First Bank regains leadership position, grows profit by 65% to N151b

First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Holding Plc has reported a 65.4 per cent growth in its Profit After Tax (PAT) from N75.6 billion to N151.079 billion, while Profit Before Tax (PBT) doubled by 99.1 per cent to N166.66 billion in 2021 as against N83.7 billion in 2020.

The group’s audited report indicated an impressive double digit growth as top and bottom line gross earnings rose from N590.66 billion in 2020 to N757.30 billion in 2021.

Investors commended FBN’s performance when the bank released its 2021 financial statements, especially of its banking subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said to be indicative of its strong recovery from its dwindling financial position.

Reacting to the report, banking and capital market analysts said the impressive results signposted a regime of strong fundamentals after a period of restructuring by the board and management.

To mitigate the effects of low interest rate on investment securities and revenue generation, the bank intensified deposits mobilisation and funding strategy to support and enhance loan growth at optimised rates leading to a 5.7 per cent increase in interest expenses to N140.8 billion as against N133.2 billion in December 2020.

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During the period, noninterest revenue grew by 96.1 per cent to N364.6 billion as against N185.9 billion in the preceding year, on the back of increased fees and commissions on income, treasury activities and other operating income.

The FBN report showed that in its bid to further enhance its revenue generation capacity, First Pension Custodian Limited, a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited entered into an agreement with Access Bank Plc for a planned acquisition of the share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc.

Management of the bank maintained that the move would further boost its market share in the industry, aid revenue diversification and support annuity income.

“Our investment in agent banking, digitisation platforms, which our customers have adopted for improved customer penetration and deepened our solid retail franchise.

“This continues to provide us access to stable funding, reducing our cost of funds ratio to 2.1 per cent as of December 2020,while supporting the interest of our current and savings account at 91.2 per cent,” a statement issued by the bank read.

Also, total assets grew by 16.2 per cent year-on-year to N8.9 trillion in 2020 driven.

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