Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc have unanimously endorsed the payment of a cash dividend of 35 kobo per share to all shareholders whose names appear in the register of members at the close of business on April 22, 2022.
The shareholders who commended the bank’s sterling performance at the 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank held in Lagos also among other things authorised the board of directors “to undertake as it deems appropriate and in accordance with applicable laws, any actions, business combinations or transactions, including but not limited to investment, acquisition, restructuring, capital rasing, expansion or business arrangement required to secure a competitive advantage for the company.”
Mustafa Chike-Obi, Chairman of the bank, reassured shareholders at the meeting that the board and management of the bank would maintain the high corporate governance standard synonymous with Fidelity Bank and also ensure the bank continued in its growth trajectory in the years ahead.
“We will continue to strengthen our enterprise risk management capabilities to ensure the sustainability of our business, while modeling our governance practices to align with international best practice”, said Chike-Obi.
Chike-Obi noted that the last fiscal year was a period of consolidation and growth in the bank.
“Despite the challenges in the operating environment, we were resolute in the execution of our strategy. We paid particular attention to optimizing our balance sheet and strengthening our risk management structures. We aggressively pursued an automation framework to increase digital footprints and migrate more customers to electronic platforms.
“These initiatives drove the achievement of our performance objectives. Profit before tax increased by 35.7 per cent from N28.05 billion in the 2020 financial year to N38.07 billion in the review period. Deposits grew by 19.2 per cent to close at N2.02 trillion. Risk assets rose by 25.1 per cent to close at N1.66 trillion and total assets by 19.3 per cent to N3.29 trillion. It is important to note that this is the best set of results in our corporate history,” he said.
“Going forward, our business will be driven by technology and innovation. We will optimize current processes through digitization and automation to allow for improved service quality.
‘We will deploy predictive tools to enhance customer experience. In recent times, there has been significant increase in migration of skilled manpower from Nigeria to more developed economies. Consequently, we will institutionalise remote working protocols to enable us attract and retain the best talents.
“In a technology-driven environment, risk management is critical. We will continue to strengthen our enterprise risk management capabilities to ensure the sustainability of our business. We will also continue to pay close attention to corporate governance and capital preservation,” he stated further.
Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank CEO noted that the digital banking products gained traction during the year driven by new initiatives in the retail lending segment and increased cross-selling of our digital banking products.
“We now have 56 per cent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products from 52.8 per cent in 2020, while 90.0 percent of all customer-induced transactions are now done on digital platforms, with 27.5 per cent of fee-based income coming from electronic banking products. In addition, the total value of our Nigerian Inter-bank Payment (NIP) transactions grew by 71.7 per cent, with our market share improving to 5.0 per cent.
“Today, Fidelity Bank is one of the best managed commercial banks in the country and is currently ranked the 6th largest bank in the Nigerian banking industry with a market share of above 5.0 per cent across key indices. Our aspiration is to grow your bank’s market share to at least 7.5 per cent across key indices as it evolves into a global financial services brand by driving expansion in new business segments within and beyond the shores of Nigeria,” she said.
Shareholders who spoke at the meeting including Sir Sunny Nwosu, Mr. Nonah Awoh, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, Chief Timothy Adesiyan and Mr. Gbenga Idowu were unanimous in their commendation of the board and management of Fidelity Bank, for the impressive financial performance which have translated to higher dividends for them.