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Strong Growth in Earnings for Leading Nigerian Banks in H1 2023

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Retail banking

Financial reports released by eight Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) for the first half of 2023 have showcased robust financial performances, collectively amassing N3.9 trillion in gross earnings.

These figures were recently disclosed through the financial statements published on the Nigerian Exchange Limited’s website.

Zenith Bank: Zenith Bank, in its audited results for the half-year ending on June 30, 2023, stood out with remarkable growth, posting a 139 percent surge in gross earnings. This figure soared from N404.8 billion in H1 2022 to N967.3 billion in H1 2023.

The bank also reported a 161.84 percent increase in profit after tax, reaching N291.7 billion by June 2023.

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTCO): GTCO recorded a substantial 85 percent rise in gross earnings during H1 2023, soaring to N672.603 billion from the N364.306 billion recorded in the previous year.

In its audited consolidated and separate financial statements filed with both the Nigerian Exchange Group and London Stock Exchange, the bank reported a profit after tax of N280.482 billion for H1 2023, compared to N77.557 billion in the corresponding period of 2022.

United Bank for Africa (UBA): UBA demonstrated its financial prowess with a remarkable 164 percent increase in gross earnings, reaching N981.78 billion in June 2023, compared to N372.36 billion in June 2022.

According to the bank’s audited financial report, its profit after tax surged to N378.24 billion, reflecting a staggering 437.8 percent increase over H1 2022.

First Bank: Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank, experienced substantial growth in gross earnings, witnessing an 82.8 percent increase to N656.6 billion in H1 2023, compared to N359.2 billion in the same period of 2022.

The bank’s profit after tax also saw significant growth, increasing to N174.9 billion in H1 2023 from N53.3 billion in the previous year.

Also, other prominent banks that recorded substantial growth in gross earnings in the first half of 2023 included Wema Bank (N89.09 billion), Fidelity Bank (N247.1 billion), Sterling Holding (N99.06 billion), and FCMB (N238.2 billion). Cumulatively, these eight banks collectively amassed N3.9 trillion in the first six months of the year.

A deeper analysis of these banks’ financial statements indicated that the impressive performance in the first half of the year was primarily attributable to the devaluation of the naira following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to float the local currency.

For instance, Zenith Bank’s interest income surged by 72 percent, reaching N415.4 billion in H1 2023 from N241.7 billion in H1 2022. Additionally, trading gains rose by 21 percent to N103 billion during this period.

The growth in interest income was attributed to the impact of both the expansion and repricing of risk assets.

“The liberalization of the foreign exchange market during the period spurred the growth in non-interest income as revaluation gains improved significantly,” noted the bank.

These impressive financial performances underscore the resilience and adaptability of Nigerian banks in the face of economic challenges and changing market conditions, positioning them as key players in the nation’s financial landscape.

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Banking Sector

Jaiz Bank Boosts Chairman’s Income to N24m Amidst Strategic Expansion

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Jaiz Bank

Jaiz Bank has announced a 20% increase in its chairman’s annual income to N24 million.

This decision was unveiled in a recent statement filed with the Nigeria Exchange Limited, highlighting the bank’s commitment to rewarding leadership amidst its expansion plans.

The bank, renowned for its pioneering role in non-interest banking in Nigeria since 2012, also approved a remuneration package of N20 million for each non-executive director.

The announcement was made by the bank’s secretary, Mohammed Shehu, highlighting the importance of competitive compensation for board members who provide crucial oversight and strategic guidance.

Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) expressed confidence in the board’s leadership by approving the resolution on directors’ fees.

This move aligns with Jaiz Bank’s ongoing efforts to enhance its capital base to N70 billion by the end of 2024.

The bank also announced a dividend of 4 kobo per share, which will be distributed to shareholders on July 16, 2024.

This dividend declaration was welcomed as a testament to the bank’s operational success in a challenging economic climate.

Also, the AGM saw the re-election of Muhammadu Indimi and Muhammad Abdulmutallab as non-executive directors, reaffirming shareholder trust in their leadership capabilities.

Jaiz Bank’s financial performance has been impressive, with a 67% increase in profit before tax, reaching N11.1 billion in 2023.

