Shareholders of Access Bank approved a N13.73 billion final dividend declared for the 2014 financial year and commended the management of the bank for the impressive performance.
The dividend translated into a final dividend of 35 kobo per share.
This is in addition to the interim dividend earlier paid to them, bringing the total dividend paid for the 2014 financial year to 60 kobo per share
Some of the shareholders, who spoke at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM), yesterday, in Lagos, said that in spite of the challenging environment, the bank recorded improved performance. They also commended the management of Access Bank for keeping the bank’s non-performing loans at lower digit, thereby placing the bank at the fore front of banks that are sound and healthy in the country.
An activist, Dr Farouk Umar, said the bank did well despite the pressure from regulatory authorities and applauded the management of the bank for keeping the NPL exposure of the bank at the lowest in the sector. He also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to reduce the cash reserve ratio (CRR), which was put in place to check banks from lending to politicians, now that elections are over.
In the same vein, the president of the Progressive Shareholders of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, said the bank needs to be commended for paying 60 kobo dividend despite the rising funds through rights issue, a decision that could make other banks not to pay dividend at all. The chairman of the bank, Mr Gbenga Oyebode, said that in the year under review, the bank improved its revenue generation capacity as gross earnings rose to N245 billion from what was recorded in 2013, while profit before tax rose by 20 per cent to N52 billion.
“As we pursue our mission and vision, we are confident that the strategic direction we have chosen is sound. We will maintain our strong capital and liquidity, managing risk effectively and operating efficiently to reduce costs,” Oyebode stated.