The management of Wema Bank Plc said it has submitted an Audited Financial Statement (AFS) for full-year ended December 31, 2020, to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and awaits approval.

The Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Wema bank, Johnson Lebile in a statement on NSE on Tuesday said, “We are pleased to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders that following the approval of the audited financial statements of Wema bank for the year ended 31 December 2020 (2020 AFS) by the Board, the 2020 AFS will be submitted to the CBN for approval.

“The details of the audited accounts will be published upon CBN’s approval.

“Consequently, the closed period for trading in the shares of the Bank by its insiders which commenced from 10 February 2021 shall continue until 24 hours after the AFS for the year ended 31 December 2020 are released on the floor of the NSE.”

Wema Bank had reported a 3.01 per cent increase in its unaudited results for the full-year ended December 31, 2020, Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N6.96billion as against N6.77billion PBT reported in audited full-year results for the period ended December 31, 2019.

The effective management of cost and increase in non-core banking operations drive PBT in the period under review.

The lender reported a 3.5 per cent decline in total operating expenses to N36 billion in 2020 as against N37.3billion reported in 2019 while other income grew significantly by 188.2per cent to N3.42billion in 2020 as against N1.19billion reported in 2019.

The results revealed that the bank posted a 14.79 per cent decline in gross earnings to N80.85billion in 2020 as against N94.89billion reported in 2019.

Report gathered that total assets for the period gained 38 per cent to N986.6billion as of December 2020 from N715.87billion reported in 2019. Growth in total assets was driven by a 27.5 per cent increase in loans and advances to customers to N368.75billion in 2020 from N289.2 billion reported in 2019 while, deposits from customers rose by 40.7 per cent to N812.1billion in 2020 from N577.28billion reported in 2019.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr Ademola Adebisi, had warned of economic headwinds moderated the bank’s growth expectations.

According to him, “It is expected that the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 virus will be far-reaching. As a Bank, we have also tried to play a role in supporting local and federal efforts in providing relief to those impacted directly and indirectly.

“This ‘new normal’ has necessitated massive adoption of technology across the economy and we are -glad that we have stayed ahead of the curve and our previous technology investments have continued to yield results.

“ALAT, Nigeria’s First Fully Digital Bank, continues to record strong performance as adoption rates have grown and the customer base is almost at the half a million mark. We plan to continue our growth in customer acquisition and retention despite the headwinds.”

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