Fidelity Bank posts strong 2023 performance

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Fidelity Bank posts strong 2023 performance

Fidelity Bank posts strong 2023 performance

Fidelity Bank has posted very strong financial performance for the 2023 financial year. At a virtual annual general meeting (AGM) held on Friday, May 31, 2024, the bank provided shareholders with an opportunity to review its performance for the year ended December 31, 2023, and receive updates on strategic initiatives.

Strong financial performance

James Reynolds Baiden, Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank, addressed shareholders, highlighting the Bank’s resilience in a challenging economic climate. “Notwithstanding the macro-economic challenges, 2023 was a year of strong performance and significant recovery for Fidelity Bank, evident in our record revenues and profits,” Mr. Baiden stated.

He announced a significant turnaround, with operating income rising 40percent year-on-year, from GH¢1.43 billion in 2022 to GH¢2.03 billion in 2023. Profitability also saw a dramatic shift, reversing a recorded loss of GH¢518 million in 2022 to a profit of GH¢1.17 billion in 2023. Mr. Baiden attributed this growth to the Bank’s strong performance across all business segments including Retail Banking, Corporate and Institutional Banking, and Financial and Capital Markets.

Balance sheet expansion and growth

Mr. Baiden reported that the Bank’s Total Assets grew by 25percent to reach GH¢17.22 billion at the end of 2023, driven by a 28percent increase in Customer Deposits, which closed the year at GH¢12.65 billion. The incremental funding enabled the Bank to grow its Loans and Advances Portfolio by 17percent to GH¢3.21 billion, and its Investment Securities book by 28percent to GH¢7.70 billion in 2023.

The Bank witnessed a notable 119percent increase in Shareholder Funds, reaching GH¢ 1.44 billion at the end of the year. This growth followed a sharp decline to GH¢ 0.66 billion in 2022, attributable to the Bank’s provisioning for expected credit losses occasioned by the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

The strong financial performance of the Bank improved its year-end Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), with regulatory reliefs, from 16.8percent in 2022 to 20.9percent in 2023, indicating that the Bank remains adequately capitalized. The Bank’s Balance Sheet performance places it as the 5th largest bank in Ghana by Total Assets.

Commitment to innovation and sustainability

Mr. Baiden emphasized Fidelity Bank’s focus on innovation. “We continue to invest in technology-driven solutions to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction in this digital era,” he said. “The Bank is also forging partnerships with FinTech (financial technology) firms and sustainable development organizations to align our strategies with emerging growth areas in financial services and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) propositions for greater value creation,” Mr. Baiden added.

Supporting local businesses and agriculture

The AGM also highlighted Fidelity Bank’s commitment to supporting the Ghanaian economy. Julian Opuni, Managing Director, stated, “Fidelity Bank is committed to empowering local businesses and fostering economic growth. In 2023, we provided over GH¢2 billion in credit to businesses across key sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, services, and commerce.”

Recognizing the importance of agriculture, Mr. Opuni further stated, “Over 10percent of our loan portfolio is dedicated to supporting agricultural businesses, from established enterprises to small-scale entrepreneurs. Leveraging partnerships with the major like-minded players in the agribusiness space such as Development Bank, Ghana and the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL), we extended credit combined with capacity-building services to agricultural entrepreneurs.”

Looking ahead, Mr. Opuni announced plans to expand support for early-stage agribusinesses, particularly those led by female entrepreneurs. He highlighted the Mastercard BRIDGE-in Agriculture program, which aims to support 200,100 smallholder farmers, impacting over 280,000 women and youth, and creating over 20,000 new jobs in the next five years.

AGM outcomes and recognition

At the AGM, Shareholders of the Bank adopted the reports of the Directors, Auditors, and the Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2023. The Shareholders also passed a resolution to declare a final dividend per share of GH¢ 3.41 for the same period; ratified the appointment of a Non-Executive Director; re-elected three (3) Directors retiring by rotation; and authorized the Directors to fix the remuneration of the Auditors.

Additionally, the AGM showcased Fidelity Bank’s achievements and numerous awards received throughout the year, including Best Bank for Financial Inclusion Ghana 2023, CSR Bank of the Year, Best Commercial Lending Firm Ghana 2023, and Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Ghana.

Fidelity Bank’s strong 2023 performance positions the bank for continued growth and leadership in the Ghanaian financial sector. The bank’s commitment to innovation, customer service, and supporting local businesses highlights its distinctive role as a key player in driving Ghana’s economic development.

Source: Thebftonline

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