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Banking Sector

Nigeria’s Average Banking Return on Equities (ROEs) to Hit 21 Percent – McKinsey & Company



The financial services industry is surviving the economic ravages of COVID-19 better than expected, but banks are quickly splitting into “rock star” performers and poorly performing laggards. Welcome to the great divergence!, stated McKinsey & Company.

McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, examines how banks fared in the whirlwind of 2020; details the factors that will influence their economic fate in the coming years (such as geography, customer base, scale, and business model); and looks at the forces lifting one set of banks above the rest.

In the 11th edition of McKinsey & Company Global Banking Annual Review 202 report released on December 2, 2021, the financial services industry is said to be trading at 1.3 times equity book value globally while in Africa banks ate trading at 1.0 times, Nigerian banks are trading at 0.4 times equity on the books. See key findings below.

Key 2021 report findings include that:

  • Financial services as a whole (including banks, fintechs, and specialists) is trading at 1.3 times equity book value globally, well below the remaining sectors at 3.0 times book value. Globally and in Africa, banks are trading at 1.0 times, while Nigerian banks are trading at 0.4 times the equity on their books.
  • Payments specialists, exchanges, and some securities firms captured more than 50 percent of the $1.9 trillion in market cap that the industry added globally.
  • The gap between the banking industry’s leaders and laggards, as measured by total return to shareholders (TRS), has steadily widened. In Africa, TRS for the top-quintile performers was 159 basis points higher than the bottom quintile in 2021. This gap has tripled in the past ten years, with most of the divergence happening in the past four years.

The analysis shows that there are four primary sources for the divergence. The first three—geography, scale, and segment focus—are difficult for banks to change. The fourth—business model—is well within banks’ power to adapt, and our analysis found that banks with capital-light and specialized businesses focused on fees typically thrive. Weak performers can catch up, but time is short. Two-thirds of the value generated (valuations/market cap) during an entire economic recovery cycle is created during the first two years after a crisis.

“In Africa, average banking return on equities (ROEs) dipped from 15 percent in 2019 to 9 percent in 2020, a steeper fall than global ROEs. The industry is set for a recovery that could put African banking ROEs at between 13 and 15 percent by 2025. In Nigeria, average ROEs dropped from 20 percent to 18 percent between 2019 and 2020, and are expected to recover to between 19 and 21 percent, said Mayowa Kuyoro, a Partner in McKinsey’s Lagos office.

Overall, fintechs and specialized financial-services providers—in payments, consumer finance, or wealth management—are generating higher valuation multiples than most global universal banks. This is no different in Africa. Over the last 12 months, we have witnessed some of these institutions achieve valuations that have been higher than universal banks. Some fintechs are going from a rough sketch to billion-dollar valuation in a few years.

There is a significant competitive advantage linked to scale. In Africa, the top three largest banks in each country are on average 10 points more cost-efficient than the rest of the market. Banks often can’t change their geography, scale, or segment, but the business model they adopt is in their control. Yet many traditional banks have pursued a commoditized universal bank business model based on retail deposits and corporate lending.

According to the report, African banking is now more profitable, and revenues are expected to grow faster than the rest of the global industry with an average growth rate of between 7 and 9 percent.

“We are seeing an accelerating divergence of returns between top and bottom African banking players,” said Francois Jurd de Girancourt, Head of McKinsey’s Banking Practice in Africa. “Winners are benefiting from the great divergence in three ways: (i) by focusing on customer ownership—leveraging technology to increase contacts points and leveraging customer data to personalize offers; (ii) by growing the fee part of the business on the continent—leveraging consumer and merchant payments, corporate transaction banking services and wealth products; and (iii) by deploying the balance sheet outside of their traditional customer base—lending to the unbanked/low-data consumers and SMEs, and offering new products, e.g., through apps and wallets.”

The next few years are crucial for any African bank with aspirations to land on the right side of the divergence described in this year’s report. Not only is there simply no value to waiting, but also history shows a pattern in which institutions that take bold steps toward growth in the first years after a crisis generally hold on to those gains for the longer term.

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Commemorates 2022 International Youth Day, Dedicating the Week to Celebrating the Youth

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022.



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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022 and themed “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.” 

The International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. The Day also amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.

Leading up to the day, the Bank dedicated the week of 8 – 12 August with a lineup of activities to reiterate its commitment to Youth Empowerment.

As a Bank renowned for its role in developing the economy through sustainable employment and entrepreneurship endeavours, the 2022 edition of the Youth Week will promote economic empowerment and employment, digital technology, and education as its focus during the celebration.

The Youth Week comprises various activities, including a Fashion illustration workshop, Design skill training, Gen Z/Millennial Webinar and many more exciting activities. These activities would give participants opportunities to win various exciting gift items.

Under the First@arts program, the Bank will empower the youths through Artistry Workshop Sessions & Arts Classes. Interested in the art of fashion design and illustrations, visit the Bank’s social media handles – Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr – for information on how you can be among 10 lucky winners to have the opportunity to learn the business of fashion at Claire Idera fashion studio.

Likewise, the Creative design workshop will enable youths design skill training; design thinking principles and their application in the context of layout, typefaces and colour. Interested youths can also participate on the FirstBank social media handles, where 25 lucky winners will be selected to learn the Art of Design at Geneza School of Designs.

