Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc have been rewarded with N4.056 billion as dividend for the financial year ended 31 December, 2016 at the bank’s 29th annual general meeting which held in Lagos on Thursday.
The board of the bank proposed dividend of N4.056 billion for 28.975 billion shares outstanding, representing 14 kobo per ordinary share which was unanimously approved by the shareholders.
Speaking 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 across the country which was due largely to lower government revenues 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.
He said the bank reported a 3.5 percent increase in gross revenue to N152 billion from N147 billion in 2015.
“Despite the drop in profitability, we remain strong, boasting of a capital adequacy ratio of 17.2 percent in 2016 which stood above the regulatory minimum of 15 percent, which implies that as the business environment opens up in 2017 financial year, Fidelity Bank will have adequate capital to latch on to the opportunities”, he said.
Also, the bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said the success story of Fidelity Bank Plc was anchored on improved service quality, innovative products and services designed to meet the varying needs of the banks’ customers.
“The strides achieved in our innovative pursuits strengthened the income stream of your bank”, he added.
He said the bank continued to improve the earnings capacity of the different segments of its business as gross earnings increased by 3.5 percent, net interest income increased by 1.6 percent and fee-based income increased by 9.6 percent while expense growth at 4.7 percent was significantly below the average inflation rate of 15.7 percent in 2016.
“The retail and electronic banking strategy of Fidelity Bank continued to deliver impressive results as savings deposit grew by 30.1 percent to N155 billion while instant banking and online banking products grew by over 200 percent leading to a 41.3 percent growth in e-banking revenue”, he stated.
He attributed the growth in e-banking revenue to the upgrade of the bank’s core banking system which provided a superior architecture that enhanced operational efficiency and dependable electronic banking capabilities.
The shareholders of the bank commended the board on the performance during the year 2016 and urged them to improve on it.
Meanwhile, shareholders of the bank who have completed their e-Dividend documentation received direct credit of the dividend to their bank accounts immediately after the annual general meeting.