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Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc have applauded the financial institution for its “resilience, dynamism and impressive performance” recorded last year despite the challenging operating environment.

The shareholders, who gave the commendation at the 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Group on Tuesday in Lagos, also unanimously approved the payment of a cash dividend of 14 kobo per ordinary share, which translates to N2.77 billion, for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The AGM was held by proxy, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and streamed live via www.fcmb.com/AGM to shareholders of the financial institution who were unable to physically attend due to the lockdown imposed by the government.

The decision to hold the AGM by proxy was to avoid unnecessary physical contact among attendees and in line with the social distancing protocol to avoid the spread of the pandemic. The meeting was previously scheduled before COVID-19 hit Nigeria.

FCMB Group is a holding company divided along three business groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Corporate & Investment Banking (the Corporate Banking Division of the Bank, FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited) as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).

The Chairman of FCMB Group, Oladipupo Jadesimi, along with the Group Chief Executive, Ladi Balogun, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Funmi Adedibu, a Director, Olusegun Odubogun, Chief Operating Officer of the Group, Peter Obaseki, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission as well as leaders of shareholder Associations, were present at the meeting.

The Chairman noted that in compliance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), a quorum was formed at the meeting to carry on the business of the day.

Presenting the report for the year ended December 31, 2019, Mr Jadesimi stated that all the three business groups within FCMB Group Plc reported improved performances, in terms of higher earnings and profits, compared to what was achieved in 2018.

He expressed gratitude to shareholders for joining the meeting as well as their unflinching support, which has made FCMB to wax stronger. According to him, “the Board of Directors have adopted a policy that seeks to provide investors with a stable and sustainable form of capital distribution, with consideration given to the growth and capital requirements of the business, thereby maximising long-term share value for shareholders”.

Also speaking at the AGM, Mr Balogun said, “our businesses continue to improve with growth in other key indicators, such as loas and advances, deposits and Assets Under Management (AUM), which grew by 13.1%, 14.7% and 28.3%, respectively. Our customer base also grew by 27.5% across the Group from 5.5 million to 7 million. Overall customer satisfaction has shown positive trends, with a net promoter score of 31 in Banking and 23 in Asset Management”.

Mr. Balogun further reported that, “the Commercial and Retail Banking Group grew its profit by 20% driven by improved performance in our consumer finance business, as we continue to expand our digital products offerings and channels. Commercial and Retail Banking remains the largest contributor to the Group’s profits with 92%. Assets managed by our Asset and Wealth Management businesses increased by over 28% to over N403 billion at the end of the year”.

He assured that 2020 will see a number of the financial institution’s digital initiatives coming of age, adding that these are expected to be substantial.

Going by the results, FCMB Group’s gross revenue in 2019 increased to N188 billion compared to N177.2billion in 2018. The strong performance also manifested in profit before tax, which rose by 9% to N20.1 billion. The financial results also showed that net interest income increased by 5% Year-on-Year (YoY) to N76 billion for the twelve months of 2019 from N72.6 billion within the same period in 2018. In demonstration of enhanced customers confidence in FCMB, deposits grew to N943.1 billion in December 2019, as against N863.4 billion in September 2019. Loans and advances disbursed by the Group as at the end of December 2019 stood at N715.9 billion, representing a rise of 12% (Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ), compared to N638.1 billion in September 2019.

Total assets of the Group went up by 10% QoQ to N1.67 trillion in December 2019 from N1.52 trillion in September 2019, just as capital adequacy ratio remained steady at 17.2%, for the Commercial and Retail Banking Group. Post-tax profit increased by 16% to N17.3 billion, this translates to a return on average equity (RoAE) of 9% and earnings per share of 87 kobo, an improvement on 8.2% and 75 kobo, respectively, in 2018.

Shareholders in attendance commended FCMB Group’s Board of Directors for the decision to go ahead with the AGM by proxy at a time when some other companies have decided to cancel their AGMs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, praised the institution for efficiently running its affairs and the appreciable growth recorded in key operating areas.

According to him, ‘’the fact that FCMB was able to hold the AGM, and a successful one for that matter, is a welcome development. It shows that the organisation is well prepared and very concerned about the interest of shareholders. We are happy about the result and the dividend payment. This will go a long way to provide some money for shareholders to survive the lockdown. We also note with appreciation the support provided by FCMB to the government, other bodies and businesses to mitigate the effect of COVID-19’’.

On his part, the National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie, said, “FCMB Group performed very well in the financial year ended December 31, 2019. The result is encouraging, and dividend is growing. We urge the Board, Management and Staff to continue in this positive direction. We look forward to see more value and gains this year”.

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