Sterling bank plc reported 4.9 per cent increase in profit before tax to N8.02 billion in its nine months unaudited results for period ended September 30, 2020 as against N7.65billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2019.
Also from the lender’s profit and loss figures, the lender on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reported profit after tax of N7.4billion in nine months of 2020 as against N7.6billion reported in nine months of 2019.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sterling bank, Abubakar Suleiman in statement, said, “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.
“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. Overall, we delivered a 7.2per cent increase in operating income and a profit after tax of N7.37 billion despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to the bank, “Our 10.3per cent rise in total assets was driven by a 26.0 per cent growth in low-cost deposits leading to an improvement in share of CASA to total deposits from 60 per cent to 71 per cent. Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves.
“A 26.2 per cent dip in fee income occasioned by the downward review of electronic banking fees and slower loan origination due to the protracted lock down was moderated by a 264.7 per cent spike in trading income.
“Although interest income declined by 6.7 per cent as yields trended lower, a 17.0 per cent reduction in interest expense enabled a 120 bps drop in cost of funds and a 100 bps increase in net interest margin.
“In response to the pandemic and expected credit losses, we proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9 per cent while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9 per cent.
“OPEX declined by 3.3 per cent as we moderated administrative expenses despite growth in other balance sheet linked expenses, including AMCON charge and deposit insurance premium.
“We maintained a strong capital and liquidity position, recording 16.1 per cent Capital Adequacy Ratio and 32.5 per cent Liquidity Ratio respectively. Overall the Bank delivered a profit after tax of N7.37 billion for the 9-month period.”