Nigerian banks have been chastised lately for relying mostly on government securities for most of their impressive earnings. This follows the 2017 9 M results released over the last two to three weeks by the banks. Now that the earnings season is over, we can now determine which Nigerian banks is the biggest.

See table below;

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The data also reveals which bank is the largest in terms of balance sheet size, profits, deposits, loans etc.

Largest Bank by Balance Sheet Size

The largest bank by balance sheet size in Nigeria is Ecobank. Some might claim their operations are Pan-African, but they are quoted in Nigeria and earn most of their money in Nigeria. They top the chart with N6.2 trillion as at the end of the September 2017. FBNH and Zenith are next with N5.1trillion and N4.8 trillion. Combined they share 53% of balance sheet size of banks.

Net Assets

Net Assets refers to the equity or shareholder funds of the banks. Zenith Bank tops the chart here with a whopping N768 billion. They also own about 18% of the total shareholder banks of Nigerian big banks. FBNH is next with 15.3%.


Ecobank (ETI) tops the chart in deposit base with about N4.7 trillion or 23% of total deposits. FBNH is next with N3.5 trillion, followed by Zenith Bank with N3 trillion. No other bank has above N3 trillion.

Loans and advances

ETI also leads the pack with over N3.3 trillion in loans and advances to borrowers. FBNH is next with N2.6 trillion and Zenith Bank with N2.1 trillion. Total loans is about N15 trillion and no other bank apart from the three has up to N2 trillion in loans

Profits after tax

In terms of profitability, Zenith Bank leads with N129 billion followed by GT Bank with N126 billion. The two banks have a combined 48.6% of banking profits so far and dominate market share.

Return on Equity

On this front, Stanbic IBTC leads the way with about 24.3% followed by GT Bank at 23%. Also interesting to note that both banks have been the best gainers this year and are the most expensive stocks on the banking index. Zenith Bank with 17% joins the trio as the only banks that have earned returns above the treasury bills yearly yield of about 18%.

Return on Assets

In terms of return on assets, how banks sweat their assets, none other than GT Bank tops the chart. The bank is not one to carry on a lot of assets and basically sweats whatever it is it has. At 3.9% on ROA, no banks comes close to their efficiency levels. Stanbic also does well at 3%. Zenith Bank is at 2.6%. Industry average is 1.7% and Diamond Bank is the least at 0.29%.

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