Also Loans and advances rose to N1.855 trillion, from N1.409 trillion while Access Bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) stood at 2.1 per cent which was reflective of the bank’s prudent risk management.
Other indicators, like its net interest income rose by 32 per cent from N105.4 billion to N139.1 billion, while non-interest income grew marginally by 3.5 per cent to N134 billion, from N129 billion in the previous year.
Similarly, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios stood at 21 per cent and 43.6 per cent in that order.
However, just like all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country had experience a harsh operating environment and deteriorating loan books, Access Bank is not left out in that conditions as reported an increase in its credit impairment charge by 54.3 per cent from N14.2 billion in 2015 to N22 billion in 2016, while operating expenses rose by 10.1 per cent to N160.35 billion, from N145.6 billion.
Nevertheless the shareholders of Access Bank Plc smiled home from the their AGM, having received a total of N18.8 billion in dividends for the year ended December 31, 2016. The dividend translates to 65 koboper share, up from 55 kobo per share received in 2015.
The declaration of a better dividend payout for its shareholders was reflective of Access Bank’s better than expected revenue of N381.3 billion, an increase of 13 per cent from the N337.4 billion reported by the bank in 2015.
“With strong business fundamentals, our position in the top tier was further consolidated in the industry.”
Wigwe disclosed that, “The bank’s robust and proactive risk management practices and focus on high quality corporates ensured that it maintained an NPL ratio of 2.1 per cent, well below the industry average, whilst retaining a healthy balance sheet growth.”
He explained that although the macroeconomic conditions and corresponding implications on the banking industry remained uncertain, the bank’s diversified banking model, robust balance sheet and solid management team will give it the strength and resilience that will keep the financial institution in good stead.
In his addressing the shareholders at the AGM, Wigwe assured them that their bank was now stronger and well positioned to deliver long-term value to all stakeholders.
“By diligently executing our strategy, we will continue to maintain improved profitability and create the capacity to continue to invest in our key areas of strength.
“As we come to the end of our third five-year transformation journey, our top priority in the coming year will be to cement our position as a dominant corporate bank and establish ourselves as a formidable retail player, leverage digital technology and innovation to create value for our customers whilst unlocking new revenue streams and deliver seamless and superior customer experience across all our service touch points,” he said.
According to him, to secure its strategic aspiration to be a high performing diversified banking leader focusing on global best practices, “we consider it vital to maintain our disciplined capital position and tightened risk tolerances”.
Wigwe further reveleaed that despite the challenging economy, 2016 was a year of progress for Access Bank. “Many of our strategic choices we made over the years were validated when tested by the economic recession. These critical decisions included our business mix. Our risk management culture and our capital and liquidity strategies,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chairman of Access Bank, Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga, said the board will remain focused in its pursuit of shareholder value and continue to provide the stability and strategic direction the bank requires to deliver operational excellence in its bid to become the world’s most respected African bank.
All shareholders were delighted over the sterling financial performances in the year under review and urged the management to keep the operational light burning through to 2017 financial end.