ABU DHABI, 27th January, 2022 - First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) reported a net profit of AED12.5 billion, compared to AED10.6 billion in 2020, marking a 19 percent increase year-on-year for the full year ended 31st December 2021.
Group revenue was up 17 percent supported by solid trading performance and growth in fee-generating business, helping to offset headwinds from low-interest rates. Operating expenses were up year-on-year, reflecting ongoing investments in digital and strategic initiatives and the inclusion of Bank Audi Egypt.
Asset quality metrics remained healthy, underpinned by prudent risk management and the relief measures under the UAE Central Bank TESS programme. The Group's foundation remains robust across liquidity, funding and capital metrics.
H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of FAB, said, "2021 has been a year of a strong economic rebound, with unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth, despite continued uncertainties due to COVID-19. Against this backdrop, the UAE has again demonstrated great vision and leadership, leading towards recovery regionally and globally.
"FAB continued to support the momentum of this dynamic transformation during 2021, delivering a standout financial performance while making significant progress in setting the building blocks for a future-proof bank."
He added that FAB's Board of Directors recommends a dividend per share of 70 fils equivalent for the full year ended 31st December 2021, split into 49 fils in cash and 21 fils as scrip dividend in lieu of cash.
Hana Al Rostamani, FAB Group Chief Executive Officer, expressed her pleasure to report a robust set of results for the Group in 2021, with FAB delivering record revenue and net profit in a year of an economic rebound, and with total assets crossing the AED1 trillion mark, a historic milestone.
She added, "Our performance in 2021 was built onto a robust foundation across liquidity, funding, and capital metrics, with our AA- credit rating recently reaffirmed by S&P coupled with a stable outlook, which underlines our strong balance sheet fundamentals and risk profile.
"Our Investment Banking business, in particular, had an exceptional year, originating and structuring many landmark transactions and leading new offerings and new company listings on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange in a record year for our equity markets. This sustained business momentum resulted in a 69 percent growth in our Investment Banking revenue from the prior year. FAB reaffirmed its leading position as the top-ranked regional bank across all MENA Investment Banking League Tables in 2021. "
Al Rostamani said that FAB is expanding its markets, helped by acquiring Bank Audi Egypt. As a result, the bank's international operations revenue grew 26 percent year-on-year, with MENA contributing 52 percent, from 39 percent in 2020.
She added that FAB launched the first market solutions including DigiCheques on the bank's Corporate Mobile App, and a significant increase in transactions made via digital channels.
On ESG and as part of our Group-wide strategy, our new target to finance or facilitate over US$75 billion of sustainable finance projects by 2030 underscores our commitment to act as a critical enabler to the regional sustainable finance agenda and to work hand in hand with our customers and communities to create sustainable growth.
James Burdett, FAB Group Chief Financial Officer, said that the Group delivered net profits of AED12.5 Billion in 2021, up 19 percent over 2020, with a Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE) at 15.1 percent, improving from 13.0 percent in the prior year. Fourth-quarter profits stood at AED3.3 billion, up 3 percent year-on-year.
Investment Banking produced an exceptional performance, capitalising on improving sentiment and buoyant regional capital markets activity. Corporate and Commercial Banking also saw sustained momentum with CASA balances growing 27 percent year-on-year, and Consumer Banking continued to witness strong sales acquisition across key products.
In Global Private Banking, Asset Under Management (AUMs) grew by almost 50 percent year-on-year, driven by enhanced product propositions.
He added, "We continued to maintain our cost discipline and delivered positive Jaws during the year amidst ongoing investments in core areas and the integration of our expanded operations in Egypt. The Group preserved a very healthy liquidity position and strong asset quality metrics with a coverage ratio increasing to 98 percent, in line with our prudent risk management approach."
"While we remain cautiously optimistic and cognisant of the uncertainties arising from the pandemic and potential market volatility, the rising interest rate outlook and the expected acceleration in economic activity across the region present significant opportunities for the bank," Burdett concluded.