Wema Bank Plc has recorded 1,201 fraud and forgery cases involving N237.5 million out of which N105.5 million was lost to the fraudsters for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
A breakdown of details of the cases showed that external fraudsters defrauded customers of the bank about N163.9 million through the internet out of which N93.96 million which represents 69 percent of the total amount was lost; external fraudsters also caused a loss of N20.5 million through mobile banking, Point of Sale N10.5 million while staff of the bank and others caused a loss of N31.822 million, of which N11.5 million was lost through operations and others.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also penalised Wema Bank to the tune of N23.4 million for contravening three of its legislations. The contraventions are “Address to Customer Complaint Resolution N2 million,” opening and closing of branch without CBN approval N17.4 million, breach of management letter N2 million and SOL breach N2 million.
Operationally the bank which is owned substantially by states from the western part of Nigeria and O’dua Investment Company and other individual investors, reported a profit after tax (PAT) of N4.59 billion on gross earnings of N79.88 billion for 2020 compared with a PAT of N5.21 billion on gross earnings of N93.39 billion for the corresponding period of 2019, representing a drop of 11.9 percent.
However, total deposits rose by 38.6 percent to N59.31 in 2020 as against N55.36 billion in 2019 while total assets and contigents also appreciated by 32.9 percent to N804.87 billion in 2020 from N580.92 billion in 2019.
The directors of the bank, pursuant to the powers vested in them by the provisions of section 426 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, have recommended a dividend of 4k per share (2019: 4k per share) from the retained earnings account as at 31 December, 2020 for ratification by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.
They noted that the payment will be made from the audited earnings of 2020 and not from the accumulated reserves in line with the regulatory policy, remarking that the payment of dividend is in line with the bank’s dividend policy and will go a long way in providing support to their shareholders.
According to them, the proposed dividend payment is in line with the requirements of the CBN circular on internal capital generation and dividend payout ratio.
Wema Bank is the longest surviving indigenous financial institution in Nigeria and has been offering financial services to the Nigerian public for 75 years.
It was incorporated in 1945 as a Private Limited Liability Company under the old name of Agbonmagbe Bank Limited, it commenced banking operations in Nigeria in the same year. It subsequently transformed into a Public Limited Liability Company (PLC) in April 1987 and was listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in January 1990.
On February 5, 2001, it was granted a universal banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), thus allowing the Bank to provide the Nigerian public with a diverse portfolio of financial and business advisory services.
In 2009, it underwent a strategic repositioning exercise which culminated in a decision to operate as a commercial bank with regional authorisation. Upon a successful turnaround, the Bank applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for and was granted a national banking license in 2015.
It is presently offering retail banking, SME banking, corporate banking, treasury, trade services and financial advisory to its ever-expanding clientele.