By Kayode Tokede
Sterling Bank plc increased its customer deposits by 2.5 per cent in unaudited result and accounts for half year ended June 30, 2020.
The bank reported N915.2billion customer deposits as at June 30, 2020 from N892.7billion reported in full year ended December 31, 2019.
As customer deposits appreciated, the lender’s loans & advances to customers dropped by 0.6 per cent to N615.1billion as at H1 2020 from N618.7billion reported in 2019.
Despite decline in loans & advances to customers, Sterling bank reported 9.5 per cent increase in total assets from N1.18trillion in 2019 to N1.29trillion as at H1 2020.
In terms of assets quality, the lender reported Non-Performing Loan (NPL) of 2.1 per cent from 2.2 per cent reported in 2019 while Capital Adequacy Ratio closed H1 2020 at 15.6 per cent from 14.7 per cent reported in 2019.
Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleman in a statement said, “Our impressive half year performance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic disruption belies the rough seas ahead. In the second quarter of the reporting period, we focused on empowering our stakeholders to respond to the unprecedented disruption occasioned by prolonged restriction to movement while supporting them to adapt to new ways of banking.
“Our commitment to digitization was validated as we continued to serve existing & new customers through our mobile and digital platforms. We also responded to the uncertainty by doubling down on cost optimization while leveraging our existing remote work policy to keep our workforce productive without risking COVID-19 infection. Notwithstanding rising inflation, we were able to moderate operating expenses during H1 2020 to deliver a net profit comparable to the first half of 2019.
“In the second half of the year, our focus remains the same; retooling our employees to function optimally while observing social distancing, enhancing our execution capacity and enabling our customers to thrive in the middle of a pandemic. We will continue to focus on the sectors that are critical to the well-being of the economy, or as we call it, the HEART sectors (Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation).”