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H1 2020: Fidelity Bank Posts Impressive Half Year Results

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Despite the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelity Bank has sustained the financial performance trajectory of recent years, with another set of impressive financial results. Details of the Audited Half Year results ending June 30, 2020 for the top Nigerian lender, released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday September 3, 2020, show strong growth in profits and other indices.

The bank recorded a surge in Profit Before Tax of N12.0bn from N9.8bn in 2019, which translated to a 22% growth. Net profits for Fidelity Bank grew by 33% from N8.5bn to N11.3bn in the reporting period. In other indices Total Assets rose by 13.7% from N2.1trillion in 2019 to N2.4trillion this year whilst Total Deposits rose by 14.8% from N1.2trillion to N1.4trillion during the same period.

Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo said the performance for the period, reflects the resilience of the bank’s business model. “Due to the global and domestic headwinds witnessed in H1 2020, we proactively increased our cost of risk as the impact of the pandemic slowed down economic activities whilst adapting our business model to the new risks and opportunities of the new normal” he stated.

According to him, Fidelity Bank, re-stated its H1 2019 figures from N15.1bn to N9.8bn to reflect the impact of IFRIC 21- Levies, which was adopted for the first time on the H1 2020 financials. “The key impact of IFRIC 21 was that our 2020FY AMCON Cost was recognized 100% in our H1 2020 Accounts rather than been amortized over 12 months as was done previously on our financials” said the Fidelity CEO”. He further revealed that, without implementing IFRIC 21, profit for the period would have been N17.9bn compared to the N15.1bn reported in H1 2019.

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Fidelity Bank has been implementing a digital-led retail strategy and digital banking gained further traction during the period with 87.3% of the bank’s customers now transacting on digital platforms. The figures are up from 82.0% in 2019FY while 51.2% of the bank’s customers are now enrolled on the bank’s mobile/internet banking products.

“Though digital banking income dropped by 29.1% due to the downward fee revisions for electronic transactions in line with the new bankers’ tariff, we have continued to receive positive reviews on our digital channels. IVY, the bank’s chat box is rated as the clear leader, among virtual assistants in the industry, just as our flagship instant banking product (*770#) was also rated in the top tier category in the recently released 2020 KPMG Digital Channels Scorecard” he explained.

Retail Banking in Fidelity Bank has continued to also deliver impressive results. Savings Deposits in H1 2020 increased by 32.2% to N363.9bn with the bank on course to achieving the 7th consecutive year of double-digit growth in savings. Savings Deposits accounted for 49.1% of the total growth in customer deposits and now represents 25.9% of total deposits compared to 22.5% in 2019FY.

In reflection of the bank’s early conservative assessment of the sectors that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank’s Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio increased to 4.8% from 3.3% in 2019FY. Regulatory Ratios however remained above the required thresholds with Capital Adequacy Ratio increasing to 18.8% from 18.3% due to the capitalization of H1 2020 Audited Profits while Liquidity Ratio stood at 32.1%.

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Buoyed by the H1 performance, the bank is optimistic about the remaining part of the year. “We believe the new phase of normalcy will unveil some growth opportunities. We will continue to monitor and pro-actively manage any evolving risks as the Nigerian economy gradually reopens and economic activities pick-up in key sectors” Okonkwo stated.

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The advertising industry in Nigeria: Maximising the post-COVID reality – Seyi Tinubu

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Seyi Tinubu

Since the launch of the first news outlet in Nigeria in 1859, Nigeria’s advertising industry has grown to become a flourishing self-sustaining ecosystem valued at a whopping 425 million U.S. dollars as of 2017 and a projected foreseeable exponential growth in the coming years as a result of the dominance of internet revenue. While many other industries are gradually recovering and working to bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this economic powerhouse is set to remain on an upward trajectory Post-covid.

Amidst several months of grounded airplanes, closed churches and empty streets, several countries and global economies have experienced the shock waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. From real estate to finance and healthcare – especially healthcare – almost every sector of the economy has been touched in one way or another. One industry, however, has remained unshaken, resilient, withstanding all the knocks and shocks and continuing to thrive despite oppositions – advertising.

This is not to say that commercial advertising did not experience its fair share of economic downturn, even taking a significant plunge during the pandemic year. In fact, many brands reordered their priorities entirely, choosing to engage in COVID-19 awareness campaigns across social media. Some others took to leveraging collaborations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the government to consolidate efforts and flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, and provide relief packages to vulnerable target groups within the society – although, in hindsight, this may have been a strategic move to ensure that brands are projected positively continuously.

