Sterling Bank Plc has announced that the bank has adopted a strategic plan that would enable it increase customer base by 15 per cent in the next financial year from N684.8 billion achieved in 2017.
Besides, the bank is also projecting a non-performing loan (NPL) of less than five per cent in the current financial year against 6.2 per cent posted in 2017.
The Managing Director of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman, while addressing stockbrokers at its Facts behind the Figures, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in Lagos, this week, said the bank had aligned its business model to offer financial and non-financial solutions to five key priority sectors of the economy. They include: health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.
He explained that the bank’s choice of market segments was based on the understanding of emerging trends in the macro-economic environment, and opportunities in the sectors of interest.
Suleiman said Sterling Bank would continue to mobilise private sector capital to solve some of the most pressing social and economic needs of the people, adding that its intervention in these sectors would boost its performance as well as enhance their growth and development.
According to him, the bank recorded improved performance in its financials, which resulted in renewed investor’s confidence, adding added that this has seen its stock recording over 52 per cent year-to-date price gain.
Furthermore, he explained that the bank reported a profit after tax of N8.5billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2017, against N5.2billion in 2016, representing an increase of 65 per cent in profitability.
Gross earnings increased by 19.8 per cent to N133.5billion in 2017 compared to N111.4billion in 2016. Sustaining the impressive performance, Sterling Bank reported a profit growth of 65.2 per cent for the first quarter ended March 31st.
Suleiman disclosed that the bank is also looking towards achieving diversified income streams with top quartile position in all its operating areas, double digit revenue growth on yearly basis, and reduce cost of funds to less than five percent.
On the bank’s long-term strategy, the CEO disclosed that Sterling Bank intends to become a globally competitive ﬁnancial services franchise by ﬁnancial and non-ﬁnancial measures; adding that it would continue to operate a fully sustainable business model with institutionalised processes that would outlive the stewardship of current owners and managers.
He also reiterated the bank’s commitment to its primary role of financial intermediation through intervention in sectors that will create jobs, improve living standard and bring about economic growth for the country.
Speaking on the bank’s strategic initiatives, the Executive Director, Operations and Services, Yemi Odubiyi, said Sterling Bank would manage risks, balance sheet and capital to deliver superior returns to shareholders; create a learning organisation to optimise productivity and operations and technology, to drive better control, manage costs, complexity, and risk.
He said all these would enable the bank to deliver excellent customer service, and drive efficiency and sales through robust digital and payments capability.
He added that the bank intends to become a consumer banking franchise of choice through the provision of customer-centric and disruptive solutions, such as Farepay, Specta, Switch, Snapcash, Social Lender, Saf Retail and i-invest, and a host of other products.