Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc. at the bank’s 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos recently, approved the dividend of 18 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo, proposed by the board of directors for the 2014 financial year.
The investors also expressed satisfaction at the consistency in dividend payout by the bank in the last 10 years, at a time many companies did not declare dividend.
In his opening remark, Chief Christopher Ezeh, said, “As you have noticed, developments in the international markets presented some challenges to both the real sector and the financial sector of our economy. It is, however, important to state that your bank’s performance was within expectations and that its growth potentials are promising”.
The Managing Director/CEO, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, noted that the bank’s performance was a positive reinforcement of its medium-term strategic objectives which anchored on what he called the 5 pillars, namely: improving the efficiency of the balance sheet; growing the retail and SME businesses; focusing on niche corporate banking segments; increased migration of customers to electronic channels and improving the customer experience across all service channels.
“Our retail banking strategy gathered increased momentum in 2014 with the bank acquiring over 471,000 new retail customers, consumer loans growing by over 21 per cent and core lowcost retail deposit by 18 per cent which lowered our average cost of customer deposits”, Okonkwo said, adding that the bank would continue to emphasise efficiency sustenance and cost effective service quality.
“We have also restructured our sales force into a flatter and more nimble organisation which is closer to the customers and aggressive enough to drive our market share aspirations in order to achieve our corporate strategy”. He revealed Management’s resolve to intensify support for the real sector by growing a new generation of entrepreneurs especially in the area of SME financing, business advisory services and capacity development.
“In recognition of our leadership role in the MSME banking space, we were invited to partner with the Federal Government and its agencies on various SME schemes. The Bank of Industry Limited (BOI) selected our bank as one of the 10 SME friendly banks it is partnering with to finance SMEs. The Central Bank of Nigeria also appointed our bank as one of the deposit money banks to serve on its working committee on the creation of a Mobile Collateral Registry for SMEs in Nigeria.”
Speaking to Journalists on the sideline of Event Centre, Victoria Island, where the AGM held in Victoria Island, Lagos, Okonkwo said, “We paid a dividend of 18 kobo per share last year, we also paid 18 kobo this year. Our shareholders are happy. The result did not come by accident, when I took over in January last year, we set out to take the bank to a higher level and promised we would declare profit of higher numbers.”