Despite the tough operating environment, Wema Bank plc recorded a double-digit growth in gross earnings, which rose 18.48 percent from N45.79 billion in 2015 to N54.25 billion in financial year ended December 2016, driven by an 18.61 percent and 13.61 percent increase in interest and non-interest income respectively.
Overall, the Bank continued to benefit from its improving brand acceptance and market penetration. This flowed through to the bottom-line with profit after tax being 14.10 percent higher at N2.59 billion compared to N2.27 billion in 2015.
“As a financial institution built on public trust, sound risk management practices remain at the core of our business model. The Bank was not immune from the impact of the economic slowdown and a more prudent approach was taken, in providing for some loans. We closed with a Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio of 5.07 percent from 2.67 percent in the prior year. In addition, our coverage ratio remains robust at 100 percent with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 11.07 percent, which is above the regulatory minimum of 10 percent”, Segun Oloketuyi, managing director/CEO said.
He said “funding remains at the core of the enterprise strategy; we reported an encouraging growth rate in our retail deposit volumes. We also intensified and contracted a couple of partnerships during the year which have contributed in good measure to customer acquisition”.
Looking ahead, he said the bank remains committed to leading and defining how the use of technology shapes the banking landscape in Nigeria and indeed Africa, with the introduction of *945# banking code amongst other innovative service offerings.
Oloketuyi added that “it is in this light and in our bid to offer our customers the best of “all worlds”, that I am pleased to announce that Wema Bank would launch the first fully digital bank in Africa in the first half of 2017. With this launch, we believe that the banking landscape is set for a major disruption by Wema Bank, with our offer of simple, convenient and reliable banking experience to members of the public. The launch is intended to enhance our business model, improve efficiency and reduce our cost to serve”.
“We expect the vestiges of the headwinds in the economy to remain in 2017. However, we remain optimistic about the Bank’s performance as we leverage on the continued growth of our digital and physical footprints to grow our market share and improve our returns to all stakeholders”.