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Details of the results showed improvement in key indices as its profit before tax (PBT) rose by 3.6 per cent to N21.3 billion, whilst profit after tax (PAT) rose by seven per cent from N19 billion to N20.4 billion in the period under review.
However, its gross earnings dropped marginally by 3.7 per cent, from N161.1 billion in 2019 to N155 billion in the period under review.
In other indices, customer deposits, net loans and total assets grew in double digits. For instance, total assets grew by 21 per cent from N2.1 trillion in 2019 to N2.5 trillion; customer deposit was up by 22.3 per cent, from N1.23 trillion to N1.5 trillion, whilst net loans rose by 12 per cent from N1.12 trillion to N1.27 trillion, to cap the good outing by the top lender.
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said: “Our nine months results reflect our resilient business model, particularly in a very challenging operating environment. We worked closely with our customers to gradually recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and the attendant effect of the lockdown.”
He explained that the drop in gross earnings was due to the decline in interest and similar income caused by lower yields and drop in fee income.
“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,” he stated.
Fidelity Bank has over the years implemented a retail digital banking strategy and that has continued to deliver, with the bank on course to achieving the seventh consecutive year of double digits growth.
“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,” he enthused.
He further disclosed that 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 was quite optimistic about finishing the year strongly.
“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 noted.