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Fidelity Bank shareholders approve N3.19b final dividend for 2018

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Shareholders of Fidelity Bank on Friday unanimously approved the payment of a total dividend of N3.19 billion declared by the Board of Directors for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the shareholders gave the approval at the bank’s 31st Annual General Meeting held in Lagos.The dividend translated to 11k per ordinary share of 50k held by investors at the close of business on April 12, 2019.Speaking at the meeting, Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, commended the board and management for maintaining dividend policy.

Ajudua, however, expressed the need for payment of higher dividend by the bank in the years ahead.He also urged the board to adopt strategies that would enable them to sustain growth and profitability in the industry.Chief Timothy Adesiyan, President of the Nigerian Shareholders’ Solidarity Association, said the bank had maintained steady growth in spite of challenging environment.Adesiyan also commended the bank’s effort in ensuring aggressive loans recovery which impacted positively on its non-performing loan.

“We have a solid bank handled by professionals and our bank is in good hands,” he said.Nnamdi Okonkwo, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, assured shareholders of consistent and enhanced dividend in future.Okonkwo said the bank had paid consistent dividend in the last 12 years, noting that the trend would be maintained.He noted that investment was for future.He said the current dividend policy was to prepare for rainy days.“We want the bank to be here tomorrow as going concern and we need capital to continue to be strong,” Okonkwo said.

He stated that that bank would continue to invest heavily in technology in order to enhance activities through digital channels.Okonkwo assured shareholders that the management would continue to review staff remunerations to be within industry level.He added that the bank would continue to grow savings deposit, noting that savings deposits doubled in the last five years.Commenting on the bank’s performance, he said: “Our 2018 audited financial statement shows a strong double-digit growth in earning assets, customer deposits and revenues.”He explained that the bank was able to sustain cost discipline with growth in total operating expenses remaining below average headline inflation in 2018.

He said gross earnings increased by 4.8 per cent to close at N188.9 billion primarily driven by 22.7 per cent growth in earning assets, which led to 4.2 per cent increase in interest income to N153.7 billion and 9.2 per cent rise in net fee and commission income to N31.8 billion.Okonkwo said digital banking gained attraction during the year with almost 40 per cent of customers now enrolled on mobile/ internet banking products and 81 per cent of total transactions now done on digital platform.

Also speaking, Ernest Ebi, the bank’s Chairman, assured the shareholders that the board and management focus was to build a very strong bank that they would proud of.Ebi said the bank would remain committed to corporate governance, risk management and strong capital in line with its five year strategic plan aimed at delivering returns to all stakeholders.

On 11k dividend declared, he told the shareholders that the bank needed to provide buffers for economic headwinds to ensure sustainability.The chairman said the bank would some day start payment of interim dividend.

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Access Bank wins Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Award

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Africa’s leading financial institution, Access Bank, has emerged winner of the 2019 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards for “Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement” for the 4th consecutive time. The award was received in recognition of the Bank’s unwavering commitment towards embedding social, environmental and economic sustainability into its core business strategy that helps address issues across its business operations and value chain.

The prestigious award was presented to the Bank’s GMD/CEO, Herbert Wigwe at the award ceremony which took place on July 11th, 2019 at the City Hall of Karlsruhe, Germany and was attended by C-level executives, CEOs of leading global financial institutions, top German government officials, policy makers, regulators and key sustainability stakeholders.

The Global Sustainable Finance Awards in Karlsruhe honour financial institutions and related organizations and Presidents/ CEOs with significant contributions to the field of sustainable banking and finance. The awards also aim to promote the growth of sustainable financial instruments and markets worldwide, particularly in the fields of green finance and investments, financial inclusion and social finance, green equity and venture capital as well as the holistic integration of sustainability in financial institutions.

Wigwe stated that “the global finance sector plays a major role in the economy, as they provide huge amounts of capital and have the ability to influence other companies and customers across sectors through their products and services. Many banks are now placing a great deal of emphasis on driving sustainability as well as digitizing core business processes and reassessing organizational structures to be better prepared for the future of banking. This transformation illustrates the increasing desire to become a sustainable and digital bank.

“Access Bank has a corporate strategy and philosophy which places sustainability at its core. Together with our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Access Bank recently launched a five-year tenured, fixed rate green bond worth N15 Billion which is the 1st Climate Bonds Initiative Certified corporate green bond in Africa”, he said.

Access Bank remains committed to setting standards for sustainable business practices, adopting innovative solutions to build a future that is desirable, as it becomes the World’s most respected African bank. The Bank continues to make positive contributions to people and planet, in effect paving the way for its own longevity and continued profitability, making the case for sustainability to businesses everywhere.

