Access, GTB, Zenith, 7 Other Leading Banks Spend N3.2 Trillion to Operate in Nigeria

Access, GTB, Zenith, 7 Other Leading Banks Spend N3.2 Trillion to Operate in Nigeria

  • The operating expenses of some stock market-listed Nigerian banks soared in 2023, reaching a N3 million mark
  • The costs include money spent on rent, marketing, staff salaries, rent, insurance, equipment and others
  • AccessCorp, one of Nigeria's largest banks, saw the highest surge in expenses, from N502.36 billion in 2022 to N697.53 billion in 2023 journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

The collective operating expenditures of 10 Nigerian banks surged by 42.51%, reaching N3.23 trillion in 2023 from N2.26 trillion in the preceding year.

These figures were derived from the annual reports submitted by the financial institutions to the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

Operating expenses of Nigerian banks soar in 2023
The aforementioned banks are some of the most capitalised banks in Nigeria of the 13 listed on the Nigerian stock exchange. Photo credit - UBA
Source: UGC

The scrutinized financial institutions encompassed Access Holdings, FBN Holdings, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa, FCMB Group, Sterling Financial Holding, Fidelity Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC, and Guaranty Trust Holding Company.

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PAY ATTENTION: Share your outstanding story with our editors! Please reach us through! earlier reported that factors such as inflation and regulatory charges contributed to a 26% increase in the operating expenses of the banks, reaching N1.19 trillion in the first half of 2023.

According to information from Investopedia, an authoritative online resource for investment education, an operating expense refers to the costs a business typically accrues during its regular operations.

These expenses encompass a variety of items such as rent, equipment, inventory expenditures, marketing, staff salaries, insurance, step costs, funds designated for research and development, as well as depreciation and amortization.

In 2023, the primary factors contributing to the escalation in the operating expenses of the lenders were personnel costs alongside other operational expenditures.

Breakdown of banks' operating expenses

During the reviewed period, AccessCorp, Nigeria's largest bank, witnessed a 38.85% surge in operating expenses, soaring to N697.53 billion from N502.36 billion in 2022.

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Holdco attributed this increase to a 43.97% rise in personnel costs, climbing to N167.90 billion from N116.62 billion, driven by heightened wages and salaries.

Other operating expenses increased to N465.67 billion from N341.32 billion, primarily due to elevated IT and e-business expenditures, totalling N78.05 billion.

Furthermore, a 30.49% increase to N68.81 billion in the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria surcharge paid by the group in the previous year also contributed to the rise in its operating costs.

AccessCorp reported depreciation and amortization costs of N63.96 billion.

FBN Holdings disclosed in its unaudited results that operating expenses surged by 46.83% to N534.34 billion in 2023.

FCMB Group's unaudited report for the same period noted a 35.64% increase in operating expenses to N154.44 billion, driven primarily by higher personnel costs.

Sterling Financial Holdings Company and its subsidiaries experienced a 25.26% uptick in total expenses to N109.24 billion, according to their condensed unaudited interim financial statements for 2023.

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Fidelity Bank witnessed a substantial 60.77% rise in operating expenses to N194.18 billion compared to N120.78 billion in the previous year.

Wema Bank, which achieved a noteworthy profit-before-tax growth of 196% to N43.59 billion in 2023, also saw its operating expenses grow by 32.16% to N78.76 billion.

Stanbic IBTC reported a 29.41% increase in operating expenses to N166.81 billion.

Additionally, GTCO experienced a 26.54% surge in operating expenses to N250.42 billion, primarily attributed to personnel and other operational expenses.

Zenith Bank Plc, in its recently released annual report, disclosed a 32.31% rise in operating expenses to N449.47 billion, while UBA's operating expenses soared by 68.99% to N591.64 billion from N350.09 billion in the preceding year.

NoBank% increase from 2022Amount
1AccessCorp38.85 N697.53bn
2FBN Holdings46.83 N534.34bn
3FCMB Group35.64N154.44bn
4Sterling Holdings25.26N109.24bn
5Fidelity Bank60.77N194.18bn
6Wema Bank32.16N78.76bn
7Stanbic IBTC29.41N166.81bn
9Zenith Bank32.31N449.47bn
10UBA68.99 N591.64bn

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Coincidentally, the aforementioned banks are some of the most capitalised banks in Nigeria of the 13 listed on the Nigerian stock exchange.

Speaking on increased expenses of the banks, Kalu Maduka, an economist, said that naira devaluation, inflation and upward salary scaling were part of the contributing factors.

He said:

"For the year in review, we can not dismiss factors like inflation and the devaluation of the naira for being responsible for the sharp increase in operating expenses. These factors have caused the prices of goods and services to surge.
"Also, on their part, many of these banks have increased workers' salaries to ameliorate the challenges caused by the removal of fuel subsidy. These salary increases must have taken a big chunk of their revenues."

Four banks delay release of financial results

Earlier, reported that four banks publicly declared their intention to postpone the submission of their audited financial reports for the fiscal year 2023.

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These financial institutions include the United Bank for Africa, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC, and Wema Bank.

The banks have communicated their inability to meet the deadline for filing their audited results for the preceding financial year.

According to the regulations of the Nigerian Exchange, companies listed on the exchange are required to submit their previous year's financial reports by March 31.


Victor Enengedi avatar

Victor Enengedi (Business HOD) Victor Enengedi is a trained journalist with over a decade of experience in both print and online media platforms. He holds a degree in History and Diplomatic Studies from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. An AFP-certified journalist, he functions as the Head of the Business Desk at Legit. He has also worked as Head of Editorial Operations at Nairametrics. He can be reached via and +2348063274521.

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