The outgoing Group Managing Director of Skye Bank, Mr. Akinsola Akinfemiwa, said the bank has benefited immensely from banking reforms, pre and post consolidation as well as the on going reforms spearheaded by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Akinfemiwa told shareholders at the bank’s 4th Annual General Meeting in Abuja yesterday that Skye Bank has archived strategic growth owing to the reforms, stressing that the financial institution has leapfrog its position on industry rating, almost on a yearly basis.According to him, during pre- consolidation and due to clear-cut growth strategies, Skye Bank moved to the 25th position among the 89 banks at the time.
The MD pointed out that after the Soludo-led consolidation, Skye Bank moved from the 25th in ranking to between the 8th and 9th position, adding that currently (with the Sanusi-led banking reforms) the bank now number four in the industry.Besides the reforms, Akinfemiwa attributed the growth to the steadfastness of the Board and Management in keeping to the vision and mission set for the organisation.
He said the group’s gross earnings stood at N131.52bn, which when annualised, amounted to a 37 per cent increase from the previous year’s figure of N76.61billion. According to him, “whereas total loans and advances increased by 30 per cent to N327.2billion (N251.43billion in 2008), deposits fell marginally by 10 per cent, from N500.21billion to N450.19billion.” He, however, said that there was a steep decline in the bank’s profit after tax, from N15.1billion to N1.13billion. That, the GMD noted, was a reflection of the significant level of provisioning the bank had to make in deference to regulatory guidance and the general challenging operating environment of banks in 2009.
He said the board of Skye Bank has been very fantastic, adding: “It is not an easy task for five banks to come together without major hitches, which the bank has achieved and is commendable.” The bank’s shareholders approved a dividend of five kobo per ordinary share of 50kobo each for shareholders, whose names appeared on the register of members “at the close of business on May 5, 2010”. A shareholder who is the leader of Shareholders’ Trustee Association of Nigeria (STAN) of the bank, Murthar Murthar, applauded the CBN for the reforms, which he said will at the end of the day be beneficial to the industry.
But another shareholder, Mr Sony Nwosu, who is the National Coordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), said the reform is bound to fail, insisting that the approach of the CBN has been hasty and hardly well conceived. The Group Managing Director-designate of Skye Bank Plc, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti said the apex bank’s focus on transparency and full disclosure had helped Skye Bank to attain its objective of being among the first four banks in the country as against the previous regime, where everyone claimed to be “number one”. Durosinmi-Etti also said that the bank was ready for another round of consolidation, noting that it had done well with the 2005 exercise and would raise more capital.