Fidelity Bank Pledges to Maintain High Corporate Governance

The Board of Fidelity Bank plc has pledged to always maintain high corporate governance standards that are in tune with international best practice.

It has also promised to ensure that the bank continues in its growth trajectory in the years ahead.

Fidelity Bank Chairman, Mr. Mustapha Chike-Obi, gave this assurance while addressing shareholders at its 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the weekend in Lagos.

FIDELITY BANK CHAIRMAN CHIKE-OBI

During the AGM, the shareholders unanimously endorsed the payment of a cash dividend of 22 kobo per share to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members at the close of business on April 16 2021.

This translates to a dividend yield of 9.2 per cent, making it the fourth most rewarding bank for investors in the capital market.

Some shareholders, who spoke at the event praised the Board of Directors and the management team for the 38.7 per cent increase in total customer deposits, which rose from N1.225 trillion in 2019 financial year to N1.699 trillion and was driven by strong double-digit growth in both local and foreign currency deposits.

Mr. Chike-Obi said the bank will continue to strengthen its enterprise risk management capabilities to ensure the sustainability of its business. It will also model its governance practices to align with international best practice”, he concluded.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, echoed the chairman’s sentiments, stating that the bank’s financial performance for the period reflected the resilience of its business model in a challenging operating environment.

Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe said local currency deposits grew by 49.6 per cent to N1.400 trillion and constitutes 82.5 per cent of total customer deposits while foreign currency deposits grew by 3.3 percent to N298.2 billion and accounts for 17.5 per cent of total deposits.

On the strategy for the financial year, she said: “We will continue to focus on redesigning our systems and processes to enhance service delivery, deepen our cost optimisation initiatives to reduce operating expenses, and enhance our overall risk monitoring capabilities to ensure both internal and external risks are identified and mitigated. Our growth aspirations will be sustained while we continue to identify new opportunities in the new normal.”

The shareholders expressed their continued confidence in the bank for its 2020 performance which saw a 50.9 percent increase in core operating profit to N44.9 billion. The share price also rallied 22.9 per cent, outperforming the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Index, which only gained 10.1 percent.

According to Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe, the Bank showed “strong resilience to the adversities the global economy witnessed in 2020”.

 

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