Sterling Bank Plc has reported an audited profit after tax (PAT) of N10. 6 billion on gross earnings of N150.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to a net profit of N9.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2018, representing a growth of 15 percent.
Commenting on the financial performance, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman, said, “In the final quarter of 2019, our relentless commitment to improving education through micro banking was rewarded with ‘The Banker’s Award for Banking in the Community’ on the global stage by the Financial Times of London.”
He said the bank was also ranked ‘top 3 banks in retail’ by Nigerian consumers in a KPMG banking survey – a major accomplishment for the brand – and overall, the bank delivered a 15 percent growth in profit after tax to N10.6 billion as at December 2019.
According to the banker, the bank recorded an increase in gross earnings, driven majorly by growth in fees and commissions by 24.3 percent, despite a steady loan base – as it continues to diversify into key sectors of focus – and a decline in trading income.
In 2019, the bank delivered more than 200 percent increase in loans to its retail and consumer segment with its Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) above the regulatory limit all year round.
This is even as he disclosed that the bank’s digital lending product continued to set the trend with more than N45 billion disbursed to more than 50,000 customers while interest expense declined by 10.9 percent driven by a 19.4 percent year-on-year increase in low-cost deposits as the bank continues to grow its Retail & Consumer base, resulting in a 110 bps drop in the cost of funds and consequently, a 130 bps increase in net interest margin.