Access Bank Plc has announced an increase of 11 per cent in its deposit base for the financial year ended December 31, 2013, according to its results released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday.
The report showed that the bank’s deposit base, which stood at N1.2tn the previous year, closed the financial year at N1.33tn.
Also, its loan book rose significantly by 33 per cent from N609bn in 2012 to N810bn in the year under review.
An analysis of the result showed that the bank’s earnings grew to N206.7bn up from N206.4bn in 2012, while its cost of funds recorded an improvement from 4.5 per cent to 4.6 per cent in the same period.
According to the bank, this demonstrates the bank’s resolve towards empowering critical sectors of the economy.
However, it posted a profit before tax of N44.9bn, which represented a 3.4 per cent drop compared to the N46.bn recorded for the corresponding period in 2012.
The bank attributed the decline to regulatory changes in the operating environment, some of which included the raising of the Cash Reserve Requirements on public sector deposits to 50 per cent from 12 per cent, reduction and removal of a number of fee income lines charges as well as the increase in the AMCON levy to 0.5 per cent.
Based on its performance, the bank declared a dividend payout of 60 kobo per share for its shareholders, following its payment of an interim dividend of 25 kobo, as well as a final dividend of 35 kobo per share.
The Group Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said “Access Bank’s 2013 earnings were impacted by several regulatory changes in the Nigerian banking sector. The bank’s balance sheet structure during the period further constrained growth and limited the yield on our earnings asset.
“Despite the difficult operating environment, the bank grew its loan book to position it for improved earnings, while driving deposit mobilisation from targeted segments to further reduce cost of funds.
“We also saw an increase in our non-interest income. As the business continues to grow, risk management remains fundamental to the bank’s philosophy evidenced by the reduction in the NPL ratio.
He expressed his excitement about the next phase of the bank’s evolution, adding that the five-year strategy plan would benefit the stakeholders.
“With our businesses realigned, we are now placing greater emphasis on providing services geared towards women and Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, as they underpin the next phase of economic growth. Infrastructure financing is another key focus for us going forward. Throughout the next phase, we will continue to invest in technology to ensure that we build a customer experience that is both innovative and sustainable,” he said.