Sterling bank. Photo: Sterling Bank
Sterling Bank Plc has restated its commitment to optimising its expenses and lending while strengthening risk management and recovery practices to increase shareholders’ value.
Reviewing its performance at the 60th yearly general meeting of the bank held in Lagos at the weekend, the chairman of the bank, Asue Ighodalo said the strategy has helped to reduce the bank’s exposure to non –performing loans from 1.9 per cent in 2020 to 0.7 per cent in 2021, as well as increased its shareholder funds by 4.2 per cent.
Also at the meeting, shareholders approved a dividend of 10 kobo due to every investor of the bank for the 2021 financial year, representing a 22 per cent increase when compared to five kobo paid in the previous year.
According to Ighodalo, the bank reported a 20.2 per cent growth in its profits to N13.515 billion from N11.242 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2020 while gross earnings rose by 4.8 per cent from N135.8 billion in 2020 to N142.3 billion in 2021, driven by 28.5 per cent growth in non-interest income.
“For us and the nation at large, 2021 was a year of recovery from the adverse economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Breakthroughs in the development of vaccines for the virus, along with the campaigns to inoculate the global population gained ground and bolstered consumer and investor confidence globally and locally.
“The pace of economic recovery exceeded expectations despite threats of a third wave and the emergence of variants of the virus. This brought wind to our sails as we navigated the Bank to increase her profitability and growth.”
He pointed out that the bank remained consistent with its strategy to drive financial intermediation in high impact sectors that aligned with its ‘HEART’ strategy.
“This enabled us to focus and deliver innovative solutions that enabled our customers to thrive in a dynamic environment. We are unwavering in our commitment to building a forward-thinking organization focused on delivering the best value to our stakeholders.”
Sterling’s Chief Executive, Abubakar Suleiman noted that the year’s success was driven by a growth of 28.5 per cent in non-interest-income and a 51.4 per cent increase in transaction volumes processed – significant numbers that illustrate the effectiveness of the bank’s recent digitisation efforts.
He said the customer deposits grew by 21.7 percent from the previous year’s numbers, with an improvement in cost-to-income ratios, despite an increase in operating expenses brought about by foreign exchange inflationary pressures.
To consolidate on the performance, Suleiman assured shareholders that the bank would continue to invest in existing businesses and improve on technology adoption.
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