Twelve commercial banks in Nigeria earned a total of N461.51bn in net interest income in the first three months of this year, up from N451.14bn in the same period of 2020.
An analysis of data from their unaudited financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2021 showed that six of the banks boosted their net interest income, their main source of revenue, while the rest saw theirs decline.
Net interest income is the difference between the revenue generated by a bank from the interest earned on assets such as loans to customers and the interest paid out on customers’ deposits.
Access Bank Plc earned the largest net interest income of N93.96bn in the first quarter of 2021, up 30.12 per cent from N72.21bn in Q1 2020.
It was followed by Zenith Bank Plc, whose net interest income rose to N83.17bn in Q1 2021 from N81.50bn in the same period a year earlier.
The United Bank for Africa Plc earned N74.38bn in net interest income in Q1 2021, up from N65.42bn in the corresponding period last year.
FBN Holdings Plc, the holding company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, saw its net interest income drop to N52.79bn from N60.25bn.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc’s net interest income fell to N52.43bn from N64.28bn, while that of Fidelity Bank Plc rose to N28.79bn from N24.60bn.
FCMB Group saw its net interest income decline to N21.33bn from N23.12bn, while that of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc fell to N15.86bn from N18.52bn.
“The banking industry is grappling with competitive rivalry within the industry as hungry players like Access, Zenith and GT are adopting ruthless strategies to expand market share domestically and across Africa, on the one hand, whilst simultaneously defending itself from cannibalistic competitor moves by the telcos and their surrogates – the fintechs,” the Financial Derivatives Company Limited said.
FDC analysts, led by Mr Bismarck Rewane, said in a new report that data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc showed that the payment system had moved almost by 80 per cent to electronic and digital payments.
“Our view is that if anything is going to differentiate Nigerian banks in 2022/23, it is cost containment and digital efficiency,” they added.
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria had left the Monetary Policy Rate, also known as benