Access, Zenith, First Bank, 6 Others Emerge Nigeria's Biggest Banks by Assets Worth N90bn

Access, Zenith, First Bank, 6 Others Emerge Nigeria's Biggest Banks by Assets Worth N90bn

  • Access Bank, Zenith Bank and seven other commercial banks have emerged as Nigeria's biggest banks by assets
  • In the first six months of 2023, these banks increased their asset base to N90.4 billion
  • The amount is about a 34% increase from the N67 trillion recorded in the same period of 2023
  • An expert tells that growth in asset for the banks is a consequence of earnings growth

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Nigeria houses some of the biggest banks in Africa and boasts a robust financial services sector in Africa.

These banks employ a mix of traditional and innovative banking practices to adapt to the dynamic financial environment in the country.

Nigerian banks
These leading banks have extended their services across the African continent and beyond. Photo credit - Access Bank, Zenith Bank, UBA
Source: UGC

Top banks in Nigeria increase assets to N90.4 billion

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These leading banks have extended their services across the African continent and beyond.

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They use a combination of strategic acquisitions and mergers to extend their global profit margins.

A selected group of commercial banks in Nigeria boasting huge assets have positioned themselves as top leaders in the financial services industry.

In the first half of 2023, the banks showed impressive resilience by expanding their assets amid the volatile economic environment.

BusinessInsider reports that Nigeria's nine largest banks recorded a total asset of N90.4 trillion, a 35% increase from the N67 trillion recorded at the end of 2022.

Access Bank and Zenith Bank lead top banks by asset base in H1 2023

The banks are led by Access Bank, with about N20.8 billion in total assets in the first half of 2023.

Zenith follows with N16 billion, First Bank with N14.1 billion, and UBA with N15.3 billion in the same period

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Others are Guaranty Trust Bank with N8.5 billion; Fidelity Bank with N5 billion; Stanbic IBTC with N4.4 billion; FCMB with N3.7 billion; and Sterling Bank with N2.2 billion.

CBN debits banks N1.62 trillion over CRR in six months

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria recently debited these banks for failing to meet their required 32.5% Cash Reserve Ratio.

CBN debited the banks about N1.62 trillion in the first half of this year for failing to meet the required CRR threshold set by the apex bank.

The affected banks are among the top financial institutions facing substantial liquidity issues and have increased their borrowings from the CBN. reported that in September 2023 alone, the banks borrowed about N3.03 trillion as non-performing loans skyrocketed.

Asset growth, a consequence of earnings growth

Samuel Oyekanmi, Research Analyst at Deloitte Nigeria, has told that banks’ assets have remarkably grown in the first half of the year. He attributes this growth to an increase in earnings from all activities.

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He said:

If you check, you will see that the banks that dominate at the top of those with the most assets are tier-1 banks. Apart from having the most assets, they generate the most revenue and make the most profit for whatever period measured.
Earnings can come from trading gains, loan interests, investment income, and other diverse revenue streams. When you make that much earnings for any giver quarter or year, it is only normal to acquire most assets in ways of expansion and growth.

Currency in circulation surpasses N2 trillion as new CBN Governor assumes duty, faces N1k per dollar. reported that currency in circulation in Nigeria spiked by N1.7 trillion following increased cash transactions.

As of Thursday, September 21, 2023, data from the CBN showed that the currency in circulation hit about N2.7 trillion as of the end of August 2023.

In February 2023, the country had a mere N982.1 billion as currency in circulation following the naira redesign policy of the CBN.


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