07 July 2013, Lagos – Zenith Bank tops Nigerian banks in this year’s Top 1000 World Banks Ranking of The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group, London, United Kingdom. The 13 banks that made the ranking are Zenith Bank, First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, Skye Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Union Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.
Zenith Bank moved 35 places from 322 in the world last year to 287, First Bank moved from 338 to 367, Guaranty Bank moved to 417 from 455, Access Bank moved to 506 from 541 and UBA moved to 553 from 563.
In the capital asset ratio of soundness parametre, Zenith Bank came top at 17.70 per cent followed by Guaranty Trust Bank at 16.23 per cent. Third is Fidelity Bank at 15.67 per cent, Standard Chartered Nigeria is fourth at 13.38 per cent followed by FCMB at 12.00 per cent and First Bank at 11.96 per cent, Access Bank at 11.60 per cent, Stanbic IBTC at 11.55 per cent, Ecobank at 11.14 per cent, Skye Bank at 9.90 per cent, UBA at 7.65 per cent, Diamond Bank at 7.31 per cent, and Union Bank at 6.35 per cent. According to a press release from the Country Representative – Nigeria of The Banker, Mr. Kunle Ogedengbe, 13 Nigerian banks made the ranking this year and it saw the return of Union Bank to the league of top global banks.
These movements according to analysts are a good sign of the improvements of the soundness of the Nigerian banks among the world global banks and the robust monetary policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Ogedengbe stressed that the ranking is usually based on the definition of Tier–1 Capital as set out by Basel’s Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and that it aims to show global 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 per cent, the highest in the wholly Nigerian banks that made the ranking.
According to the Banker magazine, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has leapfrogged two U.S. banks to top the 2013 global ranking of banks with the most capital, highlighting the growing size and importance of Chinese lenders. ICBC topped The Banker magazine’s annual list of the top 1,000 banks for the first time, relegating Bank of America to third from first, while JPMorgan Chase remained second. ICBC was third last year.
The rankings are based on Tier 1 capital as a measure of a bank’s ability to lend on a large scale and endure shocks. ICBC has for some time ranked as the top bank by market value. Britain’s HSBC, which gains much of its earnings from Asia, was fourth in The Banker’s list, with China Construction Bank (CCB) ranked fifth. China had four banks in the top 10 and 96 in the Top 1,000. Its top four lenders – ICBC, CCB, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China – filled the top positions for profit in 2012. ICBC’s $49 billion profit put it top of the profit table for a third successive year. Total profit for the biggest 1,000 banks is now back close to levels achieved before the 2007/09 financial crisis, but the regional share has shifted significantly”, The Banker said.
Banker Magazine report said “In fact, Africa stands out as top performer this year. At 2.3 per cent, it now has a higher share of global profits than Western Europe, despite accounting for less than 0.8 per cent of global assets. Pre-tax profits are up more than 30 per cent in this year’s ranking, more than double the rise in China. Its return on assets is 2.1 per cent, far outstripping Asia-Pacific or Latin America.
“China and Brazil both recorded return on assets of below 1.6 per cent, with Brazil’s total profits actually falling in financial year 2012. Kenya is the top African market for return on assets, at more than 5 per cent, and enjoys a new entrant in the ranking – the Cooperative Bank of Kenya entering at 1000. Elsewhere, Bangladesh is one of the fastest-growing markets, and it has a 43 per cent return on capital. Total assets per capita are not much more than $40, making this the most under-banked country represented in the Top 1000.
*Omoh Gabriel, Vanguard