Diamond Bank Plc on Monday laid its Q3 2017 financial scorecard on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, displaying moderate growth in key financial parameters despite the lull trailing economic activity after the country exited recession.
For the nine months business period, the Bank’s gross earnings jumped by 11 per cent year-on-year to N168.4 billion, while profit before tax surged by 71 per cent to N6.7 billion.
Impairment charges shrunk by 16 per cent to N35.3 billion year-on-year, reflecting management’s prudent approach to loan underwriting.
Although operating costs rose by 16 per cent to N54.3 billion from N46.7 billion in the corresponding period last year, this increase, according to the Bank, is due to the huge investment in technology acquisition in line with the management’s strategic set goal to continue to lead the digital revolution in driving the development and delivery of world-class financial products and services in the sub-sector.
During this business period, the Bank curtailed staff costs, which shrank by 5 per cent year-on-year.
This was because of the migration of more transactions from branches and the banking hall to the digital mobile platforms, leading to 95 per cent increase in online banking and mobile transactions.
Most analysts, brokers and industry watchers who commented on the financial result on the trading floor of the Exchange, opine that the profit volume for the business period, may be shrouding the high value and interesting opportunities in Diamond Bank.
This is because the constructive management embarked on in the last half decade has led to the continuous deployment of cutting-edge technology and digital infrastructure, demonstrating the Bank’s preparedness to maintain the lead in digital banking and dominate the industry with strong digital network for generating cheap deposits from the retail and middle market segments.
Commenting about the results, the Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the Bank’s modest growth in the last three business quarters under review despite the lull in economic activity and hazy operating environment, was the result of management’s focus on key strategic projections across the three core segments of retail, business and corporate banking.
Dozie added that the Bank has a lot to do as the management will continue to passionately pursue its technology-driven retail strategy to optimise cost, boost financial performance in the medium to long term and strengthen support for MSMEs.
He said: “We are happy with the progress we have made against our technology-led retail strategy and in areas of our financial performance, but there is more to do in the remaining quarter and beyond. Specifically, we are committed to further developing our technology and operational infrastructure that allows us to scale rapidly, efficiently and cost effectively across Nigeria.”
Economists and keen industry observers are of the view that as the economy waddles on the path to full recovery and strong economic activity after the exit from recession, Diamond Bank’s resolve to strengthen its partnerships with domestic and international bodies including MTN, The Gates Foundation and World Women Banking, will help boost and promote innovations in the development of products to drive financial inclusion in the country, and, in extension, shore up customer and deposit base in the business years ahead.
Dozie said: “Looking ahead, we expect the Nigerian economy to further improve during the remainder of the year and into 2018. Therefore, we plan to make more financial support available to small and medium business owners and have revamped our propositions to this segment in anticipation of this. This is fully aligned to our ethos of fuelling growth across Nigeria by supporting businesses and entrepreneurship.”
The Bank’s capital adequacy and liquidity ratios remained stable at 15.8 per cent and 32.7 per cent, which is far above the regulatory requirements of 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
Diamond Bank is one of the eight banks designated as systemically important banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2013 and, was rated in 2016 as one of the top three customer-centric banks by KPMG Professional Services, providing reliable and dependable financial services to corporate and individual customers in Nigeria and West Africa. The Bank is a leading retail banking franchise and has remained the leader in the MSME segment.
Diamond Bank was named and awarded the Best Bank in Financial Inclusion Services and Best Mobile Banking App in the quarter under review at the prestigious Businessday Banking Awards.