Despite the difficult macro-economic environment that characterised the 2016 fiscal year, Sterling Bank Plc, has posted a profit before tax of N6.0 billion on gross earnings of N111.4 billion during the financial year ended December 31, 2016.
The financial highlights showed that net interest income increased by 41.6 percent to N56 billion (FY 2015: N39.5 billion) on account of a 22.5 percent increase in interest income and a 4.2 percent increase in interest expense.
Further analysis of the result showed that net loans and advances increased by 38.2 percent to N468.2 billion (Dec. 2015: N338.7 billion) driven primarily by foreign exchange revaluation, while customer deposits decreased marginally by 1.0 percent to N584.7 billion (Dec. 2015: N590.9 billion)
Also total assets (excluding contingent liabilities) increased by 4.3 percent to N834.2 billion (Dec. 2015: N799.5 billion) while shareholders’ funds stood at N85.7 billion at the close of the financial year.
Commenting on the financial performance, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Mr. Yemi Adeola said 2016 was a difficult year for the Nigerian economy as it was characterized by high inflation, weak oil prices, lower crude oil output and foreign exchange supply shortages. He said these multiple challenges and the various regulatory responses put significant downward pressure on the earnings of banks.
Mr. Adeola noted that during the year, the bank successfully deployed the “best in class” core banking application – Temenos T24; grew its active customer base and launched the disruptive, award winning payments solution, ChatPay, as the Bankoptimized its traditional electronic channel offerings.
He added that these initiatives would enable the Bank to optimize its operating efficiency and position it to exploit emerging business opportunities.
Commenting on the outlook for the Bank under its 2017- 21 Strategic Plan, Mr. Adeola said, “We expect that the Government’s fiscal intervention schemes alongside supportive economic policies will create pathways for economic recovery. Over the next 5 years, we will be steering our ship differently and aggressively growing the retail business through electronic channels.”
The Chief Executive said in a bid to achieve this, the Bank would prioritize efficiency over scale with the goal of achieving steady growth and sustainable returns to all our stakeholders and optimize its cost profile while providing its customers with ‘best in class’ service.
Adeola also said the Bank would bolster innovative banking driven by market insights that would enable it to satisfactorily serve its customers and earn their trust, implement significant investment in technology-led growth initiatives as well as accelerate remarkable growth of its non-interest banking segment.