In the first half of 2023, customers of Nigeria’s top nine commercial banks paid a whopping N154 billion in fees for utilizing electronic banking services, reflecting a robust 16.7% year-on-year increase compared to H1’22’s N131.97 billion.
The data, extracted from the financial statements of these banks, underscores the escalating trend of Nigerians embracing electronic payment channels.
Leading the pack in revenue generation from these fees is Access Bank, amassing N43.9 billion, followed by United Bank for Africa Plc (N51.07 billion), Zenith Bank (N22.27 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N21.2 billion), and others like Stanbic IBTC (N2.14 billion), First City Monument Bank (N7.4 billion), Unity Bank (N1.96 billion), Fidelity Bank (N1.85 billion), and Wema Bank (N3.13 billion).
Electronic banking services encompass a gamut of options, including internet banking, mobile banking, ATMs, and Point of Sale (PoS) systems.
Recent data from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) for Q1’23 indicates a substantial surge in electronic transactions.
Transaction volume increased by 209% YoY to 4.7 billion, and transaction value grew by 48% YoY to N137.52 trillion.
The nine banks collectively raked in N66.7 billion in account maintenance fees and commissions during H1’23, reflecting a 14.7% YoY rise.
Zenith Bank led this category with N21.02 billion, trailed by Access Bank (N13.36 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N10.5 billion), and United Bank of Africa (N9.6 billion).
Overall, the banks’ cumulative net fees and commission income registered a substantial 20.7% YoY growth, reaching N448.47 billion in H1’23 from N371.43 billion in H1’22.
FirstBank UK Enhances Fixed-Income Workflow Through Bloomberg Integration
FirstBank UK, the UK subsidiary of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced its onboarding on Bloomberg’s Trade Order Management System (TOMS) to enhance its fixed-income workflow.
The integration with TOMS is expected to provide FirstBank UK with access to a comprehensive suite of data and analytics, communications, order, and execution management solutions, streamlining its fixed-income bonds business.
As a niche market-maker for its customers in Africa, FirstBank UK plays a vital role in providing market liquidity in cash bonds, particularly in Nigerian, Angolan, Egyptian, and Ghanaian Eurobonds, to manage risk and optimize its inventory.
Olukorede Adenowo, CEO-designate at FirstBank UK, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, stating, “Bloomberg TOMS provides FirstBank UK with a complete end-to-end trading workflow covering African bonds in most of our home markets. The solution enables us to focus on expanding our footprint in the African Fixed Income landscape and deliver a first-in-kind service to our customers in Africa.”
Bloomberg’s TOMS is renowned for enhancing operational efficiency across enterprises. Lisa Bravo, Global Head of Sell-Side OMS at Bloomberg, commented, “We are pleased to help FirstBank UK enhance operational efficiency across its enterprise with our award-winning sell-side order management solution TOMS.”
FirstBank UK had previously digitized its order management workflow by offering clients access to liquidity on its Eurobond Single-Dealer Platform.
The recent integration with Bloomberg TOMS aims to centralize order handling, aggregated custom analytics, and liquidity tools within a single interface, facilitating real-time access to liquidity for customers.
Robert Hagenaars, Head of Markets at FirstBank UK, highlighted the unique feature of real-time access to liquidity in their markets, providing a distinct advantage for their customers.
This move signifies FirstBank UK’s commitment to leveraging advanced technological solutions to fortify its position in the African Fixed Income market and deliver enhanced services to its clientele.
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Nigerian Bank Shares Surge as Central Bank Signals Capital Buffer Strengthening
Investors Respond Positively to Anticipated Capital Raising Measures
Nigerian bank shares experienced a surge on Monday as investor sentiment rose following the central bank’s announcement that banks should increase their capital to cushion against economic uncertainty.
FBN Holdings Plc led the way with a 10% increase to N22 per share, its highest-a-day increase in five months.
Access Holdings Plc and Sterling Financial Holdings Plc also joined the upward trend, recording gains of 4.3% and 5%, respectively.
The banking index, which gauges the performance of the country’s major lenders, rose 1.7% to 754.95, reflecting the most significant increase in almost a month.
Investors are interpreting the central bank’s directive as a precursor to potential capital-raising initiatives by banks.
Joshua Odebisi, a bank equity analyst at RMB Nigeria Stockbrokers, stated, “Investors are anticipating a few things that can happen, such as capital raising, which has potential upside for those taking a position now.”
He highlighted FBN as having significant room to fulfill higher capital requirements that the central bank might set.
Central Bank Governor Olayemi Cardoso announced the need for banks to raise additional capital as a safeguard against the challenges posed by the weaker naira and sluggish economic growth.
While specific details were not provided in the announcement, the industry expects forthcoming guidelines that may involve an increase in minimum shareholders’ equity and adjustments to capital adequacy ratios.
The move aligns with a broader industry trend of reinforcing capital buffers amid naira depreciation.
FBN had previously gained shareholder approval for a rights issue to raise up to 150 billion naira in fresh equity.
The central bank’s emphasis on capital strengthening comes as the Nigerian currency has experienced a 40% depreciation against the dollar since the easing of foreign-exchange controls in June.
FBN’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 16% in the third quarter, closely approaching the 15% minimum threshold for international banks.
In comparison, Access Bank reported a ratio of 19.6%, indicating a stronger position relative to regulatory requirements.
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