Shareholders of Wema Bank Plc have applauded the management for improved performance in 2018, and enhancing their return on investment through dividend payout after 14 years of non-payment.
The shareholders, who spoke at the yearly general meeting, in Lagos, on Wednesday, approved the N1.157 million total dividend, culminating in 3kobo per share due to every investor of the bank for the 2018 financial year.
Specifically, the President, Greenwich Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Williams Adebayo, expressed satisfaction with current operations especially the innovative payment system, ‘Wema Bank Alat’.
He noted that the digital platform, which was launched in May 2017, has improved retail liabilities and customer base, as over 1,000 new customers are on-boarded daily on the digital platform.
“They should shut down unprofitable branches and improve on these innovative platforms. They need to employ more talents and train them to enhance sustainability. They should also create products that would serve the needs of the youth.”
Reviewing its financials, Wema Bank Chairman, Babatunde Kasali, attributed the bank’s improved performance to its major focus on innovations and technology enhancement, provision of excellent customer service, effective risk management mechanism and broadening its national footprint.
He explained that the bank posted a profit before tax of N4.8billion, a 59.4 per cent increase year-on-year (YoY) from the N3.01billion recorded same period in 2017.
He said the bank also recorded a growth of 47.34 per cent in its profit after tax to N3.33billion from the N2.26billion recorded in 2017, total assets also increased from N388.15billion to N488.53billion YoY, with interest and non-interest income N57.63billion and N13.89billion, respectively, from N53.07billion and N12.19billion.
He added that the international rating agencies, Fitch, Agusto, and GCR re-affirmed Wema Bank’s national long-term rating at BBB.
Also speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ademola Adebise, said despite the challenging macro-environment, the bank delivered modest improvement at the end of the 2018 financial year.
He assured shareholders that the bank would continue to improve on its deposit mobilisation, also pruning its cost of funds.
“We opened new branches at Aba, Ilupeju, Sangotedo, while we refreshed our Lafenwa, Babcock, Warri and Egbeda branches to better serve and expand our customer base,” he added.