Shareholders of Access Bank Plc have said they remained optimistic that the bank’s performance would improve in the next financial year.
This is even as they hailed its Board, management and staff for the impressive performance for the 2019 financial year.
Speaking at the company’s 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM)which was held by proxy in Lagos recently d, the founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, said Access Bank Plc had a good foresight by merging with defunct Diamond Bank Plc, noting that the professional and seamless manner with which the integration was done should be commended while adding that the future remains very bright for all shareholders, considering the synergy the merger has brought to the Bank and the expertise the management and staff continued to deploy to ensure it maintains a leading role in the retail banking space.
Nwosu also commended leading efforts of the bank in the private-sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), supporting the Federal Government to fight the pandemic.
On her part, Mrs Bisi Bakare of Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria said unlike some of its competitors, Access Bank has recorded increased profits in the past three years, noting that shareholders have confidence in the board and management to continue to deliver improved performance, going forward.
In his address, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, the Group delivered a 26 per cent increase in gross earnings of N666.8billion from N528.7billion in 2018, comprising interest in-come growth of 41 per cent from previous levels to N155.9billion despite declining interest rate environment.
“The effects of an enlarged loan book contributed significantly to the interest income growth of N155.9billion (+41 per cent y/y), leading to strong bottom-line figures. The net effect on operating income resulted in strong profit before tax (PBT) of N115.4billion as against N103.2billion in 2018. The strength of the performance reflects a growing franchise supported by digital capabilities and improving customer service touchpoints.