Lagos, Nigeria, was identified in 2014 as one of the new finance hubs of the future. Just a year later, JP Morgan announced it would be removing Nigeria from its Emerging Market Government Bond Index due to a “lack of liquidity and transparency in the nation’s foreign exchange markets.”
Those are two drastically differing opinions on Nigeria’s economy, but you can’t argue with the facts. Here are 8 of the richest Nigerian banks by assets.
Fidelity Bank is a commercial bank with over 200 branches in all 36 states of Nigeria. The bank regularly ranks in Tier 1 regarding capital. Tier 1 capital measures a bank’s financial health and is used when a bank must absorb losses without ceasing business operations, according to Investopedia.
The bank has around 4,000 employees and 730 ATMs. It was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2005, the same year it merged with FSB International Bank and Manny Bank. The bank saw N 765.785 in customer deposits (around $3.8 billion US) in 2015 according to Relbanks.com.
Union Bank of Nigeria opened in 1917 as Colonial Bank, and it has since changed its name and affiliation several times, being owned by Barclays for nearly 50 years before becoming Union Bank. The bank saw an 11 percent increase in earnings between 2014 and 2015 according to Unionbankng.com. The bank has a variety of businesses in its portfolio, including contractors, hospitality and local distribution.
Ecobank Nigeria launched a new e-marketplace in late 2015 called MyMall.com.ng where customers can post their goods and services and promote their own businesses. The site is the company’s way of “giving access to our SME customers to be able to reach more of their customers across Nigeria” says Connectnigeria.com. In 2015, Deutsche Bank agreed to give Ecobank customers access to its GSM-102 program which helps finance commercial exports of U.S. agricultural products and provides credit to buyers, according to Yahoo.com.
Diamond Bank has its headquarters in Lagos but has a presence in Benin, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and the U.K. The bank spent its first decade as a private limited liability company before becoming a universal bank in 2001 and on 2005 it listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Some of its correspondent banks include Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC Bank, according to Diamondbank.com.
Access Bank has headquarters in Lagos and subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, U.K. and Zambia. The bank has 1,334 ATMS and 304 branches nationwide. They also have corporate bank clients who see gross revenue of N20 billion ($100.37 million US) annually, and commercial banking mid-tier corporate customers with a gross annual turnover of over N 1 billion ($5 million), according to Accessbankplc.com.
Guaranty Trust Bank has over 10,000 employees in Nigeria, Cote d’Ioivre, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and the U.K. In 2015 World Finance Magazine awarded the bank the title of Best Banking Group, according to Gtbank.com.
First Bank of Nigeria had a history of serving British shipping and trading companies in Nigeria and was originally named the Bank of British West Africa. The bank passed through ownership of Standard Bank before eventually becoming First Bank of Nigeria. In 2014, First Bank acquired Banque International de Credit, one of the biggest banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Allafrica.com.
Zenith Bank has its headquarters in Lagos and recently opened a subsidiary in the U.K. The bank has plans to expand to other European countries as well as Asia, says Zenithbank.com. Zenith ranks as the sixth largest bank on the continent, and it brought its shareholder’s funds from N 20 million ($100,376) to over N 509 billion ($2.55 billion US) between 1990 and 2013.
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