By Nkiruka Nnorom
FBN Holdings Plc has said it would intensify effort to recover all outstanding legacy loans as well as forestall the formation of new Non-Performing Loans, NPLs, in its loan book. The bank also declared N9.3 billion dividends, which translates to 26kobo per share, for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.
Chief Oba Otudeko, Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc, who gave the assurance at the Group’s seventh Annual General Meeting, AGM, in Lagos, said the Group is poised to reduce its NPL ratio to single digit by the end of 2019.
He said: “Recovery efforts on all accounts provisioned are in progress. We have taken the decision to to revamp the entire risk management process to address the legacy loan books through various remedial actions including recoveries and to forestall formation of new NPL in the commercial banking vintage loan book. It is noteworthy to highlight that our vintage book, which represents new risk assets portfolio at the commercial bank has NPL ratio of 0.3 percent as at the end of 2018, an early indication of the strength of our risk management process. I want to assure you that no kobo that belongs to our bank will be left in the hands of third party.”
Otudeko assured that the bank has mapped out strategies aimed at ensuring enhanced value creation for the shareholders. “We are not resting on our laurels, and our renewed approach to synergy and innovation will be major drivers to unlocking earnings potential for our group. We believe that our efforts to integrate our offerings and provide end-to-end solutions for our customers will create a competitive advantage in our markets,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr. Urum Kalu Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings, said: “2019 represents for us the year of inflection. All leading indicators, derived from our numbers, point to the commencement of growth across businesses, markets and indices. As we transition to a new strategic planning cycle post-2019, we are confident that the focused execution of our strategy, investment in future-enabling technologies, development of our talents and our re-engineered processes to repositioning the group for ultimate benefit of the shareholders.”
The duo of Mr Patrick Ajudua, National Chairman, New Dimension Shareholders Association, NDSA, and Dr. Farouk Umar, Chairman, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, commended the bank’s risk management initiatives, saying that it has impacted positively on its NPL ratio.
They also commended the growth of the agency banking and said that it has helped to increase the visibility of FirstBank across the country.