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A look at how much Nigerian banks paid their staff in 9-month 2020

Thirteen Nigerian banks collectively spent a total of N413.49 billion on their staff between January and September 2020.



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Thirteen Nigerian banks on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange collectively spent a total of N413.49 billion on their staff between January and September 2020. 

According to checks by Nairalytics – the research arm of Nairametrics, the N413.49 billion personnel cost represents a 6.36% increase compared to N388.77 billion spent in the corresponding period of 2019, despite the economic shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year. 

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

The personnel expenses encompass all of a company’s expenditure in relation to staff remuneration and welfare within a specific financial reporting period.  

In other words, such expenses may include salaries/wages, other benefits like health insurance costs, pension, training, amongst others. 


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FBN Holdings Plc 

FBN Holdings Plc is a holding company for First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and other subsidiaries such as FBNQuest and FBN Merchant Bank, which means the figures represent personnel expenses for all the subsidiaries across the FBN Holdings group of companies. 

  • The bank paid a sum of N74.2 billion as personnel expenses in the review period, representing 16.9% of the N439.9 billion gross revenue generated in the same period.  
  • The premier bank posted an impressive performance in the year, growing its profit after tax by 31.7% from N51.7 billion recorded in 2019 9M to N68.16 billion in 2020. 
  • Staff cost incurred by First Bank Holdings increased by 7.2% compared to N69.2 billion spent in the comparable period of 2019, and 6.4% increase compared to N69.7 billion recorded in 2018. 
  • Checks by Nairalytics Research shows that FBN Holdings has a total of 9,016 employees as of December 2019.

READ: First Bank is cutting inefficiencies and focusing on its strengths

United Bank of Africa 

  • UBA paid a total of N66.6 billion to its workers in the review period, which represents 14.7% of the N453.7 billion generated as gross revenue.  
  • The tier one bank increased its staff expenses significantly by 20.7%, from N55.2 billion recorded in 2019 to N66.6 billion in 2020. 
  • UBA also recorded a 5.9% increase in gross revenue (N453.7 billion) and posted a profit after tax of N77.13 billion as at September 2020, representing a 5.5% decline compared to N81.63 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. 
  • As of June 2020, UBA has a total employee of 11,200, 15.4% decrease when compared to 13,237 recorded as of December 2019.

READ: COVID 19: Debt Service Suspension Initiative extended to June 2021 – World Bank

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Zenith Bank  

  • Zenith recorded a 5% increase in staff expenses from N57.1 billion in 2019 to N59.9 billion in 2020, which represents 11.8% of the total gross revenue earned in the period.  
  • The most profitable bank on The Exchange grew its revenue by 3.6% from N491.3 billion in 2019 to N508.9 billion in the review period. 
  • In terms of profitability, Zenith Bank posted a profit after tax of N159.3 billion, representing 5.7% increase compared to N150.7 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2019. 
  • Zenith Bank increased its staff strength by 9% from 5,982 as of December 2019 to 6,521 by the end of June 2020.

READ: GTBank, Access Bank, 11 others pay workers N271.64 billion in H1 2020

Access Bank  

  • Access bank spent the sum of N57.1 billion as staff costs, 4.4% increase compared to N54.7 billion recorded in the previous year 
  • It also recorded a 15.3% increase in gross revenue (N592.8 billion), while in terms of profitability, grew by 15.7% from N88.4 billion in 2019 to N102.3 billion as at September 2020. 
  • As of June 2020, Access Bank plc has a total staff strength of 5,576. This is 5% lower than 5,870 recorded as of the end of last year.

READ: Nigerian economy slips into recession as GDP contracts by 3.62% in Q3 2020

Stanbic IBTC  

  • The bank spent a total of N31.2 billion as personnel expenses in the 9-month period of 2020, 2.2% increase compared to N30.6 billion recorded in 2019, having also increased gross revenue by 15.3% to stand at N183.3 billion. 
  • Notably, Stanbic recorded an improved profit of N66.2 billion from N55.6 billion recorded in the same period of 2019. 
  • Stanbic IBTC also increased its number of staff between December 2019 and June 2020 from 2,936 to 3,004 respectively.

READ: Nigeria’s tier-1 banks pay N29.8 billion worth of taxes in Q1 2020

For a full list of the banks and their personnel expenses in 9-month 2020, see the table below. It also contains their personnel expense costs in the last four years for easy comparison. 

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Source: Nairalytics 

 What you need to know 

  • Of the thirteen banks under review, nine recorded positive increase in personnel expenses when compared to the corresponding period of 2019, while four recorded decline. 
  • The thirteen banks collectively posted a profit after tax of N678.2 billion between January and September 2020, 6.9% increase compared to the previous year (634.5 billion). 
  • According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the staff strength of Nigeria’s Deposit Money Banks grew by 1.5% from 94,498 in Q2 2020 to 95,888 as of Q3 2020. However, it declined by 5.5% compared to 103,610 recorded as of Q3 2019. 

READ: More banks, insurance firms declare closed periods ahead of H1 results release

Stanbic IBTC

Bottom line 

Despite a very difficult year for the Nigerian economy, commercial banks maintained headcount and their payroll structure. This is perhaps due to the agreement reached between the central bank and the bankers committee in the wake of the planned downsizing at Access Bank.   

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Financial Services

CBN issues framework for QR payments

CBN has issued a framework that would guide Quick response (QR) code payments in Nigeria.



The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the framework that would guide Quick Response (QR) Code Payments in Nigeria.

This is a proactive move by the Apex bank towards ensuring the safety and stability of the Nigerian Financial System, as well as promoting the use and adoption of electronic payments and foster innovation in the payments system.

Quick Response (QR) Codes are matrix barcodes representing information presented as square grids, made up of black squares against a contrasting background that can be scanned by an imaging device, processed and transmitted by appropriate technology.

The codes are used to present, capture and transmit payments information across payments infrastructure and further enable the mobile channel to facilitate payments and present another avenue for promoting electronic payments for micro and small enterprises.

What you should know

  • Quick Response (QR) codes are two-dimensional bar codes. QR code payments allow merchants to receive payments from customers simply by scanning generated QR codes using a smartphone camera. The QR code payments carry the purchase transaction information to the mobile device of the buyer/customer.
  • Making payments via QR codes is very secure. It is because the QR code is nothing but just a tool that is used to exchange information. Any data which is transferred via QR codes is encrypted, thus making the payment secure.
  • The Participants in QR Code Payment in Nigeria include Merchants, Customers, Issuers (Banks, MMOs and Other Financial Institutions), Acquirers (Banks, MMOs and Other Financial Institutions) and Payments Service Providers.
  • QR payments are increasingly becoming a popular means of payments in Nigeria, and some industry players would see the framework as a perfect way of regulating the sector.
  • QR codes are capable of storing lots of data. But no matter how much they contain, when scanned, the QR code should allow the user to access information instantly. It can be used for payments, sharing contacts and Wi-Fi passwords and lots more.
  • The popular and common argument is that since POS machines are expensive, cheaper options such as QR scanners should be pushed forward to local traders.

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Financial Services

CBN unveils framework for regulatory sandbox operations

CBN has issued a regulatory Sandbox framework towards engaging with the operators in the Fintech space.



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The Central Bank of Nigeria has taken proactive steps towards ensuring more flexible ways of engaging with operators in the payment solutions/fintech space, in a bid to tacitly regulate how operators churn out their new products and services.

To this end, CBN has introduced Regulatory Sandbox which is a formal process for firms to carry out live tests of new, innovative products, services, delivery channels, or business models in a controlled environment, with regulatory oversight, subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards.

It is expected that the CBN would stay abreast of innovations while promoting a safe, reliable and efficient Payments System to foster innovation, without compromising the delivery of its mandate.

What you should know

  • A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows FinTech start-ups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator’s supervision. It encourages innovation that can improve the design and delivery of payment services.
  • No doubt, regulations around Fintech are still emerging and developing, there is still a high entry barrier for new entrants and it is expected that Sandboxes would present them with a safe testing environment and ease regulatory onboarding.
  • Sandbox is quite suited for new products, services or solutions that are either not contemplated under the prevailing laws and regulations, or do not precisely align with existing regulations.
  • Sandbox is intended to promote effective competition, embrace new technology, encourage financial inclusion and improve customer experience, with a view to engendering public confidence in the financial system.
  • The framework provides guidance on the establishment, the applicable rules and operations of a Regulatory Sandbox for the Nigerian Payments System, as well as providing standards for the operations of a Regulatory Sandbox, prescribes the processes and procedures for analysing, collecting, updating, integrating, and storing consumer data and information.

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Financial Services

Standard Chartered Nigeria Plc crashes ‘personal loans’ interest rate to 1% monthly

The Bank crashed its interest rate to one of the lowest in Nigeria’s lending space.



Standard Chartered: Easy Banking at no cost

Standard Chartered Nigeria Plc, has crashed its interest rate for ‘personal overdraft’ from 1.25% to 1% per month, according to information seen by Nairametrics.

Nairametrics understands that this review makes the rate, one of the lowest in Nigeria’s lending space, especially when compared to other players in the industry.

READ: Telecoms, FSI to hugely boost Nigerian Economy in 2021 – CWG’s Business Director

This is a strategic move by the bank as it makes major inroads into Nigeria’s competitive but lucrative retail end of lending. The retail end which includes divisions such as personal loans, payday loans is highly competitive with Fintechs, and other banks all jostling for the same market.

READ: InfraCredit guarantees TSL’s issuance of a N12 billion 10-year Series 1 Infrastructure Bonds


Despite efforts by some of the banks to restructure their loan books due to the adverse effect of the pandemic, banking sector credit to the private sector improved to N19 trillion in the third quarter of 2020 representing a 15.6% increase from 2019.

READ: Nigeria’s GDP growth to rebound between 1.7% and 2.0% in 2021 – United Capital report

Notably, according to a CBN survey on credit conditions as reported by Nairametrics, supply of secured and unsecured credits to households is expected to increase in the first quarter of 2021, having recorded an increase in the previous quarter (Q4 2020).

Meanwhile, a cursory review of lending data on the websites of some sampled financial institutions, revealed that some financial institutions retained or downwardly reviewed their monthly interest rate on payday loans. For example, GT Bank Quick credit crashed its rate from 1.75% to 1.33%.

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READ: Over 1 million people took loans from banks below 20% interest rate in 1 year- CBN

Furthermore, UBA Click credit maintained its 1.58% charge, Zenith Bank term loan remained at 2.16%, Renmoney retained its 2.98% interest rate, and a host of others.

READ: Nigeria Fintech startup, CredPal raises $1.5million funding

What you should know:

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  • According to Standard Chartered, Personal Overdraft facility provided by Standard Chartered Plc is a revolving facility targeted at salaried customers with 12 months tenor and usually based on 50% of the net monthly salary of customers.
  • A minimum salary qualification of N50,000 is specified.

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