In its commitment to make the growth of the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), its primary focus, SunTrust Bank gave out a whopping N23.96 billion as loans and advances to the sector in 2019. This information was contained in the bank’s annual report, made available to our reporter over the weekend.
The chairman, Olanrewaju Shittu, while addressing the shareholders at the bank’s fourth annual general meeting, held in Lagos, noted that despite the challenges of the year under review, SunTrust Bank was still able to increase its balance sheet by 24.61 per cent from N43.97 billion to N54.79 billion.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the bank, Halima Buba, reiterated the commitment of the bank to the growth of the nation’s economy through effective funding of the real sector.
According to her: “We are committed to the growth and development of our economy and this can only be done through effective funding of the real sector. As you can see, we increased our loans and advances by 185.41 per cent from N8.4 billion to N23.96 billion and I am assuring you that we will surely do more because we are committed to the growth of the real sector, knowing fully well that, that is the only means to ensure effective growth and development of our nation’s economy.”
She further said: “In line with our strategy, we are going to aggressively drive SMEs transactions … and part of our strategy is retail banking, we want to create a retail bank of choice and certainly SMEs is the engine room for the growth of any economy and to provide financing services, to support the SMEs will be the only way, we can support the growth of the economy and particularly in line with the vision of the CBN and the current administration.”
Delighted that customers have significantly increase their deposit to the bank to the tune of N25.7 billion, an increase of 38.03 per cent, Halima Buba assured that as the bank grows, more funds will be set aside for corporate social responsibility as SunTrust Bank is poised to make people and communities thrive.
She also said: “The bank increased the headcount to ensure increased business growth higher than previous year, this amongst other caused increase in customer deposits compared with previous year by 38.03 per cent, from N18.64 billion to N25.73 billion and a growth in the bank’s total assets from N43.97 billion to N54.79 billion.”
Sounding very optimistic about the future of the bank, Halima Buba Said: “Despite the threats to growth, the Bank will take advantage of opportunities presented in the coming financial year to improve earnings, profitability and asset quality with a view to delivering value to our esteemed shareholders.”