First Bank has issued profit warning on its financials for the year ended December 31, 2015 as impairment charges stunt its earnings in the period under review.

The profit warning was contained in an official statement from FBN Holdings Plc to the Nigerian Stock Exchange [NSE]. The statement read in part:

“Following the preliminary review of FBN Holdings Plc management account for the year ended 31, December, 2015, it is expected that earnings will be materially below that of the prior year.

The reduction in earnings is as a result of the recognition of impairment charges on some specific accounts resulting from a reassessment of the loan portfolio within our commercial banking business.

This reassessment was driven by the challenging macro-environment, coupled with fiscal and monetary headwinds which have resulted in market reduction in domestic output.

This is a prudent measure being taken while the bank has commenced active remedial action on the specific impaired accounts. Our merchant banking and asset management as well as insurance businesses remain strong and resilient.

We reiterate our 2016 focus on restoring shareholder value by driving improvements in underlying asset quality, cost efficiency, enhancing revenue generation and extracting synergies across the Group, as well as growth through innovation.”