Naira devaluation cost Fidelity Bank N110.9bn in 2016

Though Fidelity Bank grew its deposits by 3.0 per cent to N793 billion from N769.6 billion in December 2015, the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira in 2016 cost the lender N110.9 billion which is  19.2 per cent of the bank’s risk assets of N718.1billion.

The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mr Nnamdi  Okonkwo who disclosed this in Lagos, said the bank’s foreign currency loans now constitute 44.4 per cent of the loan book.

This is up from 40.4 per cent in 2015 due to currency devaluation; but demand deposits increased by 16.8 per cent while savings deposits grew by 30.1 per cent as the bank continued to drive traction in the mass market with its electronic banking capabilities.

“2016 was without doubt a challenging year not only for banking sector but for the Nigerian economy as a whole. However, our outlook for 2017 is a bit more positive, as we expect that the country will begin to experience a recovery,” Okonkwo stated at the presentation of the bank’s annual reports and accounts.

Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo said the success story of Fidelity Bank Plc was anchored on improved service quality, innovative products and services tailored to meet the varying needs of the banks customers.

In the same vein, shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc  were rewarded with N4.056 billion representing 14 kobo per ordinary share as dividend in the bank for the financial year ended 31 December, 2016 upon approval at the bank’s 29th annual general meeting held in Lagos on Thursday. The dividend was unanimously approved by the shareholders at the meeting.

The Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Ernest Ebi attributed financial performance of Fidelity Bank in 2016 to the slowdown in business activities due to lower government revenues arising from depressed oil prices, lower interest rate regime, rising inflation rate, lower consumer disposable income, tougher operating environment and the impact of the current devaluation on asset quality.

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