Edward Effah, Board Chairman of Fidelity Bank, has attributed the bank’s strong performance in 2019 to the consistent support it received from customers who stayed loyal to the brand.
Despite the uncertainty that continued into 2019 as a result of the financial sector clean-up by the regulators, Bank of Ghana (BoG) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fidelity Bank announced a 33% increase in profit before tax to GH¢322million for 2019, representing an impressive growth from the GH¢242million recorded in 2018.
“We would not have been able to record these financial achievements without the support of our customers, and for that I thank all of our customers for contributing to our continued success,” Mr. Effah said at a virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) for its shareholders to receive and adopt the reports of directors, auditors and the financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2019.
“2019 was a good year for Fidelity Bank, in spite of the uncertainties which characterised the financial services industry in Ghana. Each of our three strategic business units – retail banking, corporate & institutional banking and financial & capital markets – registered significant growth during the year,” he said.
Mr. Effah further shared that: “Our balance sheet remains one of the largest and strongest in the country, as we closed the year with a balance sheet size of GH¢10.48billion – up from the 2018 asset balance of GH¢7.02billion.” Mr. Effah also added: “The bank is sufficiently capitalized, and will continue to execute our medium-term strategy while making the appropriate investments in our people, culture and technology to better serve our clients”.
In addition to presenting strong financial results, the bank addressed impact of COVID-19 and its focus on protecting its employees, helping its customers, and supporting national efforts to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Julian Opuni, assured shareholders that Fidelity Bank has thoroughly assessed potential impacts of the pandemic and has put in place measures to mitigate the risks to its operations and customers.
Fidelity Bank, he said, has taken a proactive approach that focuses on serving customers through an enhanced digital offering, and serving the larger community through targetted financial contributions and strategic partnerships.
“It was important to provide the necessary support for our customers to alleviate the liquidity pressure exerted by the economic effects of COVID-19. Interest rate reductions, loan repayment holidays and loan restructuring were some of the key tools we used to provide financial relief for our customers,” disclosed Mr. Opuni.
In addition to the financial relief that it offered customers, Fidelity Bank is also concerned with the safety of customers and of their employees. To that end, they provided every branch with handwashing stations, thermometers, safety materials, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitisers; and established other preventive measures to protect customers and employees.
At the national level, the bank partnered with the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund and supported construction of the COVID-19 Infectious Disease and Isolation Facility with a donation of GH¢1,000,000. It also donated over 3,000 PPEs to the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi; and GH¢30,000 worth of PPEs to the Kumasi South Hospital.
“In the coming months, we will launch initiatives aimed at supporting various segments of the economy including SMEs, the youth and others. These projects reinforce our commitment to working together with our customers and the general public to achieve more through our collective efforts,” concluded Mr. Opuni.