Wema Bank holds AGM, launches Africa’s first fully digital bank

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L-R: Oluwole Ajimisinmi, Company Secretary, Wema Bank Plc; Adeyinka Asekun, Chairman and Segun Okoketuyi, Managing Director at the 2016 Wema Bank AGM in Lagos on Wednesday May 10, 2017.

Nigeria’s Wema Bank Plc on Wednesday held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) during which the financial report for the year ending December 31, 2016 was presented to shareholders.

As a future-thinking bank dedicated to continuously providing convenient banking opportunities for its loyal customers and the general public, the Bank also recently launched ALAT, Nigeria’s first fully Digital Bank.

The report showed that the bank recorded a double-digit growth in gross earnings at 18.48% from N45.79 billion to N54.25 billion, driven by an 18.61% and 13.61% increase in Interest and Non-Interest Income respectively. The bank recorded a Profit After Tax of N2.59 billion, rising 14.10% over the N2.27 billion recorded in 2015.

Speaking on the bank’s performance, the MD/CEO, Segun Oloketuyi explained that despite the challenging economic environment in 2016, particularly in the banking industry, the Bank benefited from its improving brand acceptance and market penetration.

“Sound risk management practices remain at the core of our business model. The Bank was not immune to the impact of the economic slowdown, but a more prudent approach was taken, in providing for some loans. We closed with a Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio of 5.07% from 2.67% in the prior year. In addition, our coverage ratio remains robust at 100% with Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 11.07%, which is above the regulatory minimum of 10%.”

He noted that funding remained at the core of the enterprise strategy, saying,“We reported an encouraging growth rate in our retail deposit volumes. We also intensified and contracted a couple of partnerships during the year which have contributed in good measure to customer acquisition.”

On the launch Africa’s first fully Digital Bank, he explained: “We remain committed to leading and defining how the use of technology shapes the banking landscape in Nigeria and indeed Africa, with the introduction of our *945# banking code amongst other innovative service offerings. It is in this light and in our bid to offer our customers the best of “all worlds”, that I am pleased to announce that Wema Bank has launched ALAT, Africa’s first fully digital bank. With this launch, we believe that the banking landscape is set for a major disruption by Wema Bank, with our offer of simple, convenient and reliable banking experience to members of the public. The launch is intended to enhance our business model, improve efficiency and reduce our cost to serve.”

On what to expect in the new financial year, he said, “We expect the vestiges of the headwinds in the economy to remain in 2017. However, we remain optimistic about the Bank’s performance as we leverage on the continued growth of our digital and physical footprints to grow our market share and improve our returns to all stakeholders.”

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