By Babajide Komolafe
Polaris Bank Limited has recorded Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N28.9 billion in its financial year ended December 2020.
This represents a four percent growth when compared with the N27.83 billion recorded in 2019.
The bank in a statement announcing the financial results for 2020 said that the increase in profitability by the combination of the significant reduction in interest expense due to the Bank’s pursuit of low interest-bearing deposits as well as lowering impairment charges on loans and other financial assets.
The Bank recorded Return on Asset (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE) of 2.4% and 29.4% respectively which favorably place the Bank as a key player in the industry.
The Bank’s Total Assets stood at N1.18trillion, a 3% growth on the previous year while Shareholders Funds grew by N14billion (17%), largely attributable to internally generated profits.
The Bank increased its Customer Deposits by N56billion, predominantly low-cost deposits in spite of difficult economic and industry conditions, and increased its gross loan book by N38biilion reflecting the Bank’s modest and prudent risk strategy to grow its Portfolio of Quality loans for optimal interest income generation.
Commenting on the Bank’s performance, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Polaris Bank Limited, Mr. Innocent C. Ike who took over in the course of the year from Mr. (now Senator) Tokunbo Abiru explained that “Polaris Bank has achieved significant milestones since its inception on September 21, 2018, when we started this journey. We have since grown to earn the confidence of the banking public, offering quality banking services at the cutting edge of technology”. Continuing, he noted, “2020 was arguably the most challenging year that the world has faced in decades owing to the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses and the economy. Yet, the current result demonstrates the importance of the deployment of appropriate strategies, and effectively validates our recent investment in technology solutions and digitization of our products and processes,” he added.
He explained that the Bank’s subsisting three-year Corporate Transformation Plan has recently been reviewed in line with the changing operating environment and trend dynamism for sustainable value creation.
Digital transformation remains one of the potent strategies to strengthen the Bank’s balance sheet, control costs, and improve processes while providing clients with wider self-service offerings.
The Board and Management of Polaris Bank have demonstrated a strong commitment towards professionalism and business ethics by upholding sound risk management practices and proactively taking measures to ensure the Bank is on the path of value creation and sustainability. Polaris Bank’s performance in FY’20 reflects commendable improvements in key performance indicators, assuring a strong positive outlook for earnings, margins, and profitability, a cautious pursuit of loan growth, a sustained strategy for operational efficiency, funding cost optimization, and efficient deposit mix. The headroom for loan creation no doubt presents an opportunity for improved margins.
Going into the year 2021 and despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, the Bank is poised to reap the benefits of its investment in both digitization and the capacity of its employees to improve service experience.
Polaris Bank is a future-determining bank committed to delivering industry-defining products, services, and digital platforms across all the sectors of the Nigerian economy. The Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which seeks to engage the private sector and the global financial sector to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet while delivering positive impact.