Zenith Bank has again been named Nigeria’s largest financial institution by The Banker Magazine, an arm of the London Financial Times. In its 2013 rating of the world’s Top 1000 banks, The Banker Magazine also listed the bank as Africa’s 6th largest by Tier 1 capital having grown its Tier I capital to $2.969 billion within 12 months.
According to the assessors, Zenith Bank rose rapidly from being the world’s 322nd in 2012 to become its 287th in 2013, stressing it was an indication that the Nigerian banking industry did pretty well on profit basis.
While, for instance, the country’s top 10 banks made aggregate net profit before tax of $993 million in 2012, the figure however, rose to $3.1 billion in the 2013 rating.
Other banks that occupied the top 13 slots in the global ranking for Africa include First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. and Access Bank Plc.
Others include United Bank for Africa Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Plc., Fidelity Bank Plc, The First City Monument Bank Plc., Skye Bank Plc., Diamond Bank Plc., Stanbic IBTC Plc., Union Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Country Representative of The Banker Magazine, Kunle Ogedengbe, who made the announcement at the weekend said Zenith Bank moved 35 places from 322 in the world last year to 287 as its total assets hit $17 billion while First Bank moved to 338 from 367, Guaranty Bank moved to 417 from 455; Access Bank moved to 506 from 541 and UBA moved to 553 from 563.
Analysts see these movements as strong indications of the improvements in the health and soundness of the Nigerian banks in the comity of global banks and the robust monetary policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The ranking is usually based on the definition of Tier-1 Capital as set out by Basel’s Bank for International Settlements (BIS). It also aims at showing international banks’ soundness in relation to the Basel guidelines on capital adequacy.
The percentage change in the Tier-1 Capital, which underlines the strength of banks for Zenith Bank increased by 23.82 percent, the highest for Nigerian banks that made the ranking.
In the capital asset ratio of soundness parameter, Zenith Bank came top at 17.70 percent, trailed by Guaranty Trust Bank at 16.23 percent. Third was Fidelity Bank at 15.67 percent. Standard Chartered Nigeria was fourth at 13.38 percent, followed by FCMB at 12.00 percent and First Bank at 11.96 percent; Access Bank at 11.60 percent; Stanbic IBTC at 11.55 percent and Ecobank at 11.14 percent.
Also, Zenith, First Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank made pre-tax earnings of more than $500 million, which was first for Nigeria.