Total customer deposits in nine Nigerian banks increased to N30.81tn at the end of the first quarter of this year from N29.73tn in December 2020, their unaudited financial statements show.
The United Bank for Africa Plc emerged as the biggest bank by customer deposits as of March 31, 2021, as deposits rose to N5.79tn from N5.68tn in December.
Access Bank Plc grew its customer deposits to N5.68tn in March from N5.59tn at the end of last year, while that of Zenith Bank Plc increased to N5.67tn from N5.34tn.
FBN Holdings Plc, the holding company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, had customer deposits of N5.09tn as of March 31, up from N4.89tn at the end of 2020.
Customer deposits in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc increased to N3.60tn in March 2021 from N3.51tn in December 2020 while that of Fidelity Bank Plc rose to N1.75tn from N1.69tn.
FCMB Group Plc grew its customer deposits to N1.32tn from N1.26tn while deposits in Sterling Bank Plc increased to N1.04tn from N950.84bn.
Customer deposits in Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc rose to N866.97bn from N819.94bn.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Unity Bank Plc saw their customer deposits decline to N1.12tn, N795.54bn and N348.35bn in March from N1.13tn, N804.87bn and N356.62bn respectively in December 2020.
“The banking industry is grappling with competitive rivalry within the industry as hungry players like Access, Zenith and GT are adopting ruthless strategies to expand market share domestically and across Africa, on the one hand, whilst simultaneously defending itself from cannibalistic competitor moves by the Telco’s and their surrogates – the fintechs,” the Financial Derivatives Company Limited said in a new report.
A global credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, said in March that the outlook for Nigeria’s banking system remained negative, reflecting expectations of rising asset risk and weakening government support capacity over the next 12 to 18 months.
“Nigerian banks’ loan quality will weaken in 2021 as coronavirus support measures implemented by the government and central bank last year, including the loan repayment holiday, are unwound,” an analyst at Moody’s, Peter Mushangwe, said.
“The negative outlook also captures the weakening capacity of the government of Nigeria to support the country’s banks in case of need, as reflected by the negative outlook on the government’s credit rating; on the other hand, Nigerian banks hold robust capital buffers and foreign-currency shortages will ease,” he added.
According to the agency, the government’s capacity to support banks may weaken, as it has an extremely low revenue base, which has remained below 10 per cent of GDP since 2015.
“However, the government’s willingness to provide support to large banks in the event of a crisis and to sustain financial stability will remain high,” Moody’s said.