Access Bank Plc is still savouring the benefits of its decision to merge with former Diamond Bank Plc as the lender recorded improved performance in the year ended December 31, 2019.
The merger process concluded in April last year and going by the audited results, shareholders of Access Bank Plc are getting a better deal.
The bank posted gross earnings of N576.348 billion, showing an increase of 32 per cent, from the N435.743 billion recorded in 2018. Net interest income increased jumped 59 per cent from N173.578 billion to N277.228 billion in 2019, while net fee and commission income rose from 42 per cent from N52.495 billion to N74.647 billion.
Access Bank Plc ended the year with a profit before tax (PBT) of N115.378 billion, up by 11.8 per cent, compared with N103.187 billion in 2018. However, the jump of 117 per cent in taxation from N8.207 billion in 2018 to N17.868 billion in 2019, made the lender to close the year with slower growth in profit after tax(PAT). Specifically, PAT rose from N94.981 billion to N97.509 billion.
The board of directors recommended a final dividend of 40 kobo compared to 25 kobo paid the previous year. The total dividend will come to 65 kobo have paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo before now.
A further analysis of the performance indicated that the Access Bank brand is appealing to more customers as deposits rose 66 per cent from N2.565 trillion to N4.255 billion. Loans and advances improved from N142,489 billion to N152.825 billion, while total assets grew 44 per cent from N4.956 trillion to N7.146 trillion.
The Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe had last November that the financial institution had been delivering robust performance in post merger, despite a challenging and fast-changing macro and banking landscape.
According to him, this further reinforces the bank’s sustainable business model and brand promise to deliver more to all stakeholders as we work to realise the envisioned synergies of merger.
He said the deliberate investments in expanding its digital lending portfolio resulted in higher daily volume disbursement, putting Access Bank in the forefront of digital lending.
“Going into the last quarter of the year, our focus remains on consolidating our retail momentum and driving financial inclusion. Furthermore, we will remain disciplined in our efforts to deliver enhanced shareholders’ value,with a focus on offering more than banking,” Wigwe had said.