Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc have approved the payment of a cash dividend of 22 kobo per share for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
Shareholders who spoke at the bank’s 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) commended the Board of Directors and the management team for the 38.7 percent 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.
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”.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fidelity Bank,Mustapha Chike-Obi, reassured shareholders at the AGM that the board and management of the bank would maintain the high corporate governance standards 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.
Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank (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.
Onyeali-Ikpe revealed that local currency deposits grew by 49.6 percent to N1.400 trillion and constitutes 82.5 percent of total customer deposits while foreign currency deposits grew by 3.3 percent to N298.2 billion and now accounts for 17.5 percent of total deposits.
She highlighted that the bank’s retail banking push continued to deliver impressive results as total savings deposits increased by 54.2 percent to N424.4 billion, making it the 8th consecutive year of recording double-digit growth in savings deposits. Total savings deposits now account for about 25.0 percent of total deposits, an attestation of the Bank’s increasing market share in the retail market segment.