1 June 2017

Nigeria: Economic Shortfall Pushes AMfB Profit to N700 Million

- Prioritises technology to drive financial inclusion, performance

Current economic downturn in Nigeria, particularly the disparity between the naira and other major currencies has pushed Accion Microfinance Bank Limited (AMfB's) Profit before tax to N700 million from N838 million in 2015, a decline, which indicates 17 per cent down from 2015.

The Chairman, Board of Directors, AMfB, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the implementation of its digital agenda would increase organisational productivity, reduce processing time and cost to carrying out transactions, and provide customers with better services in order to improve performance in the face of the challenges.

He noted that the bank grew its loan portfolio from N5.45 billion in 2015 to N6.12 billion in 2016, representing a 12 per cent growth, while total disbursements within the year grew from N13.77 billion to N15.58 billion in the same corresponding periods.

Considering that the economy experienced negative growth and had its first full year recession since 1987, particularly with a 1.51 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction in 2016, Akinwuntan said the bank remained strong and profitable while serving an increasing number of clients.

He said the company would have recorded N996 million in profits and a growth of 19 per cent on ordinary banking activities if the economy was stable. Noting that some of the bank's long term funding sources were denominated in foreign currency, Akinwuntan said the Board has planned policies to deal with currency exposure mismatches in the future.

"Our efforts at driving the savings culture in our customers over the years paid off as our number of savers grew by an average of 29 per cent and 20 per cent between 2015 and 2016 from 120,000 to 144,284 clients.

Similarly, the total number of accounts grew by 38 per cent over the years and 10 per cent from 222,158 to 245,095 during the period in review.

Deposits on the other hand grew at an average of 41 per cent from N144million in 2008 t0 N2 billion in 2016. It however declined marginally by five per cent between 2015 and 2016 from N2.12 billion," Managing Director, Bunmi Lawson said.

She noted that the bank increased its staff in the year under review to drive its expansion plan, adding that the total number of staff increased from 1001 in 2015 to 1042 as at December 2016.

Lawson stressed that the bank would leverage on technology as part of efforts in deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria and making significant improvements in service delivery.

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