Measured by customer deposit and profit after tax, Zenith Bank Plc has moved up to become Nigeria’s biggest bank.Comparing the financial reports of the big banks in the country, Zenith came up tops with a deposit of N3.437 trillion. Having grown its deposit base by 15.2 per cent from N2.983 trillion last year, Zenith toppled First Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank to become the biggest in terms of deposits it held on behalf of its customers as at Dcember 31, 2017.
The Bank also recorded the largest profit in the banking industry, posting a profit after tax of N177.93 billion, an improvement over N129.65 billion profit it made in the comparable period of 2016. It grew its profit faster than GTB, which recorded the largest profit of N132.28 billion in the 2016 financial year. GTB’s profit for the year 2017 had grown to N170.47 billion, making it the second largest by profit in the country. United Bank for Africa Followed GTB on the profit list, recording a profit after tax of N72 billion, while Access Bank, Ecobank, First Bank, Fidelity, FCMB, Sterling and Wema Banks followed on the list with profits of N72 billion, N62 billion, N58 billion, N50 Billion, N18 billion, N9.5 billion, N8 billion and N2 billion respectively.
Zenith Bank’s customer deposit as at the end of the 2017 financial year was N1.8 trillion more than any of the other banks. Between the five tier-one banks, comprising of First Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, a cumulative customer deposit of N14.1 trillion was recorded for 2017. In terms of Current deposits, Zenith Bank ranks first with N1.8 trillion followed by GTB which comes second with about N1.3 trillion and UBA with N1.1 trillion. Current deposits cost banks zero in terms of interest rates and are most sought after. Savings deposits are one of the cheapest ways of mobilising funding and here, First Bank rules with a humongous N1 trillion out of a total of N2.7 trillion kept by the banks.
UBA is next with N601 billion followed by GTBank with N506 billion. Term or fixed deposits are perhaps the most expensive forms of deposits. Access Bank has the highest term deposits with over N1.29 trillion, followed by First Bank with N1 trillion, while UBA comes third with N795 trillion. Access Bank and GTBank do not separately disclose its domiciliary account deposits. So, it is likely that it is included in term, savings or current deposits.