Shareholders approve FCMB’s dividend

First City Monument Bank plc, FCMB.

Shareholders of FCMB Group Plc has commended the board on its improved performance, even as they unanimously approved the sum of N1.98 billion dividend, culminating to 10 kobo per share due to every investor of the bank for the 2016 financial year.

FCMB Group is the holding company of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, FCMB Capital Markets Limited, CSL Stockbrokers Limited and CSL Trustees Limited.

Specifically, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie the Board and Management of FCMB Group Plc commended the subsidiaries for contributing to the profitability of the company during the period under review.

He, however, berated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for the manner in which it slams penalty on banks, noting that this has continued to erode bank’s profitability to the detriment of shareholders.

Okezie also criticised the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), for its reforms programmes, which, according to him, failed to take into consideration the plight of shareholders and the harsh economic situation in the country.

He argued that AMCON reform in the banking industry, rather than improving the lot of shareholders has become a ‘nightmare’ for investors in the financial services sector.

The National Chairman, Shareholders’ Trustees Association of Nigeria, Mukhtar Mukhtar, said: “we are happy that FCMB has again risen to the occasion by delivering value to shareholders, while also showing a strong ability to adapt effectively and professionally to the dynamics of the business environment. We strongly believe that FCMB will consolidate on the performance.”

The Chairman of FCMB Group, Dr. Jonathan Long, represented by a Director, Bismarck Rewane, attributed the performance recorded last year to the professionalism and commitment the financial institution brought to bear in its business and operations. He added that, ‘’the Group has shown itself, capable of weathering the storm and I am confident that the year ahead will prove to be no exception’’.

Also speaking, Ladi Balogun, the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc and until recently the Group Managing Director of First City Monument Bank Limited, said that the realities of 2016 have been a good test of the resilience of the Bank’s turnaround programme which commenced in 2015.

“Across most indices, we have recorded progress and we intend to stay this course in the coming year. These include a stronger balance sheet, accelerated market share in retail banking, enhanced customer experience as a means of growing customer base, alternate channels penetration, support to businesses, and containment of operating expense, among others.

“For instance, the net revenue position of the First City Monument Bank Limited, which is the flagship of FCMB Group, rose by 33 per cent to N112.6 billion as at December 31, 2016 from N84.9 billion, while its loan book grew by 11 per cent in nominal terms to N659 billion.

“In addition, the Bank rolled out an additional 108 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across different locations to increase the tally to 755 and on-boarded 370,000 new customers on the mobile banking platform.”

He added that the bank’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment also returned to profitability, just as personal banking business also witnessed an impressive performance with an increase in customers acquisition from 43,000 monthly in 2015 to 53,000 monthly in 2016.

On the future outlook for the bank, Balogun said: “we have built a solid business model around retail and transaction banking to deliver sustainable profit growth, effective use of technology to boost efficiency, reduced risk appetite and a great customer experience.”

He added that lending activities would be focused and strategic, with emphasis on diversification of its portfolio, and that the bank would also improve on the areas of employee productivity, while growing the proportion of customers that use the bank’s digital channels.

The bank’s 2016 result showed a profit before tax (PBT) of N16.3 billion, an increase of 109 per cent, compared to the N7.8 billion for the same period in 2015. Profit after tax also rose to N14.3 billion as against N4.8 billion recorded in 2015.

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