In the Q1 2017 financial accounts of Diamond Bank released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recently, the lender recorded strong growth in its asset base, customer base, quality service delivery, product development and deployment of cutting-edge technology to drive its operations.
However, its Profit Before Tax (PAT) mildly declined to N5.6 billion from N6.6 billion in the previous year, while Profit After Tax (PAT) depreciated to N4.8 billion from N5.8 billion. But the bank remains optimistic that it is solidly committed to growing its corporate and mid-tier market segment in the business year and the years ahead, pointing out that it has outlined detailed strategies to help leverage the current business momentum in the economy.Further analysis of the result showed that interest and similar income grew by 27 percent to N44.5 billion year-on-year, while the asset base leapfrogged to N2.07 trillion from N2.05 trillion, representing 1.2 percent with personal operating cost shrinking by 3 percent, reflecting management’s prudent resource use.
Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Dozie, said despite the inclement operating environment that clouded the period under review, the gains of the last business year especially in customer acquisition, product development and the deepening of the bank’s retail strategy, helped in drilling a seamless business foothold and expansion in all market segments.
“Building upon positive momentum in 2016, Diamond Bank commenced 2017 focused on harnessing further benefits from its technology-led retail strategy.
“In particular, the bank continued to focus on cost containment, driving operational efficiencies, and the roll-out of technology and innovation to improve customer experiences and access to financial services.
“The bank’s strategy to expand reach and service through digital channels has helped customers connect to new markets,” Mr Dozie said. He said further that, “Since the beginning of 2017, there have been positive developments in the wider economy which we believe will translate to greater productivity in the months ahead.
“For example, the inflation rate is beginning to recede and there appears to be more foreign exchange available to stimulate trade, though the quantum of unmet demand is still high. Against this economic background, our streams of income remain resilient.”He stated that Diamond Bank’s focus on digital and mobile banking is gaining further traction, with the year on year increases in mobile revenue and app usage showing tangible results.
“It is clear that customers value the ease and convenience of our services across multiple platforms and that this is leading to greater volumes of activity and enhanced relationships.
“I am confident that by maintaining our focus on the technology-led retail strategy, we will continue to build upon this positive momentum”.
According to the CEO, the continued pursuit of a diversified customer base across all market segments through retail offerings has helped in the mobilization of low cost deposits accounting for over 80 per cent of total deposits, adding that the Bank’s philosophy of “mobile first” has continued to deliver expected results as revenue from mobile banking increased from N270 million in Q1 2016 to N1.2 billion in Q1 2017. Also, the usage of Diamond Mobile Apps continued to surge as the value of quarterly transaction volume jumped to N2.6 billion from N1.1 billion in March 2016. The Bank’s retail customer count stood at over 13 million as at the end of March 2017, reflecting the strength of customer confidence and investor trust on the Bank.