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Reversal of Naira redesign, forex policies balloon banks’ deposits


New naira

Major banks in Nigeria have recorded customers’ deposits growth rate of 53.6 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) to N64.26 trillion in the nine months ended September 30, 2023 (9M’23) from N41.83 trillion recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.

The banks are Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCo) Plc, and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Others are Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Jaiz Bank Plc and Wema Bank Plc..

Findings from the banks’ financial statement for the period showed that tier-1 banks recorded the highest patronage from depositors during the period.

Tier-1 bank, Zenith Bank Plc, led with 66.42 percent YoY growth in its customers’ deposits which hit N13.38 trillion from N8.04 trillion it recorded in 9M’22. Another tier-1 bank, UBA Plc, followed, recording a 65.4 percent increase to N11.63 trillion from N7.03 trillion in the corresponding period in 2022.

Access Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc emerged third on the list with 55.6 percent deposit growth rate each. While Access Bank grew its deposit to N12.75 trillion from N8.19 trillion in 2022, Stanbic IBTC posted N1.77 trillion in its customers’ deposits during the period compared to N1.14 trillion in the same period in 2022.

Wema Bank ranked fourth with a 52.8 percent growth to N1.65 trillion from N1.08 trillion in 2022, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCo) Plc emerged fifth with 46.7 percent increase to N6.23 trillion from N4.56 trillion in the corresponding period of 2022.

Meanwhile, financial analysts have attributed the growth to release of depositors cash earlier seized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the Naira redesign exercise by the apex bank, as well as unleashing of more cash in the pursuit of foreign currencies following the depreciation of Naira under a new foreign exchange policy of the government.

According to David Adonri, Vice Chairman, Highcap securities, “Growth in banks’ customer’s deposits in the nine months may be connected with the floating of the Naira during the period. More Naira became required to purchase hard currencies sold by banks. Return of depositors’ cash that was earlier seized by the  CBN may have also increased deposits. It also restored cash based transactions dislocated during the currency redesign exercise thus enhancing more sales deposit by micro and small enterprises.

“Rising prices of petroleum products also removed money from consumer’s pockets which may have increased the deposit made by marketers. The pass through effect of stock market transactions in the recent boom wherein investment funds go through bank accounts may also have increased bank deposits.”

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