Shareholders of Access Bank Plc on Wednesday commended the Bank’s consistent dividend policy while lauding the board on surpassing the N4 trillion mark on the Bank’s balance sheet. The shareholders also stated that the Bank’s corporate 5 year strategic objective will continue to enhance the Bank’s operations and ensure a more impressive dividend pay-out.
During the 2017 financial year, the Board declared and paid an interim dividend of 25 Kobo per share, for the half-year ended June 30, 2017. In light of recent performance, the board recommended the payment of a final dividend of 40 Kobo per share, bringing total dividend for the year ended December 31, 2017 to 65 Kobo per share.
Leaders of the Shareholders’ Group who spoke at the 29th Annual General Meeting of the Bank which held yesterday at the Federal Palace Hotels Victoria Island, Lagos remarked that the N4 trillion balance sheet mark achieved by the bank has solidified its position as a major player in the financial sector. The shareholders that contributed at the meeting include Adebayo Adetunji Adeleke of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Bisi Bakare, President of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN) and Muktar Muktar, President, Trusted Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (TSAN)
The Bank posted a gross earnings growth of 20 per cent, from N381.1 billion in 2016 to N459.1 billion in 2017. Shareholders’ Funds and Customer Deposits climbed by 13.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent from N454.5 billion in 2016 to N515.4 billion 2017 and N2.1 billion in 2016 to N2.2 billion in 2017 respectively.
Speaking at the meeting, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe said “We are having increase on all indices; Earnings per Share, Cost of Risk and Capital Adequacy Ratio which are the major ratios financial institutions are measured by. Looking at the top-line of major banks, we are doing well. The new phase of our 5 year corporate strategic plan will extensively cover what we could not achieve in the previous phase. We shall continue to invest in staff trainings in order to ensure our staff remain one of the best amongst their colleagues in the industry. As a customer friendly institution we have set-up an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) center and ombudsman complaints Call Center to tackle issues from customers.”
Commenting on the results, Wigwe said, “Our operating performance in 2017 was impacted by the residual effects of macro-economic conditions of 2016, characterised by slow economic expansion and adverse credit conditions, which resulted in making conservative provisions on our loan book. Despite the macro and regulatory headwinds, our underlying business remained strong as reflected in the gross earnings growth of 20 percent to N459 billion in 2017. We grew our loan book to position it for improved earnings, whilst driving deposit mobilization from targeted segments to diversify our funding base, he added.