Sterling Bank Plc has described the current operating business environment in Nigeria as challenging.
But the bank said it would continue to build on the efficiency, quality and profitability of its core banking business as the latest earnings report released at the weekend showed considerable improvement in key underlying fundamentals of the commercial bank.
The nine-month report for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016 released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed steady growth in the core banking business, underlining the success of the lender’s core retail banking business.
“Although macroeconomic conditions could witness some modest improvements, the operating environment will continue to be challenging and business confidence somewhat subdued. Nonetheless, Sterling Bank remains committed to building a sustainable business anchored on efficiency,” the Managing Director of the bank, Yemi Adeola, was quoted to have said in a statement.
Key extracts of the interim report showed that net interest margin, which measures the profitability of the core lending business, improved to 8.5 per cent in third quarter of this year as against 7.9 per cent in comparable period of 2015.
The proportion of non-performing loans to gross loans and advances, which indicates assets quality and the efficiency of the credit risk management, also improved significantly from 4.8 per cent in December 2015 to 2.5 per cent in the third quarter 2016.