Commenting on the results, the
MD/CEO, Segun Oloketuyi provided further insights into the performance of
the Bank during the period:
Our strategic priorities in 2018 focus on increasing our market share and improving on profitability, given the constraints to deposit growth in 2017. With concerted efforts, the Bank achieved a deposit growth of 20.29% to N306.09 billion (Dec. 2017; N254.46 billion) while interest expense declined by 1.92% from N8.47 billion in Q1’2017 to N8.31 billion in Q1’2018, resulting from the re-pricing of deposits and low cost funding from increased accounts openings.
Despite the declining yield environment, gross earnings increased by 5.20% from N15.28 billion in Q1’2017 to N16.07 billion in Q1’2018. This increase was supported by a 21.07% growth in non-interest income to N3.43 billion (Q1’2017; N2.83 billion), led by a 424.77% growth in net trading income. Profit before Tax (PBT) grew to N0.88 billion (Q1’2017; N0.85 billion), notwithstanding the increase in impairment charges for the period.
Our digital journey elicits excitement as the Bank was named the Best Digital Bank in Africa at the 2018 Asian Bankers Award. The Bank also recorded significant growth in partnerships, particularly in the area of Agency Banking. As at March 2018, the number of our agents had increased by 126.52% across 95 locations within the country. We remain focused, leveraging our platforms and in-built capabilities in lowering our cost of service and growing our share of the market.
As the domestic economy improves, though fraught with global uncertainties, we recognize opportunities amongst key sectors. As a result, the Bank secured credit lines of $15 million and N7.3 billion from the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) respectively. These funds will help bolster the Bank’s strategic vision of supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) being the panacea to long-term economic growth.
In the months ahead, we would be developing platforms and supporting initiatives that prioritize the needs of our customers, leveraging technology in solving problems across all sectors.
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