• FCMB group plans business expansion through microfinance bank

    Mr Ladi Balogun, CEO First City Monument Bank
    Mr Ladi Balogun, CEO First City Monument Bank
    FCMB Group is perfecting arrangement to float a microfinance bank (MFB) as a full subsidiary to expand its business opportunities, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ladi Balogun, has said.
    Balogun disclosed this at the company’s third Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos on Friday.
    Balogun said the microfinance bank was part of financial inclusion activities of the bank as it would capture the unbanked in the rural areas.
    He said the bank would not establish more new branches, but would use the MFB to extend its services to the rural dwellers.
    He stated that improvement in its operating efficiency would be the major focus in 2016 by achieving about nine per cent in cost savings.
    We will continue to intensify our retail banking investment drive, particularly in alternative channels such as ATM, POS and agent banking.
    We will seek to achieve similar levels of revenue growth as we attained in 2015.
    However, with a focus on alternate channels, costs will remain relatively flat hence profitability in retail banking will rise significantly,” Balogun said.
    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that shareholders at the meeting approved the bank’s total dividend of N1.98 billion declared for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2015.
    The dividend translated to 10k per share as against the 25k paid in 2014.
    Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the company for the dividend in spite of operational challenges.
    Nwosu said the company needed to increase its investment in agriculture sector for enhanced growth and development.
    He said that the company, through its banking subsidiary, should be careful to avoid further exposition to oil and gas.
    According to him, oil and gas exposition has brought down a lot of financial institutions.
    Dr Jonathan Long, Chairman of FCMB Group, said although 2015 posed many challenges, the group was able to develop its core banking franchise profitably.
    Long said the group would deal successfully with the challenges of 2016 and continue to lay a path for future growth.
    Mr Peter Obaseki, FCMB Group Managing Director, said the company would remain committed to building a premier financial services group and sustainable returns to shareholders.
    Obaseki said that the company would fully launch a micro-finance business as a full subsidiary of the group.
    He explained that the company would seek opportunities to improve controlling participation in the pension fund industry.
    We expect our non-pension asset management and private trusteeship business to grow more steadily,” Obaseki said.
    The company during the period under review posted gross earnings of N152.51 billion compared with N148.64 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2014.
    Profit before tax stood at N7.68 billion from N23.87 billion achieved in 2014, while profit after tax dropped to N4.68 billion from N22.07 billion in the preceding period of 2014.
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