Fidelity Bank announces N28.1bn profit before tax

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank Plc has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020, showing growth in core operating profits, net revenue, and other key financial indices.

The bank posted a 50.9 per cent growth in core operating profits from N29.8bn in 2019 financial year (FY) to N44.9bn while net revenue increased by 15.0 per cent from N111.8 bn in 2019FY.

Customer deposit rose by 38.7 per cent from N1,225.2bn to N1,699.0bn just as total assets grew by 30.5 per cent from N2,114.037trn in 2019 FY to N2,758.148trn.

However, profit before tax dropped by 7.6 per cent to N28.1bn from N30.4bn in 2019FY due to an increase in the bank’s loan provisions to shield it from any headwinds.

The board of Fidelity Bank has proposed a N6.4bn payout, which translates to 22 kobo dividend per share to its shareholders.

“We are pleased with our financial performance, which clearly showed the resilience of our business model as core operating profit increased by 50.9% to N44.9BN from N29.8BN in 2019FY. We also saw a significant improvement in our efficiency indices as cost-to-income ratio moderated downward to 65.1% from 73.4% in 2019FY. However, Profit Before Tax (PBT) dropped by 7.6% to N28.1BN as we proactively increased our provisions on risk assets to N16.9BN from a net write-back of N0.6BN in 2019FY,” said Fidelity Bank CEO Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe.

She added that the bank “took a conservative stance in recognition of the impact of the global pandemic, which has redefined business risks and opportunities in the new normal.”

As seen in recent years, the bank’s digital retail banking approach has continued to yield positive results. Though digital banking income dropped by 18.8 per cent due to the revised banker’s tariff, it increased by 19.6 per cent QoQ on account of increased customer adoption as more services were migrated to the bank’s digital channels.

Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe said she was happy with the progress of the bank’s digital banking play, stating that over 52.8 per cent of customers are now enrolled on the bank’s mobile/internet banking compared to 47.4 per cent in 2019FY, while 88.4 per cent of its customers’ transactions were done on the digital platform products and more than 81 per cent of total transactions done on digital platforms.