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First Bank tops as Nigerian banks record lower E-business income

The FUGAZ generated a sum of N67.3 billion from electronic business during their half-year 2020.



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The tier-1 banks popularly known as the FUGAZ (First Bank, UBA, Access Bank, GT Bank, and Zenith Bank) topped the list of banks with the highest e-business earnings in the first half of 2020.   

Data from their half-year 2020 financials show that the FUGAZ generated a sum of N67.3 billion from electronic business, a drop of 14.2% compared to N78.4 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. 

The recent decline could be attributed to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a CBN policy that implemented a downward review of bank charges for various transactions. This is the first decline since we started tracking as earnings from e-business has consistently witnessed an increase over the years.

Data obtained from Nairametrics Research shows that the tier-1 banks generated a sum of N32.3 billion e-business earnings in the second half of 2017, N45.1 billion (2018), and N78.4 billion (2019) respectively before the decline in H1 2020. 

READ: Nigeria’s tier-1 banks earn N18.4 billion from account maintenance charges in Q1 2020

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GT Bank Fifth Position

The most capitalized bank in the stock market generated a sum of N4.8 billion from their electronic businesses to stand in fifth behind Zenith BankGT Bank e-business revenue declined by 32.2% from N7.14 billion generated in H1 2019 to N4.8 billion in H1 2020. Its e-business revenue accounted for 2.1% of its total revenue (N225.1 billion) generated within the period. 

Zenith Bank  – Fourth Position

Zenith Bank generated a total of N8.94 billion from e-business income in H1 2020, a 67.01% decline from N27.1 billion generated in the same period of 2019. Its e-business revenue accounted for 2.6% of the total revenue generated during the period. It should be noted that when compared to other banks, it posted the highest profit after tax of N103.8 billion during the period under review.  

READ: UPDATED: Nigeria’s GDP contracts by 6.10% in Q2 2020, as critical sectors plunge

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Access Bank  – Third Position

The largest bank in Nigeria by total assets doubled its e-business revenue from N5.5 billion recorded in H1 2019 to N13.9 billion in 2020. Access Bank recorded the highest year-on-year growth in e-business income as its N13.91 billion was 151.3% higher than the corresponding 2019 earnings.  E-business revenue generated by the bank includes fees and commissions from online purchases and bills payments. 

UBASecond Position

With total e-business income of N17.93 billion, UBA moves to second place. The multinational grew its E-business revenue by 6.35% from N16.86 billion generated in the first half of 2019. E-business revenue accounted for 6% of the total revenue generated during the period (N300.6 billion). 

Apart from the UBA Mobile Banking app, the banking giant boasts of a number of electronic products such as U-Pay which allows customers to make payments at the click of a button in countries where UBA has a presence in Africa, U-Collect, on the other hand, is a consolidated internet payment gateway solution which integrates multiple payment solutions available in Nigeria such as VISA, Verve, Master Card and e-Tranzact. 

READ: Union Bank’s profits increase by 3.6% in nine months  

First Bank – First Position

 First Bank toppled Zenith Bank to the first position, having earned N21.7 billion from e-business between January and June 2020, a marginal decrease of 0.53% compared N21.83 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. Meanwhile, the bank’s e-business revenue had enjoyed consistent growth in the past years, growing by 40.8% between 2018 and 2017, and a 46.3% growth between 2019 and 2018. 

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Despite being one of the oldest banks in the country, First Bank has been at the forefront of the mobile banking revolution. The bank was one of the pioneers of the USSD platform which is used to transfer money via a text messaging application of a mobile phone. 

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The bank also has two mobile banking apps, the FirstMobile which is like other banking apps, and FirstMonie which does not require its customers to have bank accounts to transfer money or make transactions. It also makes use of FirstBank mVisa, which allows consumers to pay for goods and services through FirstMobile by scanning a QR code or by dialing a USSD number. Other apps include; Qr Merchant and First Bank Paypal.  

READ: GTBank revenue for H1, 2020 rises to N225.14 billion

Stiff Fintech competition 

As earlier stated, the decline could also be attributed to the economic downturn witnessed in the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new CBN mandated downward review of bank charges for various transactions.

Commercial banks also face stiff competition from startups are entering into the Fintech space to compete for market share with backing from venture capital and private equity firms. The influx of tech-oriented banks continues to pose a threat to revenue earned by the traditional banks from e-businesses. 

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Financial Services

Era of backlog of unsettled claims is over – NAICOM boss

NAICOM has stated that it will monitor and sanction insurance companies who fail to settle claims as at when due.




The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is out to seriously sanction any insurance companies with huge unsettled claims.

This disclosure was made by the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, at the on-going 2020 Insurance Directors’ Conference, jointly organized by NAICOM and the College of Insurance & Financial Management (CIFM), held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.

READ: EFCC gives reason for unspent N4 billion in 2020 budget

Mr. Thomas reiterated the need for the operators, post-pandemic, to appropriately strengthen their human and financial capital for effective participation in big-ticket risks to take advantage of the obvious gains of the domestication policy in the Nigeria Content Development Act 2010.

In his words, Mr. Thomas stated, “More businesses especially in the oil and gas and the Aviation sectors are now being reinsured abroad. Of more concern is the declining participation of life companies in the annuity business, which is the emerging business for our industry.

