The top five elite banks in Nigeria have collectively lent out a total of N49.999 trillion (about $121 billion) as loans and advances to their numerous customers between January 2016 and December 2020, new findings revealed.
According to a report by Arise TV, the data were gathered from the respective financial statements of the big banks. The banks are; Access Bank Plc., Guaranty Trust Bank Plc., Zenith Bank Plc., FBN Holdings Plc., and the United Bank for Africa Plc.
Recall that a global management firm, Mckinsey & Company in a recent report, warned of an unprecedented slowdown in bank lending in Nigeria, due to the hard-biting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the report, Mckinsey & Company said: ‘’For financially strong tier-1 banks with scale (resilient and market leaders), now is the time to consider investing in technology infrastructure and talent to expand beyond current customers and products. The COVID-19 pandemic and other on-going pressures present the sector with a new vantage point from which to address structural vulnerabilities and position itself for sustainable long-term growth.
‘’To thrive beyond the crisis, Nigerian banks would need to bolster their capital levels and grow capital faster than the rates of inflation and devaluation. This will be no small feat in the current environment. Given the need to meet Basel III requirements, the possible deterioration of asset quality, and some foreign-exchange-based commitments to service, it is likely that another round of consolidation and capital raising is approaching.’’
Despite the gloomy economic outlook, here is how much the elite banks individually lent out during the period under review.
Access Bank Plc
Access Bank led the chart in terms of loans disbursed during the period. The Herber Wigwe-led bank gave out a total of N11.929 trillion to its customers during the aforementioned period. A cursory look at the figures revealed that the pan-African bank lent out N1.809 trillion in 2016, N1.996 trillion in 2017, N1.994 trillion in 2018, N2.911 trillion in 2019 and N3.218 trillion in 2020.
Naijabusiness.com.ng gathered that loans disbursed by this financial giant rose sharply in the last two years due to its acquisition of former rival, Diamond Bank.
Zenith Bank Plc
Zenith Bank followed closely with a total loan disbursement of N11.297 trillion during the period under review. The breakdown of the disbursement showed that the most profitable Nigerian bank gave out N2.289 trillion in 2016, N2.100 trillion in 2017, N1.823 trillion in 2018, N22.305 trillion in 2019 and N2.779 trillion in 2020.
First Bank Holdings Plc
The oldest Nigerian bank also made the elite list with a total loan issuance of N9.825 trillion in the five-year period. The bank gave out the sums of N2.084 trillion, N2.001 trillion, N1.670 trillion, N1.852 trillion and N2.217 trillion as loans in the periods 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.
United Bank for Africa Plc
UBA Plc gave out a total of N9.488 trillion loans to its customers. The Tony Elumelu’s led bank gave out N1.505 trillion in 2016, N1.651 trillion in 2017, N1.715 trillion in 2018, N2.061 trillion in 2019 and N2.555 trillion in 2020.
Guaranty Trust Bank
The last but not least is GT Bank. The most capitalized financial institution in Nigeria gave out a total of N7.460 trillion within the same period. The breakdown of the amount showed that the lender issued; N1.589 trillion in 2016, N1.448 trillion in 2017, N1.259 trillion in 2018, N1.500 trillion in 2019 and N1.663 trillion in 2020.