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Sterling Bank Grows Shareholders’ Fund by 22.3%

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Shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc have commended its financial performance and dividend payout for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 as the bank’s shareholders’ fund grew by 22.3 percent to N119.6 billion from N97.8 billion in 2018.

They gave the commendation at the 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank held virtually by proxy and streamed live from the Muson Centre in Lagos.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association noted that “Our bank’s AGM is always a day of celebration; a day to give kudos to the board, management and entire workforce for their hard work. But we are constrained by COVID-19 and cannot roll out the drums to celebrate the achievement of our bank today.

“All the same, we thank the board and management for the impressive outing in 2019 and the dividend recommendation.

“Looking at performance highlights, the bank has done a lot to grow our assets to N1.182 trillion. Loans and advances have also grown, operating income has grown, and our deposit base should hit N1 trillion by next year.

We commend the board for retaining earnings, protecting shareholders’ funds, and ensuring there is no insider abuse as it relates to loans.

We are happy that our bank is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and keeping the environment clean through its support for LAWMA.

Also speaking, Sir Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator Emeritus of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) appreciated the increase in the bank’s demand deposit which went up by 47 percent and described it as “quite good.”

As a shareholder who is also a customer of the bank, Sir Nwosu was full of appreciation for the way employees of the bank attend to customers and expressed the hope that this excellent service delivery would continue to differentiate Sterling Bank post-COVID-19.

Mr. Nornah Awoh, a shareholder, commended the bank for its level of financial disclosure.

He said: “I don’t think it is out of place to have payments of external assessors stated. I want other companies to learn from Sterling Bank and do the same.”

Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, Chairman of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Asue Ighodalo said the bank’s shareholders’ fund grew by 22.2 percent to N119.6 billion because of increase in retained earnings despite the challenging operating environment under which it operated during the financial year ended December 31, 2019.

The Chairman said the recorded growth in total equity was attributable to growth in comprehensive income arising from gains recorded from investments in debt securities.

He added that the Board of Directors recognised the importance of dividends to its shareholders and constantly sought to balance this with capital requirements to support the bank’s next wave of
growth.

“Accordingly, the Board recommends the payment of three kobo per share as dividend for the year ended December 31, 2019 to reward our loyal and committed shareholders. This affords the bank the required buffer to finance its growth ambitions, and effectively become a first-class, stronger, creative and extremely dependable financial institution,” he said.

Ighodalo said, “A
 direct
 contribution 
of 
our 
investments 
in
 technology
 and intelligent automation can be seen in the performance of
 SPECTA -Nigeria’s 
fastest 
digital
 retail 
lending 
platform.”

In his comments, Mr. Suleiman Abubakar, Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, noted that, “For a bank to succeed in these uncertain times, it must be agile, cautious, innovative, knowledgeable and prepared.”

He added that the bank’s unwavering commitment to a more disciplined deployment of scarce capital and the strength of its retail business contributed to a 15 percent growth in profit after tax to N10.6 billion.

On the future prospect of the bank, he said, “we have laid a sound foundation for 2020 with significant investments in technology to accelerate our digitisation,” adding that the bank will serve customers with empathy and knowledge on their own terms.


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E-Financial

Jaiz Bank Posts N2.4bn Profit

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Jaiz Bank Plc, Nigeria’s premier non-interest (Islamic) bank has released its 2019 audited results for the period ended December 31st, 2019, declaring a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N2.4 billion.

The figure, according to a statement from the bank, represents a remarkable leap of 193% from N834.4m realized in the corresponding period of 2018.

In the report submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the bank declared a 135% growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the period under review from N879.7m as at December 31st 2018 to N2.1bn as at December 31st 2019.

Key extracts of the report showed that Gross Income grew by 80% to N13.5bn as at December 31st 2019 from N7.5bn in the previous year, while the Bank’s Total Assets also grew by 54% to N167.27bn from N108.46bn.

Attesting to the increasing public interest in Islamic finance products, the earning per share of the Bank surged up to 8.30 kobo per share as against 2.83 kobo per share in 2018, signifying an increase of 193%.

Commenting on the impressive performance, Hassan Usman, Managing Director/Chief Executive, said: “the major driving force was the deliberate efforts to satisfy our customers, which was evident in the significant growth in the deposit base and risk asset portfolio.”

During the year under review, the Bank deepened its support for the MSME sector with targeted intervention to meet diverse needs of small-scale bourgeoning entrepreneurs.

The Bank also invested more on IT infrastructures, improved its E-banking channels that made it easier for customers who prefer to bank on the move than through the mundane visitations to banking halls.


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NAICOM Extends Insurance Firms Recapitalization

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has split the industry recapitalization process into two, extending the recapitalization deadline to September, 2021.

