By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Despite the harsh operating environment and economic situation in Nigeria, Wema Bank has continued to record a quantum growth. This has made it one of the most trusted financial institutions in the country.
Some have attributed this to the leadership style of its Managing Director, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, who since assuming office, has repositioned the bank into a dependable brand. No wonder the Bank of Uganda was in Nigeria to learn from Wema Bank few weeks ago.
In its unaudited financial results for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, Wema Bank’s gross earnings grew by 16.36 percent to N37.89 billion from N32.57 billion it recorded in the same period last year.
In the results obtained by Business Post, the bank showed a modest improvement in operating indices.
This is despite the domestic environment remaining largely strained.
Nigeria’s August 2016 manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI data showed underperformance(s) at 42.1 index points and 43.7 index points respectively.
Also, inflation maintained an upward trend from 17.6% (August 2016) to 17.9% (September 2016), though at a slower pace (May – September 2016), as rising interest rate and foreign exchange illiquidity continue to impact prices.
But in all these, Wema Bank maintained its commitment to innovation, introducing *945# and other digital initiatives.
These efforts continue to engender confidence with the bank’s customers, leading to a growth in savings deposits by 18.10% from N35.58 billion as at December 2015 to N42.02 billion as at the end of the period.
The bank optimized its balance sheet, as loans to customers rose by 20.78% to N177.01 billion with interest income expanding by 20.12 percent to N31.93 billion compared to last year while fees and commission increased by 16.79 percent to N4.41 billion.
Explaining how the bank was able to record successes despite the odds, MD/CEO of Wema Bank, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, explained that, “the streamlining of our processes and the leverage on technology led to improving efficiencies and cost optimisation, with operating expense declining by 1.77% Y-o-Y from N17.49 billion in September 2015 to N17.18 billion in September 2016 compared to a general inflation level of 17.9%.”
Mr Oloketuyi noted that, “We will continue to seek opportunities to improve our cost-to-serve through alternative channels and continued strategic improvements of our business model without compromising our service quality.”
“Our prudent risk management model continues to enable us deal with the industry-wide spikes in loan defaults and attendant rise in Non-Performing Loans (NPL).
“The NPL ratio for the Bank stood at 2.99% as at Q3’16 which is below the regulatory threshold of 5%. The coverage ratio for the Bank remained adequate at 124.82%,” he added.
“Going into the final quarter of the year, we do not envisage any material improvement in the operating environment,” he submitted, noting that, “Rather, we expect the gains of the fiscal and monetary policies to impact between Q1 & Q2’ 2017.”
“However, we believe we would close the year with improved performance,” he expressed optimism.
Mr Oloketuyi also declared that, “We are pleased to announce that we just concluded a Tier II capital raise of N20 billion.”
“This will boost our Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), currently at 13.36% (pre-capital raise) and supporting our medium term growth plan. More information will be provided once we obtain final regulatory approval,” he explained.
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