ACCESS Bank Plc has announced the results of its audited report for the financial year which ended on December 2013. The results showed an increase in its deposit base from N1.201 trillion N1.33 trillion, representing 11 percent growth over last year’s figure while the loan profile has risen by 33 percent from N609 billion in 2012 to N810 billion in 2013. The increase, according to the bank, is a demonstration of its commitment to empower critical sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, the bank’s earnings grew to N206.7 billion from N206.0 billion while it recorded an improvement in its cost of funds from 4.5 percent to 4.6 percent with non-performing loans’, NPL, ratio decreased to 2.7 percent from 5.0 percent, owing to the bank’s enhanced risk management framework. It posted a profit before tax of N44.9 billion, which is a 3.4 percent decrease compared to the N46 billion recorded for the corresponding period in 2012.
However, this was attributed to regulatory changes in the operating environment, some of which include raising of the cash reserve requirements, CRR, on public sector deposits to 50 percent from 12 percent reduction and removal of a number of fee income lines such as ATM and CoT charges as well as the increase in AMCON levy from 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent, among others. Herbert Wigwe, group managing director, Access bank said that the bank’s 2013 earnings were impacted by several regulatory changes in the Nigerian banking sector and that the bank’s balance sheet structure during the period further constrained growth and limited the yield on the bank’s earning asset.
According to him, despite the difficult operating environment, the bank grew its loan book to position it for improved earnings, while driving deposit mobilisation from targeted segments to further reduce cost of funds. “We also saw an increase in our non-interest income as the business continues to grow, risk management remains fundamental to its philosophy evidenced by the reduction in the NPL ratio. I am particularly excited about the next phase of the bank’s evolution, having articulated our five-year strategy plan, we began execution by re-aligning our SBUs to ensure that customer service and delivery are improved at all levels.
“With our businesses realigned, we are now placing greater emphasis on providing services geared towards women and SMEs in Nigeria, as they underpin the next phase of economic growth,” Wigwe said. He assured that the bank would still maintain its commitment to maximising shareholder value with a dividend payout of 60 kobo per share following its payment of an interim dividend of 25 kobo. He said that the sum of 35 kobo per share has been proposed as final dividend.
Biometric Registration in Banks
DEPOSIT Money Banks will need to dedicate 22,000 of its employees to the biometric registration exercise of its customers. According to officials working on the project, over 20 DMBs in the country have combined its branch offices and each of the branch office, will dedicate about four employees to the exercise. This will bring the total number of workers required for the project to about 22,000.
According to one of the project sources, there are about four bank employees that will handle the registration exercise and each of them will man specific points in the registration process. The project team said trainings were being conducted for a few number of bank employees for the pilot phase of the project.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, on February 14 inaugurated the biometric registration exercise on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee at the CBN head office in Lagos. He said that after 18 months of the exercise, bank customers would not be able to do any transaction without their fingerprints.
According to Sanusi, the development represents a milestone in the nation’s financial system and economy in general. He said the new biometric registration would lead to the issuing of Bank Verification Number, a unique identity for every bank customer, and would help to mitigate fraud, money laundering and other vices in the country.
In a statement, the project team said that it has been able to install servers in 21 bank headquarters and has also commenced the deployment and installation of the enrolment and verification devices across 48 bank sites as well as training of the end users at these locations. The statement also said that the current testing and training activities in the 48 bank branches would provide the requisite skills to workers of the banks nationwide and this process would herald the enrolment of customers beginning with the bank staff members.
Wema Bank Records N331bn Assets Growth
THERE has been substantial growth in total assets in WEMA Bank Plc, in the last 12 months. This development is reflected in the bank’s full year audited results for the 12-month period which ended on December 31, 2013. According to the report, total assets rose by 26 percent to N330.9 billion as against N245.7billion in December 2012. The bank said it had continued to reaffirm its position as one of Nigeria’s brightest prospects in the financial services industry with the successful completion of the first phase of its repositioning programme.
Segun Oloketuyi, managing director/CEO, said that the bank has achieved a significant milestone following its concerted efforts at implementing the first phase of its turnaround project despite the increasingly competitive and highly regulated operating environment. “We are particularly encouraged by our year-on-year growth in our total assets, customer deposits and loans and advances to customers, which grew from 35 percent, 25 percent and 34 percent respectively.
“We recorded a strong capital adequacy ratio of 27 percent and recorded a profit before tax of N1.9 billion compared to a loss position in previous financial years. Our transformation plan, Project Leap, a short term growth project with a target of rapidly increasing our market share in our niche segment of retail and SME, has yielded positive results and the bank is on the path of sustainable growth. We have also recorded improvements in profitability and an increase in customer deposits.
“The bank remains committed to improving operational efficiency and focuses on containing operating expense growth. We have used the last three years to implement a robust and effective risk management framework, deploy a cutting edge information technology platform and most importantly, re-skill and re-tool our workforce to effectively compete in the ever-changing business landscape,” he said. According to him, the bank has turned the corner and is now in a growth phase and intends to gradually and selectively expand its footprint while also growing the customer portfolio.
— Apr. 21, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT