Fidelity Bank Plc is reportedly embarking on an expansion plan across multiple African countries following the successful acquisition of the London unit of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, its rival.
Fidelity Bank's CEO Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe revealed that the 35-year-old institution is currently in negotiations for another acquisition, though the target remains undisclosed. The bank aims to finalize this transaction within the year, with the broader goal of establishing its presence in at least five additional countries over the next three years.
Onyeali-Ikpe emphasized that Fidelity's strategy involves moving beyond Nigeria to compete effectively with peer institutions. By expanding its footprint to other African nations, the bank aims to capture a share of trade facilitation and corresponding banking fees, thus avoiding losing out to larger competitors.
Fidelity Bank expressed interest in countries located in West, East, and Southern Africa. In preparation for its expansion plans, the bank raised more than USD 29.9 million through a private placement earlier this year, earmarking it for acquisitions. Additionally, the institute plans to utilize retained earnings for further expansion, aiming to maintain a capital adequacy ratio of 19.1% for the current year.
According to reliable sources, Onyeali-Ikpe, who assumed her role two years ago, has ambitious targets for the institution. She aims to position Fidelity among the top five banks in Nigeria by 2025 in terms of earnings and assets. Currently, the bank ranks as the sixth-largest in the country.
The bank's private banking customers have expressed a demand for support in conducting business and acquiring properties in the UK and its surroundings. Fidelity anticipates substantial growth opportunities arising from these business prospects, benefiting both the bank and its customers.
The institution's shares witnessed a 32% increase this year, positioning it as Nigeria's top-performing bank. There was a 0.7% rise in Fidelity share price on Friday.