Fidelity Bank Plc has continued to remain appealing to investors in an increasingly uncertain macro-economic environment, in the banking sector.
The reason for this attraction is not unconnected with its full year 2022 financial results, which indicated a better-than-expected performance amid the headwinds in the economy.
Fidelity Bank, specifically, in its full year 2022 results, increased its gross to N337.050 billion, as of December 31, 2022, which is significantly higher than the N250.776 billion recorded at the end of 2021. Similarly, its Net Interest Income, NII, increased to to N152 billion in the year under review, up from N94.879 billion the previous year.
Also, its profit before income tax, PBT, stood at N53.677 billion in the year under review, more than 100 per cent higher than the N25.215 billion of the previous year.
Th bank’s profit after tax, PAT, for the year under review stood at N46.724 billion, doubling the N23.104 billion it realised in 2021. To cap it all Fidelity Bank’s total assets increased to N3.989 trillion in 2022, up from N3.278 trillion in 2021; even at its loans and advances to customers in the year under review stood at N2.116 trillion, up from N1.658 trillion the previous year.
This was just as customers’ deposits grew to N2.580 trillion, compared to the N2.024 trillion it recorded the previous year.
Following from this sterling performance, the bank’s Board of Directors has proposed a final dividend of 40 kobo per share, which in addition to the 10 kobo per share it earlier declared as interim dividend, amounts to N0.50 per ordinary share of 50 kobo. This is an improvement on the N0.35 dividend each declared in the previous year, amounting to N10,136,904,992.20 from the retained earnings account as of 31 December 2022.
Recall that on the heels of an impressive first half 2022 results, Fidelity Bank had declared an interim dividend payment of 10 kobo per 50 kobo ordinary share, subject to appropriate withholding tax, to shareholders, whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on September 12, 2022. This interim dividend payment was the first in the bank’s 34-year history.
Fidelity Bank had reported a remarkable 21.6 per cent growth in its half-year 2022 profit to N25.1 billion.
Since her assumption of office as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, MD/CEO, of the bank, in 2021, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe had made it clear that her target is to deliver a financial institution that meets all stakeholders’ expectations, even as she continues to push the bank to rise to be among the tier-one banks in the country.
Recall that in August 2022, Fidelity Bank intimated the public of its proposed acquisition of Union Bank United Kingdom as part of its expansion plans and in line with regulatory stipulations. The bank’s plans to acquire a 100 per cent stake in Union Bank UK marked its first foray into the international market.
Commenting on the transaction, Onyeali-Ikpe said, “This transaction aligns with our strategic plan of expanding our service touchpoints beyond the Nigerian market, and providing straight-through services that meet and exceed the needs of our growing clients.”
There is no doubt that the Nigerian banking sector is evolving, with the changes being driven by competition, accelerated adoption of technology and the move by banks to meet the banking lifestyle of an evolving demography.
This development, however, has seen many banks, Fidelity Bank inclusive, embracing innovative means to satisfy their customers.
Similarly, the bank also organised the Fidelity International Trade and Creative Connect, FITCC, which is the largest trade exhibition by Nigerian-based businesses in the United Kingdom in recent times. Experts in the banking industry saw this as a major move in increasing Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
At the end of the maiden edition of the FIT C, which held in London, it recorded pipeline deals of over $200 million, more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts and over 2,000 attendees over two days.
In her welcome remarks at the event, Onyeali-Ikpe said, “In collaboration with our strategic partners, we have created this platform to connect Nigerian exporters with UK buyers. This inaugural edition of the FITCC hosts more than 100 exhibitors from Nigeria with product offerings ranging from processed food to fashion, fintech and the arts.
“Fidelity Bank is a leading financial institution in Nigeria and a market leader in supporting small and medium scale enterprises and export-oriented businesses. This event is therefore an extension of the support that we provide to the business ecosystem in Nigeria as work to help them compete favourably on the global stage.”
With its impressive 2022 financial results, it is expected that Fidelity Bank would continue to attract investors, even as it continues to meet the expectations of its customers.