The Operations And Operators Of Leading Financial Institutions In Nigeria

The Nigerian banking sector is one of the most competitive sectors in the economy, a portfolio investment that has created lots of wealth for the nation’s economy in terms of taxation and short and medium-term credits as well as job opportunities for many Nigerians. It is perhaps one of the most profitable sectors of the economy. Despite having about 23 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country, only a dozen are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there are 22 licensed commercial banks in Nigeria. Out of these banks, some banks have been in operation for years, while there are some that are new banks. There are rich banks with a lot of assets and consolidations, just as some banks are struggling to survive based on instability of the nation’s economy. The Issues Magazine, a leading magazine with appreciable interest in finance and economy coverage, reports the best banks in Nigeria with a bias on quality of services, achievements recorded over the time, the captains behind the navigation of banks’ ships in Nigeria, Customers’ Base, Assets and Consolidations, Capitalization and CBN Ratings, among other issues of interest in the sector. The Issues Magazine reports that the commercial banks have principal duties of being deposit banks and grant short and medium-term loans with interest rates as well as providing other financial services.

Consequently, The Issues Magazine brings these:

Zenith Bank PLC

Zenith Bank PLC is the current overall best bank in Nigeria. In May 2020, Zenith Bank received an award from the Global Finance Magazine World’s Best Banks Awards 2020, as the current best bank in Nigeria. This award was based on the performances of the banks in Nigeria, and proved that Zenith Bank is doing well in both leadership and service. Zenith Bank started in 1990, and now has over 1.6 million customers in Nigeria. They have over 500 branches in Nigeria and over 7,000 employees. In addition to the normal banking services, Zenith Bank offers SME banking and loans, investment banking, treasury, trade service, FOREX, among others. They also don’t fail in their corporate social responsibility, Zenith Bank built ICT centers in Universities, sponsor events and give back to the community as often as possible. They have a net income of over ?157.14 billion.

Brief Profile of Ebenezer Onyeagwu, GMD/CEO Zenith Bank Plc.

Ebenezer Onyeagwu has nearly 30 years’ experience in the banking industry in Nigeria. He joined Zenith Bank Plc in 2002 as a Senior Manager, in the Internal Control and Audit Group of the bank. His professionalism, competence, integrity and commitment to the set objectives of the bank saw him rise swiftly between 2003 and 2005, first, as Assistant General Manager, then Deputy General Manager, and eventually as General Manager of the bank. In these capacities, he handled strategies for new business and branch development, management of risk assets portfolios, treasury functions, strategic top level corporate, multinationals and public institutional relationships, among others. As Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Onyeagwu has oversight over the bank’s Financial Control and Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Retail Banking, Institutional and Corporate banking business portfolios, IT Group, Credit Administration, Treasury and Foreign Exchange Trading, as well as general administration of the bank, among others. He was named Executive Director of the bank in 2013, and put in charge of Lagos and South-South Zones as well as strategic groups/business units of the bank including Financial Control and Strategic Planning, Treasury and Correspondent Groups, Human Resources Group, Oil and Gas Group, and Credit Risk Management Group, etc. He was named Deputy Managing Director of the bank in 2016. Mr. Onyeagwu has been on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Nominees Limited and African Finance Corporation (AFC) within the last six years.  In AFC, he serves on the Board Risk & Investment Committee (BRIC) and Board Audit & Compliance Committee (BAAC). At Zenith Bank Ghana, he chairs the Board Credit and Governance Committees. He brings to his job strategic thinking, inspirational leadership, energetic and entrepreneurial skills.

The Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) PLC

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) also started in 1990 and has since grown to become one of the most profitable banks in Nigeria. With over 8 million customers and 5,000 employees, GT Bank provides retail, corporate, investment banking, asset management, and other financial services. They have 231 branches, 18 e-branches, 17 Cash Centers, and more than 1165 ATMs in Nigeria. GT Bank is often used by youths because of its saving benefits and topnotch customer experience. As one of the best banks in Nigeria, GTB has made a revenue of over ?419.23 billion, and its net income in the year 2017 was ?170.47 billion.

Brief Profile of Segun Agbaje, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC.

Segun Agbaje currently serves as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC, a Nigerian multinational financial institution. Prior to becoming Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC in 2011, Agbaje held several positions at the bank after joining in 1991, including Executive Director and most recently Deputy Managing Director from 2002 to 2011. Previously, Agbaje served as an auditor for Ernst and Young LLP in the United States from 1988 to 1990. Agbaje also currently serves as a director of MasterCard Advisory Board Middle East and Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.

First Bank of Nigeria PLC

First Bank of Nigeria which was established in 1894, was the premier bank in West Africa. It is one of the most popular and biggest banks in Nigeria because of its assets. First Bank has a large customer base of over 10 million, a net income of over ?212 trillion, and over 790 branches in Nigeria. As a financial institution, First Bank offers leading financial service to all customers. In 2015, they received The Banker’s Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria award. First Bank also opened a microfinance subsidiary to mainly focus on empowering SME and low-income individuals.

Brief Profile of Adesola Kazeem, Adeduntan, MD/CEO First Bank Nigeria PLC

Dr. Adesola (“Sola”) Kazeem Adeduntan is the Managing Director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries from January 1 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Bank since 2014 when he was appointed to the Board of the Bank. Before joining First Bank in 2014, Sola was a Director and the pioneer Chief Financial Officer/Business Manager of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). He has served as a Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer at Citibank Nigeria Limited, a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Group of KPMG Professional Services and a Manager at Arthur Andersen Nigeria. Sola also had a brief stint at the defunct Afribank Nigeria PLC (now acquired by Skye Bank and POLARIS Bank) as a graduate trainee where he worked mainly in banking operations.

