Nigeria’s Sterling Bank 9-month Profit after tax dips 2.8% to N7.37 bln
By Samuel Bankole
Sterling Bank posted a profit after tax of N7.37 billion for the nine months to September 2020, representing a 2.84 percent decline over N7.58 billion posted in the same period of last year.
The bank in a regulatory filing on Thursday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) said it also posted N106.06 billion in gross earnings compared with N109.66 billion posted in the nine months period of 2019.
“Our performance reflects the positive results of strategic decisions and investments in our focus areas as we continued to record significant improvement in both funding and operational costs,” Chief Executive officer Abubakar Suleiman said in a statement.
According to Suleiman, despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank delivered a 7.2 percent increase in operating income.
“With economic activity picking up in the third quarter following the gradual ease in the nationwide lockdown, we continued to leverage on our existing remote work policy to enhance workforce productivity while ensuring uninterrupted service delivery to both existing and new customers,” the bank CEO said.
Sterling Bank said its total assets rose 10.3 percent and driven by a 26 percent growth in low-cost deposits leading to an improvement in share of CASA to total deposits from 60 percent to 71 percent.
“Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves. A 26.2 percent dip in fee income occasioned by the downward review of electronic banking fees and slower loan origination due to the protracted lockdown was moderated by a 264.7 percent spike in trading income.
“In response to the pandemic and expected credit losses, we proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9 percent while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9 percent,” the bank said.