L – R: Mrs. Taba Peterside, General Manager/Head, Listings Sales and Retention, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, Executive Director, Business Development, NSE; Mallam Bello Maccido, Group CEO, FBN Holdings and Mr. Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director/CEO, FirstBank at the FBN Holdings Facts Behind the Figures presentation at the NSE
First Bank to Close Down Non Viable Branches
Bisi Onasanya, Group Managing Director/CEO, First Bank, has announced at the Nigerian Stock Exchange during the FBN Holdings’ Fact behind the Figures but assured that no staff will be sack even as the bank is considering rationalizing unprofitable branches and minimal branch expansion.
Clarifying the nationalization exercise, Onasanya, explained that what the bank is doing was ensuring maintenance of its vibrant banking business without necessarily exhibiting non performing gigantic structures, adding that the bank will simply drive business through the use of internet where necessary.
He maintained that it can service them through internet banking, or Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
“We are considering processes across the Group to reduce transaction costs and processing cycles.
“Realigning and rationalizing the workforce in order to enhance overall manpower efficiency and productivity is currently the target of the Group.”
Bisi however assured that no customer will be deprived of the banks services maintaining that no staff of the bank will lose his or her job.
Meanwhile, as the Holdings is preparing for its 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), the stalwarts of FBN Holdings were at the Nigerian Stock Exchange to give detailed analysis on how the group had fared in the last business year and expressed great expectations about the forth coming year.
Extracting from the Group CEO; Bello Maccido’s earlier statement on the unaudited result for Q1, 2015 stated that: “The Group has sustained its leading position in the financial services industry posting a 23.5% growth in gross earnings at N126.8 billion. In spite of the volatile political and macroeconomic environment that has characterized the first quarter, we returned a profit before tax of N26.9 billion, a 9% increase over the same period in 2014. “
“Given this we are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year, as the country and economy benefits from improving confidence, and remain focused on managing effectively the macroeconomic challenges. We expect improved traction from investments committed in the prior year to diversify revenue streams and enhance profitability. We will continue building a resilient business and drive efficiencies towards delivering sustainable returns to our esteemed shareholders”, he added.
The company had announced a profit after tax of N82.8billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of 17.3 per cent when compared to N70.6billion recorded in the same period of 2013.
The group gross earnings stood at N480.6billion, up 21.3 per cent when compared to N396.2billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2013.
According to the result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the group declared a non-interest income of N111.8billion, up 66.1 per cent from N67.3billion recorded in 2013, while net interest income added 6.0 per cent to N243.9billion in the review period from N230.1billion in 2013.
On the group balance sheet, total assets appreciated 12.2 per cent to N4.3trillion, from N3.9trillion in 2013, while customer deposits increased to N3.1trillion, up 4.2 per cent from N2.9trillion recorded in 2013.
Also, customer loans and advances was up by 23.2 per cent to N2.2trillion, from N1.8trillion in 2013, while non-performing ration dropped to 2.9 per cent from 3.0 per cent.
Speaking at the bank’s Facts Behind the Figures on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Bello Maccido, hinted that due to low market liquidity, depressed valuation levels and the significant dillusion risk for existing shareholders, it has not plan to seek for more capital in the market.
Maccido, who explained that capital position is being enhanced through increased profit retention, said that the company is more efficient in its balance sheet management.
According to him, the company will be more conservative on loan growth, as it shifts focus to short-term trade finance transactions.
He said the top tier lender, with over N2.2 trillion on its loan book, will be conservative on loans in 2015 after financing power and oil sectors last year but income will rise from short-term lending.
He said that the holdings company should generate a tenth of its revenues from its investment banking and insurance units combined by 2016, up from around seven per cent now, after it acquired Kakawa Discount House and Oasis Insurance last year.
Maccido noted that the performance by the banking group was a testament to the underlying strength of commercial banking business which is built on an extensive retail network and a robust information technology platform.
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