Despite the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 and the attendant lockdown, the nine months 2020 financial results of 13 commercial banks have shown that they raked in a total of N36.759 trillion as customers’ deposits.

This represented an increase of N6.931 trillion or 23 per cent as against the N29.828 trillion reported in the comparable period of 2019.

The banks are Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, FCMB, FBN Holdings, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Stanbic IBTC, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, and Sterling Bank Plc.
The results were compiled by THISDAY from the banks’ respective nine-month reports for the period, which the banks presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The growth was attributed majorly to the deployment of technology as well as banks’ aggressive marketing of their alternative banking channels.

For instance, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated garnered the highest customer deposits of N6.686 trillion at the end of September, 2020, higher than the N5.924 trillion the pan-African bank reported in the comparable period of 2019.

Also, in the period under review, Zenith Bank’s customer deposits rose by 32 per cent, to N5.224 trillion as at September 30, 2020, up from the N3.951 trillion the bank recorded at the end of September, 2019.

The United Bank for Africa’s deposits from customers grew by 36 per cent to N5.202 trillion at the end of September, as against the N3.834 trillion the bank reported at the end of September last year.

Similarly, while Access Bank’s customer deposits increased by 23.6 per cent, from N4.256 trillion as of September 2019, to N5.263 trillion as of September this year; Fidelity Bank recorded a customer deposit growth of 34.2 per cent, from N1.116 trillion in the comparable period of 2019, to N1.498 trillion at the end of September, 2020.

On its part, FCMB’s customer deposits also increased by 27 per cent to N1.195 trillion, up from the N943 billion the bank garnered as at the end of September, 2019.

Also, while FBN Holdings Plc reported 15 per cent growth in customer deposits, standing at N4.630 trillion at the end of September, 2020, higher than the N4.019 trillion it realised in the comparable period of 2019; Guaranty Trust Bank’s customer deposits also improved by 26 per cent to N3.191 trillion in the period under review. This is higher than the N2.532 trillion the bank reported at the end of September, 2019.

Union Bank also reported 28 per cent growth in customer deposits of N1.131 trillion in the period under review, up from the N886 billion the bank realised in the comparable period of 2019.

In addition, Sterling Bank realised N952 billion customer deposits, higher than the N893 billion it posted in the comparable period of 2019; while Stanbic IBTC posted customer deposits of N752 billion as of September 30, 2020, higher than the N638 billion the bank reported in the comparable period of 2019.

Wema Bank reported N701 billion as customer deposits and Unity Bank recorded N332 billion.

However, despite the impressive deposit mobilisation, analysts have forecasted that the outlook for Nigeria’s banking sector will remain negative into 2021 amid difficult operating conditions and sovereign pressures straining banks’ credit profiles.

Moody’s Investors Service, in its recent report, said loan quality, profitability and foreign currency liquidity would be the main stress points next year for banks in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.

It stated that the economic slowdown in the continent would hamper banks’ performance, adding that governments’ ability to provide support remains impaired.

“Our outlook for African banks remains negative as we head into 2021, with the difficult operating conditions and banks’ close links to their sovereigns being the key driving factors,” Senior Vice President at Moody’s Investors Service, Constantinos Kypreos had said.

Source…thisday

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