Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman.
By Barnabas Esiet.
Sterling Bank Plc, a full-service national bank, has reported an audited profit after tax (PAT) of N10. 6 billion on gross earnings of N150.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2019.
This represents a growth of N 1.4billion or 15℅ when compared to a net profit of N9.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said in a statement that the bank also got global recognition for its Micro banking services to the academic sector.
“In the final quarter of 2019, our relentless commitment to improving education through micro banking was rewarded with ‘The Banker’s Award for Banking in the Community’ on the global stage by the Financial Times of London.” He noted.
According to the report, Sterling Bank was ranked, in a KPMG banking survey, among the ‘top 3 banks in retail’ by consumers in Nigeria.
The report shows that despite a steady loan base and a decline in trading income, Sterling Bank recorded an increase of 24.3℅ in gross earnings, driven majorly by growth in fees and commissions, as it continues to diversify into key sectors of focus.
“In 2019, the bank delivered more than 200 percent increase in loans to its retail and consumer segment with its Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) above the regulatory limit all year round.” The statement read.
According to the CEO, the Bank’s cost-to-income ratio remained relatively flat year-on-year, even as operating expenses grew on the back of staff salaries and wages and spending on technology infrastructure as well as digital platforms.
Suleiman said the bank grew its deposit base by over N130 billion during the period under review, representing over 75 percent growth from the previous year figure of about N75 billion, as shareholders’ funds grew by 22.2 percent at the end of the year.
Data has shown that in comparison with its peers, Sterling delivered the highest percentage growth in terms of savings deposits and 2nd highest in terms of total low-cost deposits.
The Sterling Bank boss also noted that investments in technology allowed the bank to continuously record steady growth in the instant payments market contributing to the bank’s transactional revenue.
“The bank has continued to see traction in machine supported transactions, driven by the adoption of its digital channels, as a direct result, Sterling’s NIBBS Instant Payments (NIP) transaction volume grew by 78 percent compared to the previous year.” Suleiman said.