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Fidelity Bank recovers N8bn debt in 2014

By The Citizen
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Fidelity Bank Plc said it has recovered about N8 billion from its Non-Performing Loan in 2014, just as  it targets  a 10 per cent loan growth for the financial year 2015.

Speaking at the bank's facts behind its financial year 2014 figures held  at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE in Lagos,  the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc,  Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said the bank would deepen its play in the retail and small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment this year, so as to  sustain the growth realised in 2014.

According to him ' In 2014 , we grew loan book by 26 per cent, but if you factor in devaluation, you will see that our actual growth last year was 18 per cent. This year, we are targeting  a 10 per cent loan growth because we are not going to have the kind of big ticket transaction we had last year, like the Shell Divestment, which we played actively in. This year 2015 is going to be tough, but we will do all we can to meet our projections.'

Continuing, he said  'We are going to  maintain our strong corporate banking role but the  Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs  banking would help us  grow low cost deposits because the multinationals and upper market players cannot pay the type of interest rate we will charge. So, if we deepen our retail play, our cost of fund would be lower.'

The Fidelity Bank boss, however pointed out that 2015 would be a tough year for banks, saying that given the traction that Fidelity Bank had gained  'We anticipates a greater financial year for the financial institution.

Okonkwo noted that the 2014 performance was a positive reinforcement of the medium term strategic objectives which are anchored on the following pillars: improving the efficiency of the balance sheet; growing the retail and SME businesses; focusing on niche corporate banking segments; increased migration of customers to electronic channels and improving the customer experience across all service channels.

He explained that the bank has a solid platform for growth, underpinned by strong customer loyalty and significant investments in physical and electronic distribution channels.

He added: 'Our retail banking strategy gathered increased momentum in 2014 with the bank acquiring  over 471,000 new retail customers, consumer loans growing by over 21 per cent and core low-cost retail deposit by 18 per cent which lowered our average cost of customer deposits.'