The segmentation was contained in a circular issued by the commission Wednesday, June 3 with title “Segmentation of minimum paid up share capital requirement for insurance companies in Nigerian,” referenced: NAICOM/DPR/CIR/25-04/2020, signed by the Director Policy &Regulation, Mr. Pius Agboola, for the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas.

According to the circular, insurance companies in the first phase are required to pay 50 per cent of their minimum paid up capital by 31st December 2020 and the remaining 50 per cent in the second phase by 30th September 2021.

Reinsurance firms are also expected in the first phase to pay 60% of their minimum paid up capital and 40 per cent in the second phase.

The circular states, “the incidences of COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to proceed with the 31st December, 2020 recapitalization deadline. A review of the recapitalization deadline therefore became imperative in order to mitigate likely negative consequences of the pandemic on the exercise

“The Commission hereby extend and segment the recapitalization process into two phases as follows: 50 per cent minimum paid up capital for insurance and 60 per cent for reinsurance shall be met by 31st December, 2020; insurance companies are required to fully comply with the approved minimum paid up share capital not later than 30th September, 2021.”

The commission also urged insurers to comply fully with the required minimum paid up capital at the end of the recapitalization exercise on 30th September, 2021.

“Any insurance company that fails to satisfy the required minimum paid up capital by the end of 31st December, 2020 may be restricted on the scope of businesses they will transact” NAICOM warns.

It would be recalled that the commission had issued circulars referenced NAICOM/DPR/CIR/25/2019 dated May 20, 2019 which introduced the new capital requirement for insurance companies in Nigeria and NAICOM/DPR/CIR/25-03/2019 dated December 30, 2019 which extended the deadline for recapitalization.


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Uzoma Dozie’s Sparkle Gets Banking License, Launches Services

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Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle and business support services to Nigerians across the globe, has launched services after being granted a banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Uzoma Dozie’s Sparkle Gets Banking License, Launches Services

Uzoma Dozie

Sparkle offers comprehensive support for individuals, including flexible payments, savings and analytics to provide greater freedom, flexibility and control over finances and lifestyle once and for all.

Powered by data and technology, Sparkle is launching a mobile app – available for iOS and Android – giving customers full and free access to one account that offers multiple services and different wallets.

Sparkle’s users will be provided with visibility over spending patterns, with a detailed breakdown of payments by category.

Tools such as Sparkle Stash, a savings tool aimed towards specific goals, are included.

Users will also have the ability to split payments and bills, make utilities and bill payments, as well as send and receive money in the Sparkle network and with other local banks. Customers will also have access to Indy – a 24/7 financial buddy and customer services chatbot.

Sparkle has been founded by tech investor and financial inclusion advocate Uzoma Dozie, the former chief executive officer of Diamond Bank.

Dozie, commented: “Sparkle will be transformational for Nigerians across the globe and I am hugely excited to be launching it today. Sparkle is redefining Nigerian commerce by merging financial services with a seamless lifestyle solution. We are removing barriers using technology and data, driving inclusion at scale. In doing so, we are empowering Nigerians to fulfil their potential, democratizing access to valuable solutions for both business and personal needs.”

Sparkle is partnering with VISA, Microsoft and PwC Nigeria to achieve its vision of redefining Nigerian commerce. The partnerships will provide industry leading expertise in APIs, cloud computing, data science, machine learning, tax and financial advisory services for the benefit of Sparkle’s customers. The services offered by Sparkle are all licensed by the CBN.

The launch of Sparkle comes at a time when most of Nigeria’s population (79%) have mobile connectivity, with 39% having access to mobile broadband connections1.

This young and growing population – currently over 195 million people2 – are also digital natives, with social networks forming part of everyday life.

The impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across Nigeria, accelerating the transition to more digitally enabled lifestyles. As such, there is a real opportunity for digital-only propositions like Sparkle to meet Nigeria’s needs, for individuals and small businesses to remain connected and thrive, both now and in the future.

Dozie continued: “We are working with global partners to unleash freedom, flexibility and transparency in Nigeria. We are helping to drive forward the growth of Nigeria’s budding entrepreneurs and individuals. Join us to make history as we enter the future of commerce and look towards this exciting phase of growth.”

Sparkle has recently joined Women’s World Banking, working to ensure greater financial inclusion for women, their families and communities in emerging markets, where Dozie was previously a Board member.

Sparkle has also joined Open Banking Nigeria, collaborating with Nigeria’s financial services industry to transform and advocate open banking in Nigeria, and to lead the way in Africa too.

Sparkle was founded on the values of trust, transparency, freedom, inclusivity, simplicity and personalization.

 

 


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