By Kayode Tokede
Zenith Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc lead 12 other banks in N32.79 trillion total assets in 2017, Nigerian NewsDirect can report.
The 14 banks had reported N29.56 trillion total assets in 2016.
The above simply means that, banks total assets rose by nearly 11 per cent in 2017, attributable to growth in loans & advances to customers and improved deposits from customers.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that Zenith Bank, followed by FBN Holdings crossed the N5 trillion mark in total assets in 2017, while Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) hit the N4 trillion threshold in the year under review respectively.
The above four banks are leading Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Domestic- Systematic Important Banks (D-SIBs) by total assets in 2017.
The likes of ETI Nigeria and seven other banks, Diamond Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria, FCMB Group Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc recorded an average of N1 trillion in total assets last year.
For the financial year ended 2017, Zenith Bank’s total assets rose by 18 per cent to N5.6 trillion from N4.7 trillion reported in 2016.
Key drivers in Zenith Bank in 2017 total assets include Customers’ deposits 15.2 per cent increase in customers’ deposits to N3.4 trillion from N2.98 trillion reported in 2016 and Gross loans and advances that closed the year under review at N2.25 trillion in 2017, 4.6 per cent below N2.36 trillion reported in 2016.
The group total assets of FBN Holdings increased by 10.5 per cent to N5.2 trillion from N4.7 trillion, largely driven by a 16.9 per cent increase in interest earning investment securities to N1.4 trillion from N1.2 trillion recorded in 2016.
The group in a statement said, “despite the weak lending environment, earning assets have been further optimised with total interest earning assets growing by 11.1per cent to N4.2 trillion from N3.74 trillion in December 2016, representing 79.4per cent of total assets from 79 per cent in 2016.”
For Access Bank, its total assets closed 2017 at N4.1 trillion, 17.8 per cent increase over N3.48 trillion reported in 2016.
Access bank in its presentation to investors said it maintained efficient balance sheet management, with interest earning assets and non-interest assets accounting for 76 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
“14 per cent growth in trading and pledged assets to N587 billion in 2017 from N516 billion in 2016.
“Customer deposits increased by seven per cent to N2.2 trillion in 2017 from N2.1 trillion in 2016 with low cost deposits accounting for 47 per cent in the midst of customer’s appetite for government securities. Loans and advances were up 11 per cent to N2.06 trillion as at 2017 from N1.86 trillion in 2016,” the lender explained.
In addition, UBA closed 2017 with N 4.1 trillion total assets, 16.1 per cent increase over N3.5 trillion in 2016.
“In spite of slow recovery in economic activities in Nigeria (our single largest market), the Group’s total assets grew by 16 per cent, buoyed partly by the successful issuance of $500million debut Eurobond and a change in exchange rate for translating the FCY balances.
“Leveraging on enhanced customer service, the Group grew retail deposits by 21per cent, at a time when households are dissaving. Individual customers’ deposit now represents 43 per cent of our deposit funding.
“These low cost, stable deposits, reinforce our optimism on reducing funding cost and improving margins. The Group maintained its appetite for a well-diversified balance sheet, with more than half of the assets in liquid, low risk instruments,” UBA had explained in its 2017 presentation to analysts.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had disclosed in its fourth quarter economy report that, “The total assets and liabilities of the commercial banks stood at N34.59 trillion at end-December 2017, representing 3.9 per cent increase over the level at end-September 2017.
“The funds were sourced, mainly, from reduction of claims on the Federal Government and mobilisation of demand, time, savings and foreign currency deposits.
“The funds were used to increase claims on the central bank and the private sector, acquire foreign assets, increase accretion to reserves and reduce unclassified liabilities.”