10 Best Banks in Nigeria

As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) serves as the country’s central monetary authority, it continues to guide the operations of banks in the country.

As the lender of last resort established under a 1958 Act of Parliament, the CBN continues to oversee the operations of financial institutions and banks in Nigeria, helping ensure high banking standards and financial stability in the industry and promoting an efficient payment system.

As a result, some of these banks have got good reviews based on certain parameters that made them be among the top ten in Nigeria. Therefore, the top ten banks must be listed as guides for anyone who wants to invest in Nigeria. These banks have been able to weather the storm, and they continue to wax stronger.

They include:

Zenith Bank

The services rendered by Zenith Bank incorporated in 1990 include retail and SME banking, private banking, corporate and investment banking, foreign exchange, treasury, trade services, and other financial services. After bec0oming a public limited liability company in 2014, it was subsequently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

With over 1.6 million customers and 7000 staff, Zenith Bank operates through a network of over 500 branches and subsidiaries and representative offices in Ghana, Gambia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, China, and UAE (Dubai).

The asset base of the bank is over NGN 4.83 trillion.

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank)

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) was founded in 1990 but began banking operations in 1991, offering a full range of financial services, including retail, corporate, investment banking, online/internet banking, and asset management.

It became the first African Bank listed on London Stock Exchange to hold its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2007. The bank headquarters is in Victoria Island, Lagos, with 6,459 individuals under its pay role while servicing over eight million customers.

As an African pan bank, it operates a network of 220 domestic branches, 1,165 ATMs, and 44 e-branches, as well as several branches in other African countries and the UK. The total asset of GTB amount to NGN 3.43 trillion.

First Bank of Nigeria

This is the oldest bank in Nigeria, established in 1894 and became a public liability company in 1970. First Bank of Nigeria operates through four major Strategic Business Units (SBUs): Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, and Public Sector Banking. It later joined the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971.

Having expanded both within and outside Nigeria, First Bank has subsidiaries in West African countries and the UK. It also has representative offices in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, and Johannesburg. It boasts over 7,000 staff, oversees a network of around 760 branches and over 2,600 ATMs.

Its total asset as of 2017 stands at NGN 5.24 trillion.

Ecobank Nigeria

This is another pan-African Bank founded in 1986. As a subsidiary of the pan-African banking group Ecobank Transnational Inc., Ecobank offers retail, corporate, wholesale and transaction banking services, capital markets and investment banking services.

With over 600 branches in Nigeria, it operates through three major units: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Treasury and Financial Institutions, boasting total assets amounting to NGN 6.26 trillion.

Access Bank

Access Bank was granted a commercial banking license in 1988, and it later became a privately owned commercial bank in 1989. Operating through four major segments: Personal Banking, Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Corporate and Investment Banking, Access Bank has over 2,965 employees on its payroll while it operates 317 branches in Nigeria, as well as two branches in the UK and a representative office in the Republic of China, UAE, India (Mumbai), and Lebanon (Beirut). Its total asset amounts to over NGN 5. trillion after acquiring Diamond Bank.

Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC

The bank is a financial service holding company boasting nine subsidiaries diversifying in Pension, Investment, Capital, Stock exchange, asset management, and banking.

As Africa’s largest banking group by assets and earnings, the Stanbic Banking sector currently operates in 18 countries,

As of 2020, the total assets of Stanbic IBTC amounts to NGN 2.49 Trillion.

United Bank for Africa (UBA)

UBA was founded in 1949 as the British and French Bank Limited (BFB). It held an IPO in 1970, becoming the first Nigerian bank to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Its services include retail, commercial, and corporate customers, providing a wide range of financial products and services.

With over 12,500 staff, UBA serves more than 14 million customers around the world. It also operates a network of over 1,000 branches and touchpoints, 13,500 POS terminals, and 1,740 ATMs in Africa, with assets valued at NGN 3.69 trillion (2017).Union Bank of Nigeria

This is another old bank in Nigeria founded in 1917 as Colonial Bank. The name Union Bank of Nigeria was adopted after it became a wholly-owned Nigerian entity and to comply with the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990.

With over 2700 employees, Union Bank offers retail and commercial services to individuals, SMEs, and major corporations. It also serves 4.3 million customers through a network of 300 sales and service centers, over 950 ATMs, and 7,000 active POS terminals with total assets valued at NGN 1.33 trillion.

Fidelity Bank

Fidelity Bank started its banking operations in 1988 as a merchant bank after being incorporated in 1987. After becoming a commercial bank in 1999, it obtained its universal banking license two years later, offering a wide range of financial products and services to individual and corporate customers, focusing on retail and electronic banking, SMEs, and niche corporate banking.

With over 240 business offices, 774 ATMs, and 4,046 POS terminals, Union Bank has total assets amounting to NGN 1.3 trillion.

First City Monument Bank

Widely known as FCMB, the bank was founded on the 20th of April 1982, making history the first bank in Nigeria to be established without Government or Foreign support.

Services it offers include Retail banking, Corporate Banking, Investment banking to small and large corporations, individuals, and Small and medium enterprises.

It has won several awards, including the best SME bank in Africa, of Outstanding SME supporting bank of the year, amongst others. Its total assets value went up by 21% YoY to N1.43 trillion in the year 2020.

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