Group Chief Executive of First City Monument Bank FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun has disclosed that in spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment, pervading the country at the moment, the Group grew profit after tax by 13.4% to N19.7billion while customer deposits grew by 33.3% to over N1.2 trillion with a large portion of the growth coming from current and savings accounts. Our customer base in the Group also increased from 6.8 million to 8.3 million.
This was part of the Annual General Meeting AGM report released during the weekend from its corporate head office in Lagos.
Presenting the report for the year ended December 31, 2020, the Chairman, Mr. Oladipupo Jadesimi, assured that FCMB Group is well positioned to continue to succeed in the years to come, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He attributed the optimism to the decisions that the financial institution has made over the past few years, especially those around leveraging new digital technology, to expand access to financial transactions.
While giving the breakdown of the report Mr. Balogun explained that the increase had a direct correlation with earnings per share, which grew from 87 kobo in 2019 to 98 kobo in 2020, while return on average equity also rose to 9.2% from 9%.
According to him, “our businesses continue to improve with growth in other key indicators, such as loans and advances 14.9% and total assets 23.4%.
Our investment management businesses increased their assets by 23% to almost N500 billion at the end of the year’’.
Mr. Balogun further reported that, “across the Group, our digital transformation gathered momentum, with the total number of internet banking growing by 43% to 6.6 million.
Transaction volumes from mobile banking (App and USSD) grew by 74% in 2020. Our digital loans grew from N14.5 billion in 2019 to N54.6 billion at the end of 2020. Innovation and efficiency gains will be the key pillars on which we seek to raise our game in the near future.
“We expect that in 2021, we will continue with the strides we have made with our digital initiatives, as our technology platforms and products continue to contribute to our performance and competitiveness. We will remain resilient and innovative in charting new avenues for growth. We will also remain committed to elevating the quality of life of all our stakeholders’’.
Speaking on the response of FCMB Group to the challenges of COVID-19, Mr Balogun disclosed that the financial institution contributed immensely to the efforts at combating the spread of the pandemic and alleviating the pains of the most vulnerable members of the society by donating N250 million to the CACOVID initiative.
The Group Chief Executive added that, “we also supported state governments across the country to provide testing, palliatives, various medical items, including Personal Protective Equipment and ambulances to assist them effectively equip and secure health workers.”
“We also provided catalytic support for givefood.ng. Through this initiative, one million vulnerable Nigerians had access to meals during the height of the government lockdown’’.
Among other results for the year 2020, the Group’s gross revenue increased to N199.4 billion, a 10% increase from N181.3 billion achieved in 2019.
The results also showed enhanced customers confidence in FCMB, as deposits grew by 33% to N1.3trillion from N943.1billion in the previous year. Loans and advances surged by 15% to N822.8 billion as at December 2020.
The report also put the total assets of the Group increased by 23% to N2.06 trillion last year. Moreover, FCMB Group’s net interest income was up by 20% to N90.8 billion for the full year 2020 from N76.0 billion in 2019.
Non-interest income equally increased to N37.8 billion, representing a 9% growth, as against N34.8 billion prior years. The Group’s Assets under Management (AUM) also sustained its growth trajectory by rising to N495.2 billion for the year ended December 2020, up by 23%.
Similarly, capital adequacy ratio remained stable at 17.7% for the retail and commercial banking subsidiary of the Group as it is above the benchmark set by the Central Bank of Nigeria for deposit money Banks in the country.
Liquidity ratio of the Bank stood at 34.2% as at the end of the financial year 2020, indicating that the financial institution is in a very healthy position. Non-performing loans to total loans ratio stood at a modest 3.3%.
Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have restated their confidence in the financial institution to sustain its impressive performance and deliver more value.
They also unanimously approved the payment of a dividend of N2.97 billion, translating to 15 kobo per ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020, as against 14 kobo per share the previous year.
Speaking at the AGM, the Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sir Sunny Nwosu, praised the institution for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas.
According to him, “FCMB is a great institution and we are glad that its value is growing. The fact that it has been able to meet all its financial obligations to its creditors is a very good sign of strength.
“It also shows the seriousness of the management to remain worthy of doing business with. We appreciate the results and dividends declared by FCMB, while looking forward to many more years of prosperity”.
Also commenting, the National Co-ordinator of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria Mrs. Bisi Bakare, stated that, “we are impressed by the digital transformation drive of FCMB which has impacted positively on customer service and financial inclusion.
“We commend FCMB for the introduction of paperless and card less transaction at branches and other touch points. The 2020 results are a welcome development”.
The National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, said, “FCMB as a Group has done so well over the years in every aspect of business. The institution is growing rapidly with branches all over the country.”
“It is also performing well in terms of innovation, technology and customer service. Profit and dividend are rapidly increasing going by the 2020 financial results. Overall, FCMB Group has done excellently well and we are optimistic of a brighter future”.
According to him, ‘’the Board of Directors has adopted a policy that seeks to provide investors with a stable and sustainable form of capital distribution, with consideration given to the growth and capital requirements of the business, thereby maximising long-term share value for shareholders’’.
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