Commemorating the Youth Week, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said: ‘’We remain committed to celebrating the younger demography whose voices, actions, vigour, and tireless participation in the political, economic, and social activities have continued to birth major contributions towards the sustainable development of Africa and the world at large. The planned activities will promote better collaboration and solidarity across generations to foster successful and equitable relationships, and partnerships thereby ensuring “no one is left behind” and empowering everyone to leverage their full potential toward achieving the much-desired Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Youth demography has a striking significance for us at FirstBank with the Millennials and Gen Zs constituting almost 60% of our workforce. This shows that youths are an integral part of our organisation and every country where we operate”, he concluded.

For more information and participation in the Youth Week, kindly visit the bank’s verified social media platforms; Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr

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Banking Sector

FBN Holdings Reports 49% Increase in Profit in H1 2022

FBN Holdings Plc has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.



Nnamdi Okonkwo

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.

The financial services provider announced gross earnings of N359.2 billion for the period under review, an increase of 22.4% when compared to the N293.4 billion recorded in the first half of 2021.

Interest income jumped 40.6% from N161 billion achieved in H1 2021 to N226.4 billion. While the Group’s net interest income rose a whopping 47.3% to N152.9 billion, up from N103.8 billion in H1 2021.

Non-interest income remained largely unchanged at N120.6 billion, a 0.2% decline from N120.9 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2021.

FBN Holdings’ operating income expanded by 21.7% to N273.5 billion from N224.7 billion in H1 2021. The lender’s impairment charges improved by 18.7% to N21.7 billion, down from N26.7 billion in the same period of 2021.

As expected, operating expenses inched higher to N186 billion from N152.6 billion recorded in H1 2021. Profit before tax stood at N65.7 billion a 45.3% increase from N45.2 billion filed in H1 2021.

The total profit realised for the period grew by 48.6% from N38.1 billion in H1 2021 to N56.5 billion in H1 2022.

Earnings per share also rose 48% to N1.55 from N1.05.

Speaking on the group performance, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Group Managing Director said “FBNHoldings continues to demonstrate resilient performance despite the challenging operating environment with an impressive improvement in revenue and profitability. For the half year 2022, gross earnings and profit before tax grew by 22% y-o-y and 45% y-o-y to N359.2 billion and N65.7 billion respectively. Furthermore, we continue to see good progress across our performance metrics, which remain in line with our focus on driving sustainable growth.

“The Group remains committed in its transformation drive, which has resulted in stronger balance sheet and better asset quality with non-performing loans closing at 5.4% at H1 2022. Similarly, risk management capability remains robust across the Group supporting the drive for enhanced earnings for sustainable capital accretion.

“During the period, cost to income ratio remained flat y-o-y despite the inflationary and currency pressure, as we continue to focus on optimising overall efficiency.

“Our strategic intent remains unchanged in optimising opportunities that drive growth in revenue, profitability, capital accretion and overall operational efficiency that delivers sustainable value to our stakeholders.”

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Banking Sector

FirstBank’s Firstmonie Agents Processed Over N22 Trillion in Transaction Value

FirstMonie Agents have processed over N22 trillion in combined transaction value.



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Nigeria’s leading financial services provider, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited on Thursday said its fast-growing agent banking network, Firstmonie Agents, has collectively processed over N22 trillion in transaction value.

The lender, which announced a profit after tax of N53.3 billion in the first half of the year, said Firstmonie Agents processed transaction volume in excess of 1 billion across all its 180,000 agents that operate in 772 local governments.

In an effort to bring financial services to the unbanked and underbanked segment of the Nigerian society, Firstmonie Agents was the first banking network to operate in all the local government areas, except the two local governments enmeshed in insecurity.

Since its launch, FirstMonie Agent Banking has been providing convenient banking services to Nigerians previously cut off from the financial system, playing a pivotal role in deepening financial inclusion and empowering existing businesses within the communities to deliver these services.

Popularly called ‘Human ATM’, Firstmonie Agents are empowered to reduce the reliance on over-the-counter transactions while providing convenient personalized services. Amongst the services carried out by the Agents include; Account Opening, Cash Deposit, Airtime Purchase, Bills Payment, Withdrawals and Money Transfer.

Through various empowerment and reward schemes implemented to put its Firstmonie Agents at an advantage to economically impact their immediate communities whilst importantly having their business sustained, the Bank’s Agent Banking scheme has remained a toast to Nigerians, irrespective of where they are in the country. Amongst these schemes is the Agent Credit – launched in 2020 – which has had the Bank provide credit facilities to the tune of 238 billion naira to its teeming Firstmonie Agents.

Commenting on the milestone, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “since the relaunch of our Agent Banking scheme in 2018, our Firstmonie Agents have played a vital role in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country, as many more people have been able to undertake various financial and business transactions in cost-effective ways, thereby saving a lot of time and money in travelling over long distances for basic banking services.“

“We are delighted by the giant strides of our Firstmonie Agents in promoting financial inclusion and commend them for their efforts in taking banking to the doorsteps of Nigerians – irrespective of where they are – in a very effective way”, he concluded.

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