Despite the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelity Bank has sustained the financial performance trajectory of recent years, with another set of impressive financial results. Details of the audited half year results, ending June 30, 2020, released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Thursday showed strong growth in profits and other indices.
The bank recorded a surge in Profit Before Tax of N12 billion, from N9.8billion in 2019, which translated to a 22 per cent growth. Net profits for Fidelity Bank grew by 33 per cent from N8.5billion to N11.3billion in the reporting period. In other indices, total assets rose by 13.7 per cent from N2.1trillion in 2019 to N2.4trillion this year, while total deposits rose by 14.8 per cent, from N1.2trillion to N1.4trillion during the same period.
Commenting on the results, its CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the performance for the period, reflects the resilience of the bank’s business model. “Due to the global and domestic headwinds witnessed in H1 2020, we proactively increased our cost of risk as the impact of the pandemic slowed down economic activities while adapting our business model to the new risks and opportunities of the new normal,” he stated.
According to him, Fidelity Bank, re-stated its H1 2019 figures from N15.1billion to N9.8billion to reflect the impact of IFRIC 21- Levies, which was adopted for the first time on the H1 2020 financials. “The key impact of IFRIC 21 was that our 2020 financial year, AMCON cost was recognised 100 per cent in our H1 2020 accounts rather than been amortised over 12 months as was done previously on our financials,” said the Fidelity CEO. He explained that, without implementing IFRIC 21, profit for the period would have been N17.9billion compared to the N15.1billion reported in H1 2019.
Fidelity Bank has been implementing a digital-led retail strategy and digital banking gained further traction during the period with 87.3 per cent of the bank’s customers now transacting on digital platforms. The figures are up from 82.0 per cent in 2019FY while 51.2 per cent of the bank’s customers are now enrolled on the bank’s mobile/internet banking products.