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Nigerian banks generate N73bn in account maintenance charges

The latest half-year financial statements of 11 commercial banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange, show that the financial institutions collectively earned N72.72 billion from account maintenance charges in the first half of 2023. The figure represents a 7.44% increase from the N67.69 billion generated during the same period in 2022.

Leading the pack in account maintenance charges are Zenith Bank, Access Holdings, GTCO, and UBA. Zenith Bank, in particular, claimed the top spot by generating a significant N21.02 billion in account maintenance income, accounting for 28.91% of the total earnings of the 11 banks. This represents a 6.32% increase from the N19.77 billion recorded in the first half of 2022.

Zenith Bank also reported an impressive 162% year-on-year increase in its profit after tax, reaching N291.73 billion.

Following closely in second place is Access Holdings, which earned N13.36 billion in account maintenance charges, marking a 10.97% year-on-year increase. Access Holdings, however, ranked fifth in terms of profit before tax growth, reporting a 52.37% increase in PAT at N135.44 billion in H1 2023.

GTCO secured the third position, generating N10.48 billion from account maintenance income, an 11.08% increase compared to the same period in 2022.Alongside this growth, GTCO reported a staggering 261.65% year-on-year increase in its profit after tax, reaching N280.48 billion.

UBA claimed the fourth spot, earning N9.64 billion in account maintenance charges, representing a notable 46.11% increase from H1 2022. UBA also achieved a remarkable 437.76% increase in net profit, standing at N378.24 billion.

First Bank of Nigeria, although ranking fifth in account maintenance income with N5.19 billion, experienced a decline of 43.5% from the previous year’s H1 earnings. However, this setback was offset by a significant 231% increase in profit after tax, reaching N187.18 billion.

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FCMB came up in the sixth position, accruing N3.85 billion from account maintenance charges, which represented a robust 16.3% growth compared to H1 2022. FCMB’s earnings accounted for 5.3% of the total N72.72 billion recorded by the 11 banks. The bank also surged ahead with a 159.17% year-on-year increase in profit after tax, amounting to N35.41 billion in the review period.

Account maintenance charges, though not the primary revenue stream for Nigerian banks, contribute substantially to their non-interest income. These charges are levied on current accounts for customer-induced debit transactions to third parties and debit transfers or lodgments to the customer’s account in another bank. As per the Central Bank of Nigeria’s(CBN) guidelines, banks can charge customers a “negotiable” N1 per mille, equivalent to N1 per N1,000 debit transactions on current accounts.

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