By Goddy Egene
Access Bank Plc has recorded gross earnings of N211.12 billion in the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2020. This, represented an increase of 31.85 per cent above the N160.12 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019. Net interest income rose from N56.838 billion to N72.212 billion, while non-fee and commission income improved from N13.068 billion to N22.998 billion.
However, impairment charges jumped from N3.375 billion to N8.582 billion. The bank recorded an increase in operating expenses from N55.14 billion in Q1 2019, to N90.31 billion due to the rise in AMCON fees and administrative expenses.
Profit before tax (PBT) increased by 2.64 per cent from N45.10 billion to N46.29 billion in Q1 2020, while profit after tax settled at N40.92 billion in the period under review, from N41.14 billion in Q1 2019.
A further analysis of the results showed that net loans and advances increased by 2.61 per cent to N3.14 trillion from N3.06 trillion in full year (FY) ended 2019, while customer deposits rose by 4.7 per cent to N4.45 trillion from N4.25 trillion in FY 2019. Total assets expanded by 1.87 per cent to N7.28 trillion from N7.14 trillion in FY 2019.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, had said last month said the bank completed the merger and business combination of the erstwhile Diamond Bank making it the biggest bank in Nigeria by total assets and number of customers as well as a significant retail footprint and infrastructure.
According to him, the business combination allowed them complement their existing strong wholesale business with Diamond’s extremely developed retail business.
He had added that the bank intended to carry on the positive momentum from 2019 and invest in digital solutions including Artifcial Intelligence and advance analytics.
“Our resolve is to ensure that our customers have best in speed, service and security. We projected merger synergies of N153.9 billion (cost and revenue) over three years. Thus far, we have recorded synergies totalling N42.8 million in nine months, of which N28.8 million is recoveries. In 2020, we expect to realise significant cost synergies, which will substantially cut down our cost and boost profitability. Being a systemically important Nigerian bank, we are aware that sustainable returns can only come from a sustainable and resilient business model. As such, our intent to embed resilience at the core of our financing activity is further strengthened, as we journey together to building a bank that is more than banking,” Wigwe said.