Business

Sterling Bank records 264.7 per cent increase in trading income in Q3 despite COVID-19 pandemic

Sterling Bank Plc has recorded a trading income of N7.1 billion for the third quarter (Q3) of 2020.

This is far more than  N1.9 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2019,

Speaking on the remarkable achievement , Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said that the growth represented a 264.7 per cent increase.

Suleiman said that the landmark improvement was achieved in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic that is throwing many businesses into uncertainties.

.“Our performance continues to reflect positive results of strategic decisions and investments in our focal areas as we continue to record significant improvement in both funding and operational costs.

“Overall, we delivered a 7.2 per cent increase in operating income and a profit after tax of N7.37 billion despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms.

“Growth in balance sheet was driven by a 26.5 per cent growth in low cost funds, which saw the bank’s CASA mix improve to 71 per cent from 60 per cent, delivering a 6.6 per cent growth in customer deposits.

“Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves, while interest income also declined by 6.7 per cent, which was offset by a 17.0 per cent decline in interest expense. This delivered a 120-bps drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 100-bps increase in net interest margin,” he said.

Speaking on asset quality, Suleiman said: “We proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9 per cent, while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9per cent, well below our target of 5 per cent

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