In any case, the advertising industry globally is fast rising back to pre-pandemic levels and even experiencing exponential growth— a vast contrast from the diminishing returns that it had begun to experience a few years back — and the reason is not far-fetched. Several factors are responsible for this drastic turn of events. Firstly, it goes without saying that advertising thrives on consumer behavior. And if there’s one thing we can be certain about post-pandemic, it’s that consumer behavior has changed significantly. What thriving and innovative advertising companies did during the pandemic was to change with the times and seasons that consumers were in. This meant changing from regular TV and radio advertising to digital advertising. This switch was to align with the fact that consumers spent more time at home in front of screens. Commuting time was allocated to binge-watching videos online, and as a result, digital reigned supreme.

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Today, COVID-19 has definitely expedited the process of transforming legacy marketing structures and practices for the digital economy. In Nigeria especially, the pandemic served as an exponential accelerator for connected TV and E-commerce marketing- which though were already in place, were struggling to gain widespread popularity. By dwelling more on social media and direct response selling, retailers were able to sell their goods to a wider audience due to shifting consumer behavior to online trade channels, thereby promoting the growth of Nigeria’s e-commerce industry.

This wasn’t the case in the last decade. Just a few years back, advertisers in Nigeria spent a large chunk of their time, effort and resources trying to encourage consumers to buy something they haven’t seen or tried on. Brands across all industries struggled to use the power of their online presence to engage potential customers and drive them down the marketing funnel through video adverts, blogs, email newsletters, or other types of digital lead generation activities. Even before the pandemic, converting that online presence to actual sales was a difficult feat.

However, COVID-19 has drastically altered the rules of the game.

With the pandemic keeping everyone at home, time spent on convincing was less, and many more consumers became more inclined to buy things and use services they needed online. As a result, several mega-companies across Nigeria took advantage of this, leaving advertisers no choice but to keep up with the times, spending about $350 million on advertising and marketing. Whilst there was no dominant sector, the likes of telecommunications giant MTN and beverage colossus, Nigerian Breweries led the table as the highest spenders in the year.

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The influencer niche is one area that has been cemented fully into the world of advertising. If there’s one thing that took the internet by storm in 2020, it was influencers. With the rise of social media, apps like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook (Now Meta) became entertainment hotspots for millennials and Gen Zs, more and more people rose to the influencer status, making the position crucial to Nigeria’s advertising industry. In fact, a survey carried out by the Nigeria Influencer Marketing Report (NIMReport) revealed that over 30% of advertisers now value influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy.

Although we are no longer in the heat of the pandemic, it is incontrovertible that the pandemic brought a lasting shift to Nigeria’s advertising ecosphere. We may have coined the term “post-covid era”, but in actual fact, the pandemic has ushered us into a new age, a new season that we may never return from. This means that the bar has permanently risen for advertising agencies and businesses across Nigeria as consumers are now holding them to higher standards. What they demand nowadays are tactful and mindful marketing strategies. They’re no longer asking if you have what they want but rather expect you to have what they want.

To navigate this new terrain, advertising in Nigeria will need to be more data and technology focused, with advertisers working to integrate some form of artificial intelligence or machine learning into the mix. With the right data, advertising companies will be fully equipped to create the right consumer experiences across one or more dimensions of the four Cs of marketing: Commerce, Community, Content, and Convenience. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to these four areas, consumers require a more personalized experience.

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Experts such as PWC have predicted that Nigeria’s entertainment market is poised to reach $10.8 billion (N4.4 trillion) in 2023, having reached $4.5 billion in 2018. With the interconnectedness of advertising and entertainment and the recent tactic of presenting advertising as entertainment, it is imperative that relevant stakeholders properly harness the immense benefits available for the advertising sector. This can be done in several ways, with collaboration being paramount. Partnerships between sectoral groups in marketing and communications will expand the advertising landscape of the Nigerian market and will bring world-class advertising opportunities

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HAVING A FIRSTBANK SALARY ACCOUNT CAN EASE YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS, FIND OUT HOW…

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First Bank

“There is always a lot to spend money on, and sometimes the bills can’t wait for the salary to be paid” Tope complained when his wife informed him that they had run out of cooking gas and had to refill.

 

He had just moved to a new location with his family and the bills seemed to be coming at such speed that he could hardly keep up.

 

Barely three weeks in the new apartment, the electricity bill had arrived. The new apartment was bigger than the last and their two double-seater cushions left too much space vacant in the seating room. They needed to get a couple more furniture to fill the space. His wife had not stopped reminding him of the car he promised to get, in order to ease mobility for the family.

 

Everyone has been a Tope at some point in time, and that is why everyone needs a financial partner like FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services brand. FirstBank offers a variety of loan products that can help you ease off pressure as you work towards meeting pressing and urgent needs, as well as medium term goals.