United Bank for Africa (UBA)

UBA is also one of the best banks in Nigeria. Established in 1948, UBA has made its way to the top through delivering top-notch services to customers in Nigeria. They provide one of the best customer services in the banking industry, in Nigeria. UBA has over 500 branches across the country, and over 10 million customers. They have proved to be a reliable and trustworthy bank to save your money in. UBA has fewer charges compared to new generation banks and has a net worth of over $13.2 billion in acquired assets.

Brief Profile of Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO United Bank for Africa PLC

Kennedy has over two decades experience, covering core banking, corporate marketing, strategic business advisory services and resources management. He is responsible for leading the development and execution of UBA Group’s long term strategy. Prior to his current role, he was CEO UBA Africa managing the Group’s country subsidiaries across 18 countries in Africa as well as supervising three key strategic support areas in Digital Banking, Information Technology and Personal Banking. As Deputy Managing Director, he was the Executive in charge of the Group’s businesses in New York and London. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School (AMP) in Boston USA, the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland and the London Business School, United Kingdom.

Access Bank PLC

Access is one of the most capitalised banks in the country, with tier I capital of N179bn as at June 2010. At this level, the bank’s capital is more than 3.6x the capital requirement for an international bank (under the new banking regime). The bank’s risk weighted capital adequacy ratio amounted to 28.6% as at end June 2010, well above the regulatory minimum of 10%. Supported by the strong capital base, the bank is one of the major players in the corporate market segment and compares favourably with its peers in terms of asset size, with a market share of 4% based on total assets as at year end June 2010. Liquidity risk is high, given that assets are funded predominantly by short dated deposits. The bank reported a loan-to-deposit ratio of 88% as at end-June 2010, breaching the prescribed maximum of 80% and the industry average of 78%. This is, however, systemic to the Nigerian banking industry and is managed through maintaining a fairly diversified deposit book, as well as credit lines with banks. Core deposits are also generally rolled over, among others.

Brief Profile Of Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank PLC:

Born in Ibadan, Oyo state in 1966, Herbert Wigwe found his calling in finance at the age of 16. In 2002, he answered the lifelong call of entrepreneurship when he and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede set out to acquire a small commercial Bank, Access Bank. Today, Access Bank is one of the largest Banks in Africa, a feat which is attributable to his ingenuity and expertise. The CEO of Access Bank started his early life in Ibadan, Oyo State. This accomplished African business leader, born to Pastor Shingle Wigwe, who retired as a Director General at the Nigerian Television Authority and a mother Mrs. Wigwe who was a nurse, developed an interest in social development and community issues at a very early stage in life. ?Herbert has always had a head for numbers, a fact he attributed to playing “mental mathematics” with friends while growing up. This game involved solving random mathematical questions; without the aid of a calculator. His interest in finance which developed at age 16, was fuelled by the story of Michael Milken, high-yield bonds (junk bonds), among others.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

The bank ranks among the mid-sized commercial banks in Nigeria, in terms of  balance sheet size and geographical spread across the country. The  bank’s market share is estimated at 3.6% by total industry assets at FY18. FCMB’s shareholders’ funds declined 7.2% to N158.7bn at FY18, underpinned by the impact of IFRS 9 implementation. Consequently, the bank’s risk weighted capital adequacy ratio (“CAR”) declined to 15.8% from 16.9% in FY17, albeit remained above the regulatory minimum of 15% prescribed for its license category. Over the medium term, the bank intends to raise additional capital to strengthen capitalisation and enhance operations. FCMB’s asset quality indicators weakened further in FY18, with the gross non-performing loan (“NPL”) ratio ending at 5.9% (FY17: 4.9%), albeit remained lower than the peer group average of 8.5%. NPLs increased by 18.4% to N39.3bn in FY18, despite write-offs totaling about N13.7bn and the impact of the full implementation of IFRS 9, which saw some newly classified loans. However, adequate provisioning was made for the impaired loans at FY18, with a general coverage of 120.9% (FY17: 76.2%). The bank’s liquidity metrics reflects an improvement at FY18, having the ratio of liquidity and trading assets.

Brief Profile of Oladipupo Balogun, Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc.

Ladi Balogun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom and an MBA from Harvard Business School, United States of America. Mr. Balogun began his banking career in 1993 at Morgan Grenfell and Co, Limited and worked at Citibank in New York before returning to Nigeria as an Executive Assistant to the Chairman / Chief Executive of First City Merchant Bank Limited (which later became Plc) in 1996. He has over 20 years experience in commercial and investment banking in Europe, the United States of America and Africa. He is currently the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc. Mr. Oladipupo Balogun is by all standards a very successful entrepreneur in the Nigerian labour market. To be an entrepreneur and also emerge a successful entrepreneur is another task yet both have a template to operate. The founder of FCMB himself, Otunba Subomi Balogun reported some years ago to have said “I pity the boy how he works”. Ladi Balogun is running, directing the affairs of a banking conglomerate as its prime mover. 

The Issues Magazine can easily illustrate Ladi Balogun as a highly knowledgeable entrepreneur for his ability to recognise and create opportunity, taking action within the framework of a wide spectra of information in the age of innovative products and practices.

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