How FCMB drives value with diversified investments, operations

FCMB building

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has said its prosperity is linked to prudence of management, professionalism in leadership and continuous motivation of its workforce and the firm’s intense commitment to excellent customer service.

Besides, its 40years of investment experience, solid foundation and rare business acumen, foresight and excellent capacity to forecast trends in a consistently volatile and unpredictable socio-political and economic environment, have underscored its history.

While FCMB could qualify as one of the oldest financial powerhouses in the Nigerian Banking space, the brand is ever fresh, quite innovative, youthful and flexible when it comes to product offerings.

In loans portfolio, it has invested in agriculture and the agro-allied industry, the manufacturing, oil and gas, telecommunication, tourism and the hospitality sectors. In infrastructure, it has spent heavily on technology, instituting innovations that are already driving Banking to the future.

It has taken the drivers’ seat in digital banking, accelerating financial inclusion with an uncommon speed. It is taking banking to the nooks and crannies of the nation’s towns and villages while transporting Agency Banking and mobilising FCMB Microfinance to empower low-income households, macro, small and medium businesses, for social security and the nation’s economic growth and prosperity.

A financial examiner, risk and insurance expert, Dr. Dan Okehi, said: “FCMB has continued to wax strong. Like the JP Morgan Chase, Kongo Gunmi, Old Mutual, Caswell-Massey and Genda Shigyos of this world, I see in FCMB, a financial monument built from the foundations to endure”.

The expert described the bank as very focused from the beginning and has shown consistency, acquiring other institutions, has demonstrated vigour and resilience with a clear strategy predicated on a very strong growth and solid succession plan.

He said FCMB is a serious financial institution. “I admire its crop of young, skilful, intelligent and vibrant management and staff of FCMB. Not necessarily competing with anyone, I read and hear about its inroads anywhere I turn,” Mr. Okehi submitted.

The bank’s Group Chief Executive, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said, ‘’our approach to business and commitment demonstrate the resilience of the organisation. It also shows that our diversified strategy of building a Group that is strong in retail banking, corporate and investment banking as well as wealth management, is beginning to bear fruits, because all the subsidiaries contributed to the performance’’.

The bank is driving a women-oriented initiative known as SheVentures, designed for women-owned SMEs. The initiative provides enhanced support to existing and upcoming women-owned SMEs through access to finance, training and mentoring to boost their businesses in a sustainable manner. In addition, the FCMB SheVentures initiative provides zero-interest rate on loans to women-owned SMEs.

It has also floated the Canton Fair Campaign called “Race to China”, which provides small and medium scale business owners the opportunity to win free tickets and accommodation in China on FCMB’s sponsorship, to attend the 2019 Canton Fair, China’s biggest Import and Export fair.

While the financial supermarket is offering a three-month banking without charges to SMEs and business owners, its FCMB Millionaire Promo has been directed at the unbanked and under-banked among the public, to develop a savings culture, a way to drive the financial inclusion objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It was for this reason, the Bank recently launched FCMB Easy Account with the “Your Phone Number is Your Account Number” campaign, a platform for citizens who have never owned bank accounts.

It is developing bespoke products, platforms and solutions that resonate with the needs and lifestyles of the market to consolidate its valuable franchise. The Bank has also launched a digital chatbot, named Temi.

This is a computer based and artificial intelligence programme, designed for interaction via voice or texts with human element on social media messaging platforms.

The stellar performance and giant strides recorded by the financial institution which operates as a Holding Company with eight subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments, is an affirmation of this reality.
The organisation has consistently braced the odds to consolidate its position as one of the dominant players in the Nigerian financial services industry and the economy in general.

The financial results of FCMB Group for 2018 again brought to the fore, its resilience, dynamism and ability to successfully turn the challenges of the business environment to opportunities.

This also goes a long way to prove the mettle of FCMB as a brand with an inherent capacity to sustainably deliver exceptional financial services as well as returns to customers and shareholders with profound multiplier effects on the nation’s economy in general.

At the sixth yearly general meeting of FCMB Group held recently, shareholders unanimously applauded the entity for delivering another inspiring result for the financial year ended December 31, 2018. Approved, was the payment of a cash dividend of 14kobo per ordinary share, as against 10kobo paid in 2017.

Going by its audited accounts for 2018, FCMB Group’s profit before tax (PBT) rose by 73 per cent to N18.4 billion as against N11.5 billion in the preceding year. Gross revenue grew to N177.4 billion, an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to the N169.9 billion for the same period in 2017.

Net interest income as at the end of 2018 rose by 3 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) to N72.6 billion. In demonstration of the enhanced confidence of customers in FCMB, deposits also increased by 19 per cent YoY to N821.7 billion while loans and advances stood at N633 billion.

Total assets went up by 21 per cent YoY to N1.43 trillion, just as capital adequacy ratio was 15.9 per cent. There was also a significant increase on Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for 2018 financial year as the lender continues to grow shareholders’ earnings. It grew its profit by 61 per cent, driven by improved performance in consumer finance business and increase in fees and commissions.

First City Monument Bank, the flagship of FCMB Group, recorded a 63 per cent rise in profit before tax to N14.2 billion, compared to N8.7 billion in 2017. The Balance Sheet of the Bank grew by 19 per cent from N1.17 trillion in 2017 to N1.39 trillion in 2019.

There was a 20 per cent rise in deposits, just as customer base grew by 20 per cent to 4.9 million customers. The Bank also witnessed outstanding growth in alternate channels by leveraging on technology and collaborations.
In 2018, First City Monument Bank recorded a strong surge in customer acquisition and migration to digital channels for transactional purposes. In addition, the number of customers on the bank’s mobile channels as at the end of 2018 increased by 124.69 percent to 2.78 million from 1.23 million the previous year.

FCMB’s *329# USSD mobile banking channel recorded more than 1,200 per cent growth in transaction count, with transaction volume growing 1,600 per cent from N46million in 2017 to N759million in 2018.

There was an improvement in Point of Sales (POS) deployment and transactions last year. Value of POS transactions of First City Monument Bank jumped by 59 percent to N272.76 billion in December 2018 from N171.13 billion as at December 2017.

The Bank’s earnings from electronic products and electronic transactions improved by 45 per cent to N8.32bn in 2018 as against N5.75bn in 2017 to emerge as one of the leaders in this segment of the banking industry.

Analysts are of the opinion that with a clear understanding of its market and the environment, FCMB has built a solid and robust foundation thereby cementing its position as a top performer in the financial services industry.

In this article:
Dan OkehifcmbLadi Balogun
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