By Alex Chiejina
LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – The 2016 financial year has been a rather eventful one for the Nigerian economy. The year has been characterised by deceleration on a number of economic indicators coupled with increasing energy costs, intensified by rising inflation, all within a tough operating environment. The banking industry has also not been exempted from these challenges.
In spite of these challenges, Wema Bank has been able to deliver a modest improvement in the first half of the year. Interest income grew by 15.2% from N17.5 billion in H1 2015 to N20.2 billion in the current period, while fee and commission income improved significantly by 42.3% from N2.2 billion in H1 2015 to N3.1 billion in H1 2016.
This growth in non-interest revenues was driven by the bank’s ongoing initiative to enlarge its footprint in the retail space while keeping customers at the heart of its operations.
Operating expenses grew from N11.1 billion in H1 2015 to N11.4 billion at a rate of 2.7%, lower than Year-To-Date inflation rate of 13.26%. This, the Bank achieved through the continued migration of customers to alternative channels and deliberate efforts at reducing its cost to serve. These efforts are reflected in our Profit before Tax growing by 11% to N1.3 billion from N1.2 billion in H1 2015.