In Q1 2020, Nigeria’s tier-1 banks –FBN Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc – collectively paid the sum of N29.8 billion as company income tax to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and others.
The details: A breakdown of the tax payments, according to checks by Nairametrics Research, shows how the most profitable banks during the first quarter of the year also paid the most taxes.
For instance, Zenith Bank, which reported the largest profit of N50.1 billion in Q1 2020, also paid the most tax of N8.3 billion. This is followed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc which paid total tax of N8.1 billion to the FIRS, thereby reporting a profit after of N50.1 billion.
Note that FBN Holdings Plc, which paid out N5.5 billion worth of company income tax in Q1 2020, is the holding company for First Bank of Nigeria Limited and a slew of other subsidiaries. What this means, therefore, is that the N5.5 billion tax encompasses all the group of companies under the Hold-Co.
See the embedded tweet below for a full glance of how much taxes the tier-1 banks paid during the period under review.
Tier 1 banks in Nigeria and tax expenses incurred in Q1 2020
Zenith bank – N8.3bn
GT bank – N8.1bn
First bank – N5.5bn
Access bank – N5.3bn
UBA – N2.6bn
— Nairametrics Research (@Nigeriandata) May 29, 2020
Why this matters: This level of tax compliance interests the FIRS for many reasons. For one, it is the tax agency’s main responsibility to generate revenue for the Federal Government through various forms of tax; specifically the company income tax. And it would be impossible to accomplish this without the compliance of companies such as those mentioned above.
In the meantime, there are strong indications that these tier-1 banks and others may enjoy tax exemptions in Q2 2020. This possible tax holiday (for tier-1 banks and others) is owing to the fact that they recently donated billions to facilitate the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Download the Nairametrics News App
As Nairametrics previously reported, the significant COVID-19 donations that were made by these banks (and other companies), could entitle them to some forms of tax exceptions. Even Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, noted this possibility during a recent interview.
Some Nigerian companies have often enjoyed tax holiday, an arrangement whereby the Federal Government either reduces or completely eliminates taxes for select companies. A Nigerian company can also get a tax credit, which basically has to do with the sum total that can be offset against such a company’s tax liability after it must have carried out a project on behalf of the government.
How to protect your bank accounts from hackers and fraudsters
Cybercriminals have been on the prowl trying to steal, even as banks intensify efforts to warn customers.
There has never been a time we should all be more concerned about the security of our bank accounts. There are too many scammers/internet fraudsters on the prowl, and they are constantly devising new sophisticated methods to steal your money.
In April this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a fraud alert to the Nigerian public about the alarming rate of cybercrime activities in the country. According to the apex bank, cybercriminals resorted to taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud citizens, steal sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access into computers or mobile devices using different techniques. You may keep up with that by clicking here.
In the weeks and months that followed CBN’s fraud alert, deposit money banks in the country have all intensified efforts at educating/encouraging their customers to become more careful and protective of their bank accounts. Numerous hands-on tips have also been emailed to these customers by the banks. In this article, we have summarised some of these tips, as you can see below:
- Never disclose your mobile app activation code to anyone over the phone, via SMS, email, or in person. Be warned!
- Never reveal your card number, OTP, Pin, or password to anyone over the phone, via SMS, email, or in person. Do not do this, even when the person requesting for such details claim to be from your bank’s headquarters!
- Desist from clicking suspicious links or downloading attachments and apps from unknown sources!
- Do not entertain unsolicited phone calls, SMS, or emails asking you personal details about yourself or asking for information about your bank accounts!
- Again, do not fall for fraudsters’ phishing baits. They are smart and you should be ten times smarter than them!
- Update your security software by installing the latest updates of your operating system and mobile banking app.
- Avoid unsecured wifi!
- Do not perform sensitive financial transactions using public wifi or networks you do not know the source. Do not let your love for free things expose you to risks!
- Instead, use a secure connection whenever you perform online transactions.
Remember, you worked hard for your money and the economic situation in the country at the moment is hard. It would, therefore, be a shame to have your money stolen just because you were careless for a moment. This is why you must do everything possible to protect your bank accounts.
Guinea Insurance Plc gives optimistic Q3 earnings forecast in spite of COVID-19
Note that some companies have had to revise their earnings estimates due to pandemic.
Guinea Insurance Plc is being very optimistic, having projected a 78.6% rise in gross premium written to N1.8 in Q3 2020, up from N1 billion during the comparable period in 2019. The insurer also forecasted a profit after tax of N185.8 million for the period, indicating an expected better performance compared to N735 million loss recorded in Q3 2019.
The earnings forecast, which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange earlier today, also estimated that reinsurance expense for Q3 will be at N337.5 million. Claims expenses, underwriting expenses, and other operating experiences were equally put at N331.3 million, N292.6 million, and N692.2 million, respectively.
Note that this forecast is coming amid the negative economic impacts wrought by the Coronavirus pandemic. But while a growing list of companies (including Guinness Nigeria Plc) has downgraded their 2020 earnings and profitability forecasts, Guinea Insurance is expecting growth and that is good.
In Q1 2020, Guinea Insurance Plc reported gross premium written OF N207 million and a profit after tax of N12.6 million. The company’s consolidated half-year 2020 financial has not been released and is expected sometime between this month and next month.
The company’s share price ended today’s trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange at N0.20. Year to date, this stock has not recorded any price movement.
Stanbic IBTC observes closed period, as directors set to consider H1 results
The directors will also consider a proposal to pay an interim dividend to shareholders.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc announced earlier today that its board of directors will meet on Wednesday, July 29, as part of preparations towards the release of the company’s consolidated and separate audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider a proposal to pay the company’s shareholders an interim dividend.
A statement issued by the Stanbic IBTC to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) noted that the scheduled board meeting is in tandem with guidelines contained in section 1.2 of the NSE’s rules book.
In the meantime, the bank Hold-Co has already commenced observing its closed period ahead of the release of the half-year financial statements. Specifically, Stanbic IBTC began observing its closed period on June 1st, 2020, the implication being that all insiders and their relatives have been prohibited from trading the company’s shares for more than one month now.
Note that the Stanbic IBTC’s closed period will continue until the half-year financial statements are released. Part of the statement which was signed by Chidi Okezie (Company Secretary), said:
“In accordance with the provisions of Section 1.2 of the Rules of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (The NSE) relating to Board Meetings and General Meetings of Issuers, we would like to notify The NSE and our Shareholders, that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (the Company) is scheduled to hold on Wednesday 29 July 2020 at 1:00 pm. The meeting will discuss amongst other items, the Company’s Consolidated and Separate Audited Financial Statements for the Half-year ended 30 June 2020 as well as a proposed interim dividend.
“In view of the above, the closed period for the release of half-year results, which commenced on Monday, 01 June 2020 will continue to be in effect until the release of the Company’s Half-year audited financial statements.”
Recall that the last earnings report that was released by Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc was for Q1 2020. The unaudited report showed that gross earnings stood at N61.4 billion as against N58.7 billion in Q1 2019, even though interest income for the period declined by 12% year on year to N27.5 billion. Meanwhile, profit for the period stood at N20.6 billion, an increase when compared to N19.2 billion in Q1 2019.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ share price closed at N30.25 at the end of today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Year to date, the stock has declined by nearly -20%.