Despite the somewhat challenging operating environment in the country, Nigerian banks have been able to run profitable operations, not only in the country but in neighbouring Ghana.
This article looks at four of the country’s largest banks (collectively known by the Nairametrics acronym FUGAZ) whose Ghanaian operations accounted for a significant part of African operations.
Guaranty Trust Bank
Ghanaian operations accounted for 4.7% or N9.3 billion of the N197 billion in profit before tax made by the group in 2017. This increased to 7.6% or N16.3 billion of the N215 billion that the bank made in profit before tax in 2018.
On a continental basis, the Ghanian unit had the highest profit before tax ex Nigeria in 2018.
The same pattern played out in Access Bank. In a presentation released following the bank’s FY 2018 results, the Ghanaian unit was the best performing African Unit. >
Access Bank Ghana had a profit before tax of N9.3 billion in 2018. This amounted to 9.3% of the N103 billion, in profit before tax the group made during the year in question.
Zenith Bank Ghana accounted for N13.4 billion or 6.9% of the N193 billion profit before tax the group recorded in 2018. The bank was also the best-performing subsidiary for the financial year in question, out–performing the UK Branch and Zenith Pension Custodian.
UBA Ghana was also the best-performing African subsidiary ( as well as the larger group) for the 2018 financial year. The bank recorded a profit before tax of N15.3 billion in 2018. It thus accounted for 14.4% of the N106 billion in profit before tax the group recorded in 2018.
An analyst’s view
Arnold Dublin Green, a Senior Portfolio Manager with Ecobank, believes that the stellar performance of Nigerian banks in Ghana is down to two things:
“When they came into the market, they were aggressive —they introduced a zero minimum deposit requirement to open an account. They were able to win customers. They also have very good risk policies.”