As Fidelity Bank declared a total of N3.1 billion as dividend, the chief executive officer of the financial institution, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, assured that the bank is well positioned to continue delivering strong and sustainable returns.
Okonkwo says the bank will catalyze growing opportunities in the Nigerian economy, to deliver good returns to shareholders in 2018 and continue to focus on redesigning its systems and processes to enhance service delivery, just as it will also deepen cost optimization initiatives to reduce operating expenses and cost-to-service.
“We will enhance our robust electronic banking processes and products thereby deepening our hold on the retail and commercial markets, small and medium scale enterprises and niche corporate clientele” he said recently at the bank’s 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.
Whilst shedding light on the evolving dynamics in the financial services industry, Okonkwo noted that the bank will continue to increase the adoption and migration of customers to its digital platforms and increase its retail banking market share through the delivery of innovative products and services.
Whilst business operations were challenged by limited foreign currency liquidity in the banking industry, low financing opportunities especially in the public sector space and high cost of business operations, Fidelity Bank delivered very strong results in 2017, a performance he attributed to balance sheet optimization and a focused execution of its medium-term strategies “Clearly, our success in 2017 financial year has set a strong pedestal for sustained growth in revenue. We are optimistic about a favorable operating environment and we look forward to delivering decent set of numbers at the end of 2018 financial year” Okonkwo said.
Meanwhile enthused shareholders at the AGM who spoke against the backdrop of the banks FY2017, which saw profits rise by nearly 100%, poured encomiums on the Board, Management and staff, acknowledging the tremendous strides it has made in strengthening its corporate governance policies and deepening its retail play with technology.
Dr. Faruk Umar, President of Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders lauded the bank for declaring dividend of N3.1billion which translated to 11 kobo per share. He said this was very delightful coming at a time when a number of other institutions are unable to pay dividends.
On his part, Moses Ogundeji, Member Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, pointed out that shareholders appreciated the efforts of the Board, Management in the transformation that is on-going at the bank and assured of the continued support of the shareholders.
Also speaking to the enthused shareholders, Chairman, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Ernest Ebi, said the bank was strategically poised to successfully navigate the business environment in 2018. Ebi expressed optimism that the expected improvements in the global landscape would trickle down to the domestic economy to consolidate the comforting business climate witnessed towards the end of 2017.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria, with over 3.9 million customers who are serviced across its 240 business offices and various other 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 recognitions. 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 an exponential growth in savings deposits over the last 3 years, with 50 percent customer enrollment on the bank’s flagship mobile/internet banking products.