Gross earnings also rose by 42% to N47.2 billion from the previous year, showcasing the bank’s successful growth strategy.

As Jaiz Bank continues to expand its services, the enhanced remuneration package signals a commitment to maintaining strong governance and leadership, paving the way for future achievements in ethical banking.

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Banking Sector

Nigeria Plans 50% Windfall Tax on Banks’ Currency Profits

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has announced a one-time 50% tax on windfall profits that banks reaped from currency gains following last year’s naira devaluation.

This decision was part of the government’s strategy to navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The naira, which has depreciated by about 70% against the dollar since foreign exchange rules were relaxed in June 2023, allowed banks holding dollar assets to significantly boost their income.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria had advised lenders to retain these profits as a buffer against potential future losses.

The proposed tax will apply to the 2023 financial year, with non-compliance resulting in hefty fines.

The move has already impacted the NGX Banking Index, which fell by 1.3% as of midday trading in Lagos. Notable declines were seen in FBN Holdings Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, dropping 3.2% and 2.5% respectively.

This initiative mirrors similar actions in Europe, where countries like Italy and Hungary have imposed taxes on banks to address what they view as excessive profits during periods of high inflation and interest rates.

European banks have criticized these measures, warning of potential impacts on economic growth due to constrained lending capabilities.

President Tinubu’s administration believes this tax will help manage Nigeria’s fiscal challenges while addressing social needs.

Lawmakers are expected to support the measure, alongside a proposal to increase government spending by 6.2 trillion naira ($3.8 billion).

While banks have benefited from currency revaluations, many customers, particularly manufacturers with dollar-denominated loans, faced significant losses as they struggled with the weaker naira.

The new tax policy highlights the government’s broader efforts to stabilize the economy and attract foreign investment, aiming to ensure a more equitable distribution of financial gains.

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Banking Sector

Unity Bank Customers Win Over N4 Million in Cashtoken Rewards Promo

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Unity Bank customers have claimed over N4 million in cash rewards in its ongoing loyalty programme recently rolled out with Cashtoken, a Cash Reward-as-a-Service company.

The winners included no fewer than 40 customers who adopted and transacted on the Bank’s digital banking platforms, including the UniFi mobile banking application, the *7799# USSD platform or activated their Unity Bank Verve Card to transact on e-payment terminals across Nigeria.

Beginning from onboarding in our customer lifecycle journey, the Unity Bank Cashtoken Partnership commenced as a loyalty and reward scheme to reinforce the benefits of e-banking platforms. To begin, Customer transactions earn cash tokens, which are then redeemed to qualify for the monthly Cashtoken Rewards draw. Consequently, winners emerge from the draws to claim the cash prizes.

Recall that the retail lender announced the ongoing Cashtoken Rewards loyalty programme in December 2023 in partnership with Cashtoken Rewards Africa to empower customers and improve customer satisfaction. The partnership with Cashtoken Rewards also provided an opportunity for the Bank to migrate customers—old and new—to a platform that will continually create exciting rewards and appreciation for loyalty.

Eghomware Iyamu, Unity Bank’s Head of E-Business, commenting on the success of the Cashtoken Rewards loyalty program, stated: “We are excited to see our customers win over N4 million in cash rewards through our partnership with Cashtoken. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to recognizing and rewarding the loyalty of our customers”.

“By leveraging our digital banking platforms, including the Unifi mobile banking application and the *7799# USSD platform, we are not only enhancing customer experience but also providing life-changing opportunities. The Cashtoken Rewards program is a testament to our dedication to improving customer satisfaction and creating meaningful rewards along our customer lifecycle journey. We look forward to seeing more of our customers benefit from this exciting program as we continue to innovate and deliver exceptional value to them.”

Unity Bank has robust electronic banking products which include mobile and digital banking channels, including ATM, PoS, or any digital payment channels which support retail product transactions across the country. New-to-Bank customers are invited to open a Unity Bank account, onboard onto the digital platforms and begin transacting on the various platforms to earn cash token rewards and cash prizes while existing customers are encouraged to onboard and transact to win even more rewards and cash prizes.

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