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Fidelity Bank wins Ghana Bank of the Year Award

By The Citizen
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Fidelity Bank has emerged as Ghana bank of the year 2016 at The Banker's 17th annual Bank of the Year awards.

The lender disclosed this in a statement, quoting the judges as saying, 'In a highly competitive banking sector, Fidelity Bank has emerged as the standout entrant for the Ghana country award.

'Sound portfolio management, a commitment to innovation and an excellent financial performance all contributed to the judging panel's decision.'

They noted in local currency terms, Fidelity Bank's Tier 1 capital increased by 31 per cent in 2015 while its total assets and net profits grew by 36 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively.

Its return on equity hit 33 per cent in 2015, up from 31 per cent in the previous year, while its cost-to-income ratio fell to 53 per cent, from 56 per cent in 2014.

The judges said, 'To better tackle non-performing loans, Fidelity Bank established a dedicated recoveries unit, while its strategy of booking only the highest quality assets has led to the lender's loan book dramatically outperforming the sector average. In 2015, the industry NPL ratio was 15 per cent against Fidelity Bank's 2.27 per cent.

'In 2015, Fidelity Bank completed the acquisition of ProCredit Savings and Loans. The deal has bolstered Fidelity Bank's position in the small and medium-sized enterprise market, in which ProCredit was a focus, while growing the bank's footprint by a further 75 branches, 109 ATMs and a further 693,000 customers.'

According to the statement, Fidelity Bank also launched a partnership with IBM to manage the bank's technology infrastructure, which improved standards of service delivery and consolidated its position in the market.

'The bank's SME Business Academy also impressed the judges. Acting in a capacity-building function, the academy helps SMEs to develop a sound governance culture, unlock growth opportunities and make these entities more bankable over the long term. Experts specialised in different industries train the businesses listed in the academy,' the judges said.