FirstAdvance is a digital product tailored for Salary Account holders, who have an urgent cash need and would want to access salary advance from the bank. If you have held a salary account with FirstBank for up to two months, you can access 50% of your monthly net salary and as much as half a million naira (N500,000).

 

A physical visit to the bank branch is not required as you can access it via the FirstMobile (FirstBank’s Mobile banking app) and USSD channels. To access the service via USSD, dial *894*11# from the phone number linked with your FirstBank account. This has proved to be the solution for many people while emergencies arise before pay day. There is no point in waiting for month end before you can take on those pressing financial obligations.

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FirstCredit is another digital product designed to cater for the non-salaried individuals. All that is required is for your account to have been active and transacting in FirstBank for six months or more to access FirstCredit. It provides customers with quick and easy access to loans to fund urgent transactions. You do not need a smart phone or a physical visit to the bank to get this done as well. This credit facility can be accessed using a mobile phone and the USSD banking code, *894*11#. You can access as much as N300,000 to be repaid within 30 days.

 

No physical documentation or collateral is required, neither do you need a physical visit to the bank to access both loans. Imagine the confidence that comes with sorting out your bills within minutes and without having to wait till month end.

 

Salary accounts should do more than receiving your monthly pay from your employer. It should be instrumental in making your day-to-day living easier, and this is what having your salary account with FirstBank can achieve for you. You can get a Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) if you have a a longer-term project at hand or investments to make. It may be paying school fees for your kids, acquiring assets or renovating your properties, paying rent, taking professional examinations.

 

Customer who qualify can access Up to N50 million based on their net monthly income and rates are competitive, while offering long term and flexible repayments up to 48 months tenor.

 

Despite all these benefits and ease in access to loans, it literarily costs nothing to open a FirstBank Salary Account. Zero opening balance, Zero minimum daily operating balance, Zero account maintenance charge, plus you even get your first debit card issued for free.
Truly, it is always “YOU FIRST” from FirstBank.

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UBA Group Dominates the 2021 Banker Awards, Wins ‘African Bank of the Year’

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UBA

Breaks the Banker Magazine Record as it wins Best Bank in Nigeria and 12 of Its Subsidiaries Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc yet again, reaffirms its leadership position across Africa, as the bank has been globally recognised as the African Bank of the year 2021 by the Banker Magazine, a leading global finance news publication published by the Financial Times of London.

 

UBA’s solid financial performance, its excellent service delivery to customers and its continuous role of facilitating rapid economic growth across the African continent were some of the reasons that led to the bank being named best bank in 12 of its African subsidiaries and in Nigeria. UBA Nigeria Plc, UBA Benin, UBA Burkina Faso, UBA Cameroon, UBA Chad, UBA Congo Brazzaville, UBA Cote D’Ivoire, UBA Gabon, UBA Guinea, UBA Liberia, UBA Senegal, UBA Sierra Leone and UBA Zambia all came out top as the best banks in their respective countries.

 

This will not be a first for UBA. In 2020, six of its subsidiaries in Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Zambia were winners of the Best Bank award. This year, the UBA Group is breaking a record with its exceptional wins as African Bank of the Year and Bank of the year in 13 countries. The total 14 awards makes it the first time ever in the history of the almost 100 years of The banker, that any banking group will be clinching as many as 14 wins in a single year.

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At the Virtual award ceremony which was held on December 1st 2021, the Middle East and Africa Editor for The Banker, John Everington, explained at the event that a rigorous and highly analytical process is made annually to reach the decision for each Bank of the Year award and the institution’s reputation for independence, authority and integrity is thoroughly applied to each submission.

 

“While several African banks impressed the judges this year, there was no doubt as to the worthiest recipient of the Bank of the Year for Africa – UBA Group – a clear winner across a wide range of criteria. UBA has performed impressively across its footprint with a strong financial performance across most of its markets,” Everington said.

 

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed delight over the recognition from The Banker stated “Like I always say, at UBA, we must be doing something right. Winning 14 total awards in13 subsidiaries and the Bank of the Year on the African continent is a big achievement.’

 

Continuing, Uzoka said, “The recognitions come as a reassurance that we are on track in consolidating our leadership position in Africa, as we continue to create superior value for all our stakeholders. We have our millions of customers across the globe and our many thousands of staff to thank for this. They are the very reason why we keep winning’

 

Since1926, the Bank of the Year awards has been celebrating the best of global banking and is regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence. The 2021 edition highlights those institutions that have outshone their peers in terms of performance, strategic initiatives and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Banker Magazine is a publication of the Financial Times – a leading global finance news publication which has been in existence since 1888. The Banker magazine is the definitive reference in international banking for high level decision makers.

 

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries.

 

With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services

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