By Peter Egwuatu
Sterling Bank Plc, has recorded a net interest income of N33.5 billion during the half-year ended June 30, 2020, as against N30.4 billion during the corresponding period of 2019, representing a growth of 10.1 percent.
The Bank’s total assets also rose by 9.4 percent to N1,294.2 billion during the review period from N1,182.7 billion in 2019 while customer deposits inched up by 2.5 percent to N915.2 billion in 2020 from N892.7 billion in 2019.
The lender closed the half-year with a trading income of N3.9 billion as against N1.2 billion for the corresponding period of 2019, representing a remarkable increase of 242.8 percent.
Commenting on the financial performance, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman remarked that “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 digitisation was validated as we continued to serve existing and new customers through our mobile and digital platforms. We also responded to the uncertainty by doubling down on cost optimisation 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 namely: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation.”
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