By Folakemi Emem-Akpan
In terms of size, these two well-known banks, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and United Bank for Africa (UBA), are almost on the same level, both measuring almost the same in terms of revenue, profit, assets base, liabilities and deposits for the 2016 financial year. In fact, these two banks rank among the top five banks operating in the Nigerian economy, both with huge international operations. Despite the similarity in size, GTBank easily outperformed its peer in terms of profitability for the 2016 financial year. It took the lead in seven of the eight profitability ratios examined, while UBA only managed to lead in only one.
For the 2016 financial year, GTBank recorded a higher growth than UBA did. GTBank’s turnover growth rate for the period under review was 36.5 per cent, better than the 8.4 per cent growth rate of the preceding year. This is also as compared to and better than UBA’s 21.9 per cent result for the same year under review.
For the 2016 year, GTBank was the winner in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). ROA for the year was 5.3 per cent, up from 4.8 per cent in the prior year. This means that of every N100 worth of assets deployed by GTBank, N5.30 accrued to it as pre-tax profit while UBA was able to record a lower N2.60 kobo pre-tax profit from every N100 worth of assets employed.
As regards ROE, GTBank’s ROE was 26.2 per cent, not just higher than the 24.0 per cent recorded in the erstwhile year but also much better than the 16.6 per cent UBA recorded for the same period under review. This means that while every N100 worth of equity deployed earned GTBank N26.20 in after tax profit, it earned UBA a lower N16.60.
Pre-tax profit margin
For the 2016 financial year, pre-tax profit margin (which measures a company’s ability to squeeze as much profit as is possible from turnover) for GTBank was 40.1 per cent, and this was about the highest level recorded in the Nigerian economy. This result was easily higher than UBA’s own which stood at 23.6 per cent. This means that for every N100 income earned by GTBank in 2016, an extremely high N40.10 accrued to it as profit while a lower N23.60 pre-tax profit accrued to UBA for every N100 income earned.
Net interest margin
Net interest margin is one of the true measures of a bank’s effectiveness, as it measures effectiveness in its core banking operations. For the year, GTbank led the two banks, recording a net interest margin of 74.4 per cent, as compared to UBA’s 62.6 per cent result.
Proportion of classified loans was another ratio in which GTBank led the two banks in 2016. For the year, the portion of its entire loan stock that became classified as non-performing stood at 3.3 per cent. This result was better and lower than UBA’s result for 2016. For UBA, proportion of classified loans for 2016 was 3.9 per cent, up from 1.7 per cent in 2015.
Capital adequacy was the one ratio in which UBA led its peer. It recorded a capital adequacy of 20.0 per cent, better than GTBank’s19.8 percent result. What this means is that UBA is better equipped than GTBank’s in the banks’ primary business of giving out loans. It is however important to note that the margin of the difference was very slight.
Two year averages
In terms of averages, GTBank also generally better performed better than UBA did, coming out on top in five of the ratios.
A final word
It is imperative to note that both banks did exceptionally well in terms of profitability and growth when their results are analysed in a stand-alone analysis. It is only when their results are put side by side that GTBank comes out tops.