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READ: SEC issues pre-notice on cancellation of certificates of 157 inactive CMOs

“These are the areas where the industry can impose itself on the economy through the control of funds for national development. The industry must invest handsomely in technology, one of our key drivers for developing the market.

“The Institutions should be prepared to digitalize their processes, procedures, and systems, in order to make their operations seamless and real-time. The Commission is investing heavily in automating its processes and expects nothing less from the insurance institutions. An industry Information Technology Guideline has been issued for the operators and the Commission requires your support and cooperation for effective compliance.”

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(READ MORE: FG seeking FDI to develop Special Economic Zones – Trade Minister)

Why this matters

Prompt settlement of claims should be a top priority for the insurance operators in achieving an excellent and responsive customer service experience. Settlement of claims has been a serious nightmare for quite a number of customers, resulting to the abysmally low insurance culture in Nigeria.

READ: Fidelity Bank Plc must cover the chink in its curtains to keep rising 

Customers are more likely to patronize the insurance companies that are prompt in claims settlement and by extension improve the industry penetration in the market.

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Financial Services

Total credit to the economy rose to N19.54trillion – CBN Governor

The CBN revealed during the MPC meeting that the total credit to the economy rose to N19.54tn as of the end of November 13.



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The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed during the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that the total credit to the economy rose to N19.54tn as of the end of November 13.

According to him, the aggregate domestic credit grew by 7.6% in October 2020 compared with 7.35% Month-on-Month in September.

READ: MTN Nigeria revenues rises to over N100 billion monthly in 2020

In his words, “Total gross credit by the banking industry stood at N19.54tn as at 13th November 2020 compared with N19.33tn at end-August 2020, an increase of N290.13bn. When compared with N15.56tn at the commencement of the LDR policy in May 2019, total gross credit increased by N3.97tn.”

According to Emefiele, the composition of the loans are N738bn to Manufacturing, General commerce N874bn, Agric and forestry N301bn, Construction N291bn, ICT (N231bn), etc.

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READ: CBN urges banks to ‘support’ media, aviation industries to avert growing job losses

In the month of October 2020, he stated that 86.23% of the total loans granted to over one million customers by banks were at interest rates considerably below 20% per annum.

(READ MORE: N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund)

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Bottom line

The MPC was quite optimistic and favorably disposed about the future impact of the disbursements from agri-business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme of the sum of N92.90bn to 24,702 beneficiaries; Anchor Borrowers Program – N164.91bn disbursed to 954,279 beneficiaries; and COVID-19 Targeted Credit Facility to household and SMEs, with the sum of N149.21bn to 316,869 beneficiaries.

READ: Nigeria imported over 55% of cooking gas consumed in October 2020

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Financial Services

Despite CRR debits, Nigerian Banks record higher net interest income

Banks are recording higher net interest income, despite the CBN’s frequent CRR debits chalking off significant amounts of their cash.



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Some of the top banks in Nigeria posted a total net interest income of N403 billion in the third quarter of 2020 compared to N369.5 billion in the same period in 2019.

In the first 9 months to date, the banks have reported a combined net interest income of N1.2 trillion compared to N1.1 trillion same period last year.

READ: Aviation: Nigerian ground handling firms count revenue losses due to pandemic-induced plunge

Nairametrics collated these figures from the following banks, FBNH, UBA, GT Bank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, and Union Bank. The banks recently released their third-quarter interim results.

Deposit money banks have complained bitterly over the central bank’s frequent CRR debits chalking off significant amounts of cash that they could have earned on.

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READ: Union Bank releases Q1 2020 result, records 14% profit increase

A Nairametrics report indicates banks suffered CRR debits of over N1.9 trillion in the second quarter of 2020, taking the total amount of customer deposits held by the CBN at about N6.5 trillion.

The figure is likely higher now as more CRR debits have occurred in the third quarter of the year. Nairametrics reported banks were debited N226 billion CRR debit in a recent update provided by reliable sources.

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However, as the above report indicates, the banks still earned more this year compared to 2020. Where banks may have suffered dips is in net interest margin, a measure of the percentage of income banks earn after netting off the cost of funds.

READ: Nigerian Banks issue N3.3 trillion in new loans in June 2020

However, this has also been largely mitigated by low deposit rates even as banks maintain most of their lending rates.

Despite the rise in net interest income for the collection of banks under our review, some banks individually faired worse in 2020 compared to 2019. FBNH, Stanbic IBTC, and Access Bank all recorded lower net interest income in the first 9 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Significant gains over the prior year were however recorded with the other banks.

READ: Access Bank Plc posts N102.3 billion profit in 9M 2020, up by 15.7% YoY

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What is driving Margins

Banks are recording higher net interest income largely because interest rates on deposits are at near-record lows.

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This drive down in the cost of funds helps boost the income of banks because they are also yet to significantly drop their lending rates.

In the first 9 months of the year, the banks reported total loans and advances of N1.6 trillion, 14% higher than the N1.4 trillion reported at the end of 2019.

READ: FBN Holdings Plc posts Profit of N21.9 billion in Q3 2020

Banks have also reported generally improved pre-tax earnings, posting a combined N737 billion in the first 9 months of 20120 compared to N723 billion in the same period last year.

The better than expected results has triggered a boost to their share price. Banks have also seen their share price rally in recent weeks as investors finally recognize their low valuations amidst strong earnings.

The Banking sector index is up 14.72% year to date and only fell last week after investors embarked on cashing out their profits.

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

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