Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc, has approved the bank’s 18 kobo dividend for the 2014 financial year.
Reviewing the company’s performance at the 27th yearly general meeting of the bank in Lagos thursday the Chairman of the bank, Chief Christopher Ezeh appreciated the Shareholders for their unflinching loyalty and support and continued business patronage and assured them of the safety of their investment.
Also the Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo noted that the 2014 performance was a positive reinforcement of the medium term strategic objectives which are anchored on improving the efficiency of the balance sheet, growing the retail and SME business among others.
He explained that the bank has a solid platform for growth, underpinned by strong customer loyalty and significant investments in physical and electronic distribution channels.
“Our retail banking strategy gathered increased momentum in 2014 with the bank acquiring over 471,000 new retail customers, consumer loans growing by over 21 per cent and core low-cost retail deposit by 18 per cent which lowered our average cost of customer deposits”.
He informed shareholders that the banks operational efficiency improved as it leveraged on alternative electronic channels to reduce the cost to service, adding that the operating expenses, excluding regulatory costs, grow by just three percent in 2014 which was significantly below the inflation rate.
Okonkwo explained that the bank implemented a service programme centered on building a superior customer service franchise with product innovation and service turnaround in 2014.
The programme, according to him, was designed to improve the quality of services by speeding up processes and reducing response time to customer enquiries/complaints.
To achieve the objective, the bank Chief said that the bank flattened its sales structure to improve its speed to market, deepened customer interactions and centralized some of the processes previously performed in branches which availed branch staff more time for attending to customer needs and enquiries.
“We have also restructured our sales force into a flatter and more nimble organisation which is closer to the customers and aggressive enough to drive our market share aspirations in order to achieve our corporate strategy”.
Okonkwo assured shareholders that the bank is centralizing its processing functions which will reduce cost to serve and improve uniformity of customer service.
He pledged the management’s resolve to support the productive sector of the economy and grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs was further accentuated with the creation of the ‘Fidelity Managed SME’ team that provides financing, business advisory services, capacity development and shared technology platform to SMEs.