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GTBank Named Best Bank in Africa at Euromoney Awards …Also emerges Best Bank in Nigeria for a record 9th time

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Foremost African financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been named the Best Bank in Africa 2019 by Euromoney at its annual Awards for Excellence, which held in London on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. GTBank was also named the Best Bank in Nigeria for a record ninth time, reflecting the Bank’s position as one of the best managed financial institutions in the country, with strong and focused leadership that keep the business in a constant state of re-invention and innovation.

Now in its 50th year, Euromoney is the leading publication for covering the growth of international finance. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence are the awards that matter to the banks and bankers who matter. This year, Euromoney received almost 1,500 submissions from banks in an awards programme that covers 20 global awards, more than 50 regional awards, and best bank awards in close to 100 countries. The Magazine’s Awards for Excellence celebrates the best banks around the world by recognizing institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets they operate. In selecting its award recipients, Euromoney combines quantitative and qualitative data to honor institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.

Key to the emergence of GTBank as the Best Bank in Africa and the Best Bank in Nigeria, is the Bank’s digital drive and its clarity of vision in reimagining the future of banks and banking. The Euromoney awards also recognized GTBank’s commitment to leading the future of banking as
well as its consistent long-term strategy led by a senior management team that abhors complacency and keeps the business in a constant state of innovation.

Commenting on the Bank’s Euromoney awards, the Chief Executive Officer of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said; “We are delighted and proud to win the Euromoney Awards for Africa’s Best Bank and Nigeria’s Best Bank. These awards reflect the progress we are making in delivering the best
banking experience that captures what customers want in the world of today and tomorrow. They are also a testament to our leading role in driving world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation in Africa’s banking industry.

He further stated that; “At GTBank, we are passionate about building the bank of the future by leveraging the best of technology to add real value to our customers’ lives, and these awards illustrate the hard work and commitment of our staff, management and board towards achieving
this goal.

GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world
class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.

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FirstBank restates commitment to children with special needs

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial institution, has reiterated its commitment to impact the lives of the less privileged and children living with disabilities across the country and in its host communities across the world.

The Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, made this pledge at the weekend (Saturday, 6 July) when he led a team of FirstBank volunteers on a visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos in the spirit of the Bank’s commitment to encouraging people to Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK). SPARK, a values-based initiative is one of the key activities of the annual FirstBank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CR&S) Week.

Speaking to the pupils and teachers of the school, Adeduntan said the visit was aimed at demonstrating kindness, as it is one of FirstBank’s brand values that positively affects quality of life.

He said, “it is our belief that if all of us can show acts of kindness to people around us, we will make the world we live in a much better place for everyone. Our decision to come here today is to show appreciation to management for shouldering the enormous responsibility of taking care of these children with special needs. This visit is also to assure the children who are schooling here that, as the popular saying goes, you will not walk alone.”

L-R: Matthew Daniel, student of Wesley School; Olusegun Alebiosu, Chief Risk Officer, FirstBank; Seyi Olusanya, student of Wesley School; Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank; Olayiwola Adeola, student of Wesley School and Mr. A.K. Alimi, Principal, Wesley School 1, during FirstBank’s visit to Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired at Surulere, Lagos as part of activities marking FirstBank’s CR&S week 2019.

 

Speaking further, Adedutan encouraged the pupils of the school to seize every opportunity availed them to reach their maximum heights possible, stressing that as an institution, FirstBank, woven into the fabric of the society will always be there to provide them the support they require within its available means and resources.

Asides the visit to Wesley School, 23 other charity homes/institutes, including camps of Internally Displaced People (IDP) were visited by FirstBank staff volunteers, led by senior members of staff. The Bank’s Executive Director, Public Sector, Abdullahi Ibrahim with other volunteer staff visited the School of the blind, Jabi, Abuja while its Group Head, Corporate Banking, Remi Ajose- Adeogun visited the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria, Fagba, Lagos. Other locations visited by the Bank include Madinatu and Almiskin IDP Camp, Maiduguri, amongst others. Food supplies., provisions, toiletries and educational materials were delivered to all the visited homes.

The 2019 FirstBank’s CR&S Week was held from 1 – 6 July across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones and the Bank’s business locations in Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and The United Kingdom.  The CR&S Week is a social impact initiative the Bank started two years ago, with its staff dedicating a whole week to impact lives of individuals living in its host communities.

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