By Emmanuel Ufot
The growing fears among bank stakeholders that the over 5 months lockdown in Nigeria which crippled businesses will have an adverse effect on the banking sector has been allayed if the financial results posted by the banks are anything to go by.
The 9 months results posted by most of the prominent banks and financial institutions like UBA, Fidelity, Zenith, FBN Holdings, Access Bank among others indicate a substantial increase in their Profit after Tax, PAT for the period under review.
Zenith bank according to the mentioned banks results for 3rdquarter led the pack with the highest profit, posting a total of N159.3 billion in 9 months against N150.9 billion it earned within the same period last year.
For UBA its profit after Tax for the past 9 months stood at N77.1 billion while the banks posted a whooping N454.4 billion in gross earnings, which represents a marginal increase from the sum of N428.7 billioN recorded within the same period last year. According to Kennedy Uzoka, the Bank Group Managing Director, the bank was elated with the results in spite of the turbulence operating environment occasioned by the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged Coronavirus , popular, COVID 19 pandemic.
For Fidelity Bank plc, one of the fastest growing Tier- 2 in its 9 months results for 2020 released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The bank, once again, demonstrated its superior business model by posting a Profit before Tax ,PB,T, of N21.3 billion and a PAT, of N20.4 billion, which translated to a 7% growth compared to the N19.1 billion reported by the bank in September 2019.
Details of the 9 months results showed an increase in the Bank’s market share as well as an improvement across key performance indices as its customer deposits and loans recorded a double-digit growths, whilst its Total Assets Base grew by 21.8% to N2.6 trillion in the period under review.
;Commenting on the results, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Fidelity Managing Director, said the feat recorded by the bank was a reflection of its resilient business model that was able to surmount the harsh economic environment occasioned by the pandemic. “Our nine months results reflect our resilient business model, particularly in a very challenging operating environment’’, he had said.. ‘’We worked closely with our customers to gradually recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and the attendant effect of the lockdown”, he further said.
- “Fidelity Bank has over the years implemented a retailed banking strategy anchored on digital banking that has continued to deliver impressive results with consistent double-digit growth in savings deposits. Savings deposits increased by 39.9% to N385.1 billion during the period to record the 7th consecutive annual double-digit growth since 2013. “The growth in Savings Deposits accounted for 40.2 percent of total growth in Customer Deposits and Savings Deposits now represent 25.7 percent of total deposits, up from 22.3% in 2019,” Okonkwo said.
He further disclosed that the bank has remained a loyal partner and has disbursed over N50 billion in new intervention loans to its customers in the last three months.Clearly, the funds will help in kick starting the critical sectors of the economy especially after lockdown in most states. By providing these cheap funds to players in the economy, Fidelity Bank has continued to fulfill its promise of being a bank that supports the real sector of the economy.
Access Bank is another of the money deposit banks that recorded a significant improvement in its profit after tax for 9 months of this financial year despite the gloomy economy. Records shows that its PAT increased from N88.4 billion recorded last year within the period to N102.3 billion this year. This represents an increase of 15.68%.
- Similarly, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings plc profit after tax also jumped significantly from N51.7 billion recorded within the period under review in 2019 toN68. 2 billion. This indicates an increase of 31.71%%.
Another Tier-1 bank that falls among the legion of Nigerian banks that weathered the storm of turbulence business environment instigated by Covid-19 pandemic is Guaranty Trust Bank. The bank according to its 9 months results netted the sum of N142.3 billion, the second biggest after Zenith Bank. However, the result showed as light fall from the sum of N146.9 billion it posted within the same period in its 2019 third quarter financials.
Other notable banks that also recorded profits in its third quarter financial results include Union Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank and Unity Bank. For Union Bank, Tier -1 bank, it profit after tax for the 3rdquarter of 2020 stood at N15.5 billion as against N15.3 billion. Wema Bank recorded a profit after tax of N2.6 billion, but it was however a shortfall for the sum of N4.1 billion it recorded within the period in 2019.
Whereas the profit after tax of Sterling Bank stood at N7.4 billion, a slight decrease from N7.6 billion recorded in the corresponding year, that of Unity Bank showed a six percent increase from N1.5 billion in 2019 to N1.6 billion in the 3rdquarter of this year.