Nigeria’s Big Five Banks’ Loans To Customers Hit $121bn in Five Years

The five tier-1 banks in Nigeria gave out a total of N49.999 trillion (about $121bn) as loans and advances to their customers between January 2016 and December 2020, data compiled has be shown.

The banks are Access Bank Plc., Zenith Bank Plc., FBN Holdings Plc. (First Bank), United Bank for Africa Plc. (UBA), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (GTBank). The data were gathered from the respective lenders’ financial statements.

The data showed that in the five-year period, Access Bank lent out a total of N11.929 trillion to its customers. The amount lent by Access Bank rose sharply in the last two years due to its acquisition of former rival, Diamond Bank.

Access Bank was closely followed by Zenith Bank, whose total loans and advances in the review period stood at N11.297 trillion, despite its penchant for organic growth.

First Bank lent out a total of N9.825 trillion in the five year-period, UBA supported its customers with a total of N9.488 trillion, while GTBank lent N7.460 trillion to its customers within same period.

A further breakdown of the customers’ loans and advances showed that Access Bank gave out a total of N3.218 trillion in 2020; N2.911 trillion in 2019; N1.994 trillion in 2018; N1.996 trillion in 2017; and N1.809 trillion in 2016.

For Zenith Bank, its total loans to customers in 2020 was N2.779 trillion; N2.305 trillion in 2019; N1.823 trillion in 2018; N2.100 trillion in 2017; and N2.289 trillion in 2016. In the same vein, FBN Holdings reported total customer loans and advances of N2.217 trillion in 2020; N1.852 trillion in 2019; N1.670 trillion in 2018; N2.001 trillion in 2017; and N2.084 trillion in 2016.

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A breakdown of the five-year period for UBA showed that in 2020 it gave out a total of N2.555 trillion as loans to its customers spread across the continent, and did N2.061 trillion in 2019, N1.715 trillion in 2018, N1.651 trillion in 2017, and N1.505 trillion in 2016.

For GTBank, in 2020 it gave out a total of N1.663 trillion as loans to its customers; N1.500 trillion in 2019; N1.259 trillion in 2018; N1.448 trillion in 2017; and N1.589 trillion in 2016.

Despite the relatively high aggregate loan, experts say there is need for financial institutions to do more considering the country’s wide infrastructure gap, which reports indicate would require about $3 trillion over the next 30 years to close.

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