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Research Analysis

Zenith Bank blows past Access Bank as customer deposits cross N4 trillion

First Bank is still the largest Nigerian bank by customer deposits but Zenith Bank is closing in.



Zenith Bank fetes shareholders with dividend payout of N87.9 billion

Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc is now the second-largest bank in Nigeria by customer deposits crossing N4 trillion for the first time.

The bank is next only to First Bank Ltd which remains the largest by customer deposits.

READ: Bitcoin hits $10,000, as cheap money floods financial market

Zenith Bank has also now blown past Access Bank Plc which was in second place following the 2018 merger with Diamond Bank Plc.

Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, aggregates this data by focussing only on customer deposits excluding deposits held for other banks and financial institutions. It also excludes deposits in any of the group’s subsidiaries.

READ: FUGAZ; Nigerian banks considered too big to fail

How they performed

  • First Bank remains the largest Nigerian bank by deposits with N4.2 trillion customer deposits an 8.2% rise from N3.9 trillion reported in December 2019.
  • Zenith Bank came second and for the first time crossing the N4 trillion mark to close the quarter at N4 trillion. This compares to N3.4 trillion as of December 2019 representing a 17.2% rise in deposits.
  • Access Bank which was second at the end of 2019 with N3.4 trillion moved to third place after it gained just 8.9% in new deposits to close at N3.99 trillion.
  • UBA performed the best in terms of growth rising 25.3% from N2.7 trillion to N3.4 trillion only.
  • GT Bank remained bottom 5th with a deposit of N2.4 trillion representing a 19.5% growth from the N2 trillion deposits reported at the end of 2019.

READ: BUA Cement shows resilience to marginally improve bottom line

Sigma Pensions

Bottom Line: For several years commercial banks in Nigeria have scrambled for customer deposits seeing this as a sign of strength and domination of Nigeria’s burgeoning banking sector. However, competition is less emphasized in recent years as the top 5 banks pull away from tier 2 banks.

READ: Zenith Bank’s Profit After Tax in H1,2020 rises by 16.8% to N103.8 billion

  • They also face a different set of challenges from FinTechs as modern technology bridges the resources required to sign on new customers.
  • Rather than focusing only on relationship banking, banks now rely on mobile apps, USSD codes, internet banking, and social media to woo customers.
  • Banks also have to comprehend with CBN’s frequent CRR related debits which affect banks with the largest deposits that fall below the regulatory required loan to deposit ratio.

Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.

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    Billionaire Watch

    Billionaire investors in Nigeria you may not know

    A compilation of top Investors in companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with whom you may be unfamiliar.




    As a Nigerian interested in investing or making money, names like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Mike Adenuga, Tony Elumelu, Jim OviaRabiu Abdulsalam, etc.come to mind as aspirational role models when it comes to net-worth. These men have all made billions of naira investing in companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange either as founders or strategic investors.  

    • However, there are many other ‘lesser-known investors in companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange who are worth billions (in naira).
    • These investors are seasoned and while they may not always be the founders of the companies they are invested in; they own a significant chunk of the business through strategic investment stakes that earn them billions annually in capital appreciation and dividends.  


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    EXCLUSIVE: Best performing banks in Nigeria judging by the numbers

    Nairametrics analysed the best banks in Nigeria based on their performance in 2020.



    Nigerian banks, Banks with the Highest Social Media Followers

    The year 2020 was a remarkable year for the Nigerian banking industry as different policies such as the GSI policy, loan restructuring, etc., were issued in the industry’s favour. The industry became more competitive in the year, with each of the banks striving to increase its market size and revenue.

    Tracking the public information of listed banks on the NSE, we analysed them based on popular metrics to determine the leading players in the industry. For the analysis, the full year 2020 results of the following banks were tracked: Access, FBN, FCMB, Fidelity, GTB, Jaiz, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling, Union, UBA, Wema, and Zenith Bank. Ecobank was not considered in the analysis as the bank operates efficiently in other markets besides Nigeria.

    The key metrics considered in these analyses are Total Assets, Net Assets, Total Deposits, Profit After Tax, Return on Equity, and Return on Total Assets.

    READ: Banks spend N12.2 billion on travel expenses in 2020

    Leading Banks by Total Assets

    An analysis of the combined assets of the 12 listed banks that have released their full-year (2020) results (Ecobank excluded) showed that the total assets increased by 27.9% from N38.7 trillion to N49.4 trillion. The increase indicates the stronger financial position of the banks.

    Among the 12 banks listed in Nairametrics tracker, the following are the leading banks.

    First position – Access Bank: N8.7 trillion
    Second position – Zenith Bank: N8.5 trillion
    Third position – UBA: N7.7 trillion
    Fourth position – FBN Holdings: N7.7 trillion
    Fifth Position – GTB: N4.9 trillion

    Upshots – Access Bank and Zenith Bank maintained their positions as the banks with the highest total asset in 2020. UBA however, overlooked FBN to stand in the third position, while FBN declined to fourth on the list. Among the leading banks (FUGAZ), UBA had the highest year-on-year growth of 36.95% in 2020, while in the industry generally, Jaiz bank had the highest growth in total assets of 39.3%.

