Nova Merchant Bank on Thursday, May 7, 2020 embraced digital technology as the financial institution held its third Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually at its head office in Victoria Island, Lagos. The meeting was held virtually in strict adherence with stipulations by the Federal and state government in a bid to limit the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the world.
The meeting which was led by the Chairman, NOVA Merchant Bank, Phillips Oduoza, had in attendance the Managing Director, Anya Duroha, Company Secretary, Nnadozie Ohaji, Board of Directors, Shareholders, as well as representatives from key financial regulatory organisations including the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Shareholders at the meeting lauded the innovative concept of the virtual meeting, which according to them, showed that the bank is ahead in keeping up with the times, while ensuring continuous safety of both staff and shareholders.
They also commended its impressive performance and urged the bank to continue the growth trajectory notwithstanding the current macroeconomic headwinds occasioned by the coronavirus and drop in oil price.
While presenting the bank’s financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2019, Oduoza noted that the bank reported a significant improvement in all the key financial indices compared to 2018 achievements.
He attributed this growth to the successful execution of the 2019 strategic plan in line with the key strategic pillars to position the bank as a market leader by 2025.
“While we acknowledge the present macro-economic landscape and its concerns, and even though we see that the situation remains very fluid, It is our firm belief that the COVID-19 crisis will also result in several opportunities for the Bank, as industry dynamics evolve,” Oduoza said.
He assured the shareholders that the Bank will continue to focus on digital banking, provision of long-term funding, wholesale and investment banking while maintaining a lean operating philosophy.
Also speaking, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Anya Duroha said, 2019 was the year in which the Bank’s business made major leaps due to the resilience and commitment of our employees.
He said, “I am pleased to inform you that your investments in the Bank have continued to record double digit growth along all major parameters. This clearly demonstrates the level of confidence in the Bank and our offerings especially given the competitive nature of the banking industry and our relative newness in the market.
“We were able to deliver these impressive results as we remained focused on our mission of creating superior value in the markets we serve and keeping our customers at the center of our business. I believe this performance is sustainable by maintaining our relentless focus on providing a superior customer experience,” Duroha stated.
According to the MD, some of these key achievements include growth in deposits by 523percent, growth in loan book by 1106percent, increase in total assets by 155percent and rise in profit after tax by 43percent over the 2018 performance, adding that the customer base scaled up by 72percent while the cost to income ratio dropped by 8percent over 2018.
At the meeting, the shareholders also approved the reappointment of two retiring directors and urged the board to continue to steer the bank in the right direction.