management of the bank to ensure that it pay dividend in the current
financial year by doing away with some of its old habits.
Specifically, the National Coordinator of Standard Shareholders
Association, Godwin Anono, who flayed the bank’s non-payment of
dividend in the previous financial year, urged the bank to do
everything within its powers to increase shareholders’ value in the
current year through dividend payout.
Another shareholder activist and Chairman, Ibadan Zone Shareholders
Association of Nigeria, Shola Aboderin commended the bank for
achieving a profit of N2.2 billion and four per cent rise in its
assets but he, however, advised the bank to reduce its expenses,
especially in administration and advertisement.
Other shareholders commended the bank for converting its banking license
from a regional bank to a national one, urging the bank to work out
modalities that would enable it to boost its profitability in the current financial year.
They also stressed the need for the bank to work more on its deposit, profit and non-performing loans in order to improve in its performance.
However, the bank assured that it is currently working out modalities
that would facilitate payment of dividend to shareholders in the
current financial year and increase profitability.
The Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Tunde Mabawonku, while
fielding questions from journalists during the bank’s yearly general
meeting, held in Lagos on Thursday explained that the process of
dividend payout to shareholders of the bank is on-going, adding that
the bank’s financials would be in a position to pay dividend by the
end of 2016 financial year.
“The process of paying dividend is on-going, if you look at the
balance sheet of the bank, there are some elements called negative
retained earning that we have on the books, very soon we will be
coming back again to seek shareholders consent to do some scheme of
rearrangement to move some balance of the negative retained earnings
to the share premium.
“Until we do that, the bank will be on the position to pay dividend
and I think we would do that this year, hopefully once we get the
clearance from the regulators, we will come back again before the end
of the year to get the shareholders consent and by the end of 2016 the
financial will be in a position to pay dividend”.
On the steps, taken so far to enhance profit and grow the bank’s
deposit, he said; “We are doing a lot in terms of cost efficiency and
in the areas we can minimize cost, we would do so, but most
importantly for us is to grow the retail business, so we are doing a
lot in campuses and schools and we have seen improvement in the number
of accounts and with this, performance will increase in 2016.”
Reviewing its performance, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank,
Segun Oloketuyi explained that the bank was able to sustain its
transformation drive with total deposits for the period growing about
10 per cent over the prior year to N284.9 billion.
Gross earnings, according to him rose to N46.0 billion from N42.19
billion recorded in 2014, and closed the year with profit before tax
remaining stable at N3.05 billion compared to N3.09bn in 2014.
“Given the challenging outlook for 2016, the Bank has started the year
with a renewed focus on its strategic aspiration of becoming a leading
retail bank in Nigeria.
“The continued implementation of Project L.E.A.P- (the Bank’s Growth
Strategy), narrowed our focus and channeled our efforts towards
specific opportunities with great potential and symbiotic
relationships. This strategy, in its final phase, will continue to
guide the Bank’s allocation of resources in 2016,” he added.