Diamond Bank Plc has disbursed over N1bn loans to small business owners in the third quarter of 2018.
The bank said in a statement that its financial report for the period ended September 30, 2018 showed its strong focus on the retail sector through its technology-led retail strategy to drive growth and position Small and Medium Enterprises for competitiveness.
It said its retail strategy led to the fund disbursement to small business owners under the cash flow-based SME lending scheme in partnership with the Women’s World Banking.
According to the report, the bank’s contribution of non-interest income to profit increased by 10.81 per cent to N27.32bn in Q3 20178 from N24.66bn in the same period of 2017.
It said impairment charges declined by 24.21 per cent from N33.21bn in 2017 to N25.17bn in 2018, while interest expense increased by 18.32 per cent to N41.26bn year-on-year.
The bank’s customer deposits dropped by eight per cent year-on year to N1.1bn due to re-pricing and non-rollover of high-priced maturing deposits and migration to government securities.
It said its retail and digital strategy continued the expansion of its financial inclusion programme as the total number of banking agents rose to 70,052 in Q3 2018.
The Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Dozie, said, “The global economy is currently witnessing a shift in trade relations alongside continued interest rate adjustments. This has led to greater volatility across markets and increasingly fragile economies.
“The Nigerian economy has not been immune to certain headwinds, so that while the economy recorded quarters of expansion, the rate of growth has weakened. However, against this backdrop, our digital-led retail strategy has remained robust.”
He added that through the strategy, the bank had been able to continue scaling up by reaching a wide pool of customers both cost effectively and efficiently.
Dozie stated that investors could expect a further decline in non-performing loans in the last quarter of the year and a further increase in the bank’s digital footprint and completion of the sale of its United Kingdom subsidiary.
“Through these actions, we remain optimistic about the medium to long-term outlook of Diamond Bank and its return to strong profitability,” he added.