The Banking Industry is the backbone of every economy in the world because it provides financial security for the government and its citizens. A well structured Banking sector reflects a successful economy and is integral to the economic strength of that country especially as perceived abroad.
The apex Bank in Nigeria, Central Bank of Nigeria has done well to incorporate strict standards in the Nigerian Banking sector that has helped to build it into a power house of the Nigerian economy. The Nigerian Banking Sector operates on the highest level and employs industry best practices attainable anywhere else in the world.
However, there are still some critics who feel Nigerian Banks need to ease her lending precautions and reduce interest rates on Loans. Other than that, the banking sector in Nigeria deserves thumbs up!
Below are the Top 10 Banks in Nigeria, judging by their Assets alone.
NB: This list reflects the Top 10 Nigerian Banks based on their ASSETS ONLY.
1. ZENITH BANK: Founded in may 1990 by one of Nigeria’s current richest men - Jim Ovia. Zenith Bank is an international financial institution with it’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. It has a total asset of N4.7 Trillion and a revenue of over N129 billion.
2. FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA: This is Nigeria's pioneer financial institution. Founded in 1894 as British Bank of Nigeria and later renamed First Bank of Nigeria in 1979. First Bank has a total asset of N4.5 Trillion, a net income of N13.5 billion and an operating income of over N298 billion.
3. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA: One of Nigeria’s oldest banks established in 1949. UBA is a continental leading Pan-African bank. Proudly acquired by one of Nigeria’s richest men, Tony Elumelu, the bank is credited and acclaimed for some trail blazing feats in this clime of banking, like pioneering the first cash deposit ATM, being the first and only Nigerian bank to hit N1 Trillion balance sheet size. It has a total asset of N3.3 Trillion, gross earnings of N166 billion, net income of N109 billion and profit before tax of 40 billion.
4. GUARANTEE TRUST BANK: Founded in 1988 by a group of 35 young starry eyed entrepreneurs lead by Fola Adeola and Tayo Aderinokun. The bank got it’s Incorporation in 1990 and began operations in 1991. GTB (As it is fondly called) pioneered Online Banking, SMS banking and Naira dominated MasterCard in Nigeria. It has a total asset of N3.16 Trillion and revenue of 278.5 billion.
5. ACCESS BANK: Access Bank is one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions founded in 1989 and became financially fit enough to acquire Intercontinental Bank Plc in January, 2012 further expanding it’s assets and customer base. It has a total asset of N2.412 Trillion and a revenue of 51billion.
6. ECO BANK: This is a Pan African bank and one of the leading banks in Nigeria and Africa. Founded in 1985, Ecobank with headquarters is in Lome, Togo even though Over 70% of it’s customer base is Nigeria. It has a total assets of over N2 Trillion and net income of US$107 million.
7. DIAMOND BANK: In 1990 Diamond Bank was established in Nigeria and obtained it’s Incorporation in the following year. Diamond Bank runs over 240 branches in Nigeria, with several branches in the republic of Benin, a handful in Senegal and Cote D’ivoire, and 1 in Togo. It’s total asset is valued at N1.7 Trillion.
8. UNION BANK: Talk about strength, reliability and longevity then Union Bank comes to mind. Established in 1917 as Colonial Bank, it was acquired by Barclays Bank in 1925 and became known as the Barclays Bank. In 1971 the bank was featured in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It’s total assets stands at N1.049 Trillion.
9. SKYE BANK: When Prudent Bank was Incorporated in 1989, the following year transformed it to a merchant bank with full license. 16 years forward (2006), the said Prudent Bank consolidated with four other banks to form Skye Bank Plc. Still high on progress, it acquired Mainstreet Bank in 2014. It’s total assets is in excess of N1 Trillion.
10. FIDELITY BANK: Started off with merchant licensing in 1987, got Incorporated in 1988 and became a public limited liability company in 1999. It was ranked as the most capitalized bank in Nigeria in 2011 and 25th in Africa with same criteria. It’s total asset stands at N1 Trillion.