    Sigma Pensions

    Net Assets

    The net asset represents the remainder when all liabilities have been subtracted from the bank’s total asset. It indicates the shareholders’ funds in the banks. Due to the depository nature of commercial banks and the ability of banks to greatly increase their liabilities, the metric is adopted by the CBN in assessing the banking sector’s ability to withstand credit losses.

    The combined net asset of our 12 analysed banks increased by 17.9% in 2020 with the largest growth of 25.3% coming from Stanbic IBTC.
    The leading banks based on net assets are:

    First Position – Zenith Bank: N1.1 trillion
    Second Position – Guaranty Trust Bank: N814.4 billion
    Third Position – FBN Holdings: N765.2 billion
    Fourth Position – Access Bank: N751.0 billion
    Fifth Position – UBA: N724.1 billion

    Upshots: It is observed that all the banks had significant increases in their net asset in 2020 while the top ones also maintained their positions. However, Union Bank and Wema Bank recorded the least growth in net assets with a 4.75% and 5.9% increase respectively. Zenith Bank’s net asset grew by 18.6%, Guaranty Trust Bank by 18.5%, FBNH by 15.7%, Access bank by 23.8%, and UBA by 21.1%.

    Customer Deposits

    Customer deposits remain one of the most competitive items in the banking sector since it is from deposits that loans are issued out and other investments are made.

    Stanbic 728 x 90

    The total customer deposits of the tracked banks increased by 32.1% in 2020. The bank with the highest growth in customer deposits during the period was UBA growing by 48.1%, from N3.8 trillion at the end of 2019 to N5.7 trillion as of April 31st, 2021.

    The leading banks based on Customer Deposits are:

    First Position – UBA: N5.7 trillion
    Second Position – Access Bank: N5.6 trillion
    Third Position – Zenith Bank: N5.3 trillion
    Fourth Position – FBN Holdings: N4.9 trillion
    Fifth Position – GTB: N3.5 trillion

    Upshots: UBA grew significantly in 2020, moving from fourth place in 2019 to the bank with the highest customer deposits at the end of 2020. Generally, all the banks recorded customer deposits growth higher than 20% in 2020 with the exemption of Jaiz bank and sterling bank which grew by 7.2% and 6.5% respectively.

    Profits After Tax

    Due to the increased capacity seen in the growth of total assets of the banks, the banks under our radar delivered improved PAT except for Fidelity, and Wema Bank.

    Banks that declared the most profits are;

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    First Position – Zenith Bank: N230.6 billion
    Second Position – Guaranty Trust Bank: N201.4 billion
    Third Position – UBA: N113.7 billion
    Fourth Position – Access bank: N106 billion
    Fifth Position – Stanbic IBTC: N83.2 billion

    Upshots: Zenith Bank and GTB outperformed their peers as done in previous years. Also, UBA again outgrew its 4th position in 2019 moving up the ladder to the third position at the end of 2020. However, in terms of growth in PAT, UBA also grew highest by 27.7% in the period under review.

    Return on Equity

    The return on equity is an important metric that shows the percentage of profit made on every N1 of the shareholders’ fund. It is used to measure the performance and efficiency of the banks.

    This metric will show how well banks have maximised the increase in shareholders’ wealth they enjoyed in 2020.


    The leading banks based on ROE are

    First Position – Guaranty Trust Bank: 26.8%
    Second Position – Stanbic IBTC Holdings: 24.4%
    Third Position – Zenith Bank: N22.4%
    Fourth Position – Jaiz Bank: N17.4%
    Fifth Position – UBA: 17.21%

    Upshots- Sequel to the increase in total assets and PAT of GTB, the bank was able to achieve the greatest efficiency in the industry delivering a return rate of 26.8% to its shareholders.

    Return on Assets

    This metric measures the ability of a bank to sweat its assets and deliver the highest possible profits. In the earlier section of the report, we stated that banks recorded significant increase in their assets, however, the ROA was lower. The ROA is a better measure of efficiency since it takes into cognition the bank’s usage of customer’s deposits.

    Best banks based on ROA are:

    First Position – Guaranty Trust Bank: 4.6%
    Second Position – Stanbic IBTC Holdings: 3.8%
    Third Position – Zenith Bank: 3.1%
    Fourth Position – UBA: 1.7%
    Fifth Position – Jaiz Bank: 1.5%

    Upshots: A similar result is seen in ROA just as seen in ROE. The average industry ROA was 2.05% and Access (1.3%), FBN (1.1%), FCMB (1.1%), Fidelity Bank (1.2%), Sterling bank (0.9%), Union bank (1.2%) and Wema bank (0.6%) all performed below the industry average.

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