The number of active bank accounts in Nigeria increased to 133.5 million in 2021, according to the data released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The NIBSS data shows that out of the active bank accounts, individual accounts represent 92% at 122.3 million, while the remaining are corporate accounts.
As of the end of 2020, total active bank accounts in the country stood at 114.8 million. This means that a total of 18.7 million new bank accounts were opened in 2021.
Current vs savings: The data also shows that the number of current accounts rose by 14% to 49.8 million in 2021 from 43.6 million in 2020. In the same vein, savings accounts increased by 7.8% to 120.4 million in 2021 from 111.7 million in 2020.
Inactive accounts: Meanwhile, the number of inactive bank accounts in the country stood at 57.9 million in the year under review. From the NIBSS data, the total number of bank accounts in the country as of 2021 was 191.4 million, out of which 133.5 were actively in use.
This shows an increase of 11% or 5.7 million in the number of inactive banks accounts for the year as the inactive accounts stood at 52.2 million in 2020.
Industry analysts have cited several factors for the increasing number of inactive accounts in the country. According to them, these include an increase in the prices of goods and services, low income accompanied by the low purchasing power of Nigerians, increasing rate of unemployment, and immigration among others.
An inactive or dormant account is a bank account that has had no activity on it for 12 months. Banks convert accounts with no activity for a long period into inoperative or dormant accounts to curtail the risk of fraud. By segregating the accounts, banks bring to their workers’ attention the risk involved in these accounts and call for their due diligence.
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