Fidelity Bank Plc has stepped out in with an impressive Q3 report despite 2020 turbulent economic challenges. Its 9 months results for 2020 release on Monday, November 2, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reveals that the bank has all its takes to weather the storm poses by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on all businesses most especially the banking sector. The bank, once again, demonstrated its superior business model by posting a Profit before Tax (PBT) of N21.3 billion and a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N20.4 billion, which translated to a 7.1% year-on-year growth compared to the N19.1 billion reported by the bank in September 2019. Details of the 9 months results showed an increase in the Bank’s market share as well as an improvement across key performance indices as its customer deposits and customer loans record double-digit growths, whilst its Total Assets Base grew by 21.8% to N2.6 trillion in the period under review.
Commenting on the results, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said: “Our nine months results reflect our resilient business model, particularly in a very challenging operating environment. We worked closely with our customers to gradually recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and the attendant effect of the lockdown.”
He explained that although Gross Earnings dropped by 3.7% due to general slowdown in the economy in view of the pandemic, the bank was able to get profit up by optimizing its operating cost and driving up its customer-induced transactions through robust digit banking services.
In his words, “Digital Banking has continued to gain traction as we now have 52.3% of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products from 47.4% in 2019FY and 88.2% of customer-induced transactions are done on digital platforms. Similarly, digital banking income increased by 20.0% quarter on quarter due to improved adoption by customers and new services migrated to our digital channels.”
Fidelity Bank has over the years implemented a retail banking strategy anchored on digital banking that has continued to deliver impressive results with consistent double-digit growth in savings deposits. Savings deposits increased by 39.9% to N385.1 billion during the period to record the 7th consecutive annual double-digit growth since 2013. “The growth in Savings Deposits accounted for 40.2% of the total growth in Customer Deposits and Savings Deposits now represent 25.7% of total deposits, up from 22.3% in 2019,” Okonkwo said.
He further disclosed that the bank has remained a loyal partner and has disbursed over N50 billion in new intervention loans to its customers in the last three months. Clearly, the funds will help in kick-starting the critical sectors of the economy especially after a lockdown in most states. By providing this cheap fund to players in the economy, Fidelity Bank has continued to fulfil its promise of being a bank that supports the real sector of the economy.
While the Bank remains positive in its outlook on the Nigerian Economy, the MD/CE reiterated that Fidelity Bank “will continue to monitor and pro-actively manage evolving risks as business activities improve”, with a promise to deliver another set of results in the remaining quarter of 2020FY.