Wema Bank Plc saw its deposits grow by 59.65 per cent to N1.86tn in 2023 from N1.16tn in the previous year.

According to the lender’s full-year 2023 audited financial statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, its profit before tax improved by 196 per cent to N43.59bn from N14.75bn in 2022 and return on equity stood at 39.28 per cent.

The bank disclosed that it raised N40bn in its first tranche of capital raise but awaiting final regulatory approvals.

The directors of Wema Bank have proposed a 50 kobo dividend per share for 2023, up from 30 kobo in the previous year.

In his reaction, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Moruf Oseni, said, “2023 showcased a revitalised Wema Bank as evidenced by the considerable improvements in our numbers. The performance is headlined by impressive improvements in profit before tax, which grew strongly by 196 per cent.

“The growth of gross earnings by 72 per cent, total assets by 56 per cent and earnings per share at 279.5 kobo shows the core improvements to our balance sheet. In addition, our cost-to-income ratio of 64.37 per cent has witnessed significant improvement from the previous period.”

The bank boss added that the N40bn it raised had positioned it for the new capital licensing requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria. “Wema Bank will accelerate its capital management plans and ensure we embark on the journey to raise the required capital as quickly as possible.

“We are satisfied with the bank’s performance in the first year of the new leadership team, as we move on a strong growth trajectory. Our target remains clear, we want to become a top-tier bank in the industry powered by digital excellence, we have carved a niche for ourselves with ALAT as a retail platform, but we are now positioning the enterprise as the intelligent platform for all financial services.

“We have partnered with the Federal Government on upskilling two million MSMEs, provided engagement platforms for all NYSC members and now implementing partnerships in health, education, women’s empowerment and the green economy.”

“In the months ahead, we will be developing platforms and supporting initiatives that prioritise the needs of our customers, leveraging technology to solve problems across all sectors,” Oseni declared.

Providing the outlook of the bank for 2024, the bank’s Chairman Board of Directors, Dr Oluwayemisi Olorunshola, stated, “In the coming year, the bank will continue to push for growth and the achievement of its strategic objectives.

“GDP growth rates of four per cent (Sub-Saharan Africa) and 3.1 per cent (Nigeria) projected for 2024 indicate that there will be some opportunities in the larger economy for growth which will open up new markets. This outlook, however, is uncertain, as the associated risks are skewed to the downside, with achievement dependent on a few factors.”

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