Fidelity’s efforts at driving its digital banking strategy is paying off under Okonkwo as 80 per cent of total transactions are now done on these platforms
Among the Nigerian banks’ CEOs that stay true to their passion, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, stands tall. While some charge very high interest rates on loans granted to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Fidelity Bank, under his watch, sets aside N60 billion credit line for the sector and continues to grant loans at attractive rate and flexible repayment plan.
This, according to him, is part of his bank’s resolve to support the productive sector of the economy and grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs. Fidelity Bank was last year recognised for this and awarded the “SME Friendly Bank of the Year 2017 by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI).
For the past four years, the bank has been growing in leaps and bounds under Okonkwo. Its Balance Sheet and income indicators, including deposits, loans, total assets, gross earnings and non-interest income can all attest to this. For instance, prior to his assumption of office, profit before tax in 2013 was N9.03 billion; gross earnings stood at N126.92 billion; total assets, N1. 081 trillion, while total customer deposits was put at N806.32 billion. But all that have changed.
The 2018 half year results saw the bank recording double-digit growth in key revenue lines. Gross profits rose to N13 billion, while profit after tax grew by 31 per cent to N11.8 billion, from N9.03 billion in 2017, a performance Okonkwo attributed to the “disciplined approach in managing the Balance Sheet growth of the bank, its strategic cost containment initiatives, focused attention to chosen business segments and determined execution of its retail and digital banking strategy.”
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Fidelity Bank’s efforts at driving its digital banking strategy is paying off under Okonkwo as 80 per cent of total transactions are now done on these platforms. About 40 per cent of the customers have now enrolled on the digital platforms in the first six months of the year to boost non-interest income to N14.3 billion.
Okonkwo also grew the electronic channels of the bank astronomically, from 574 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and 7, 759 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in 2013 to 778 ATMs, two million ATM cards and 1.6 million mobile customers and 4, 513 PoS terminals in 2018. All these have earned him The Sun Banker of the Year 2018.
Before becoming the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Fidelity Bank on January 2, 2014, Okonkwo was its Executive Director, Commercial and Consumer Banking, South Directorate. He was also once the Chief Operating Officer of UBA, Ghana.
He holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Benin and also MBA, Banking and Finance from Enugu State University of Technology, Nigeria. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) of INSEAD, the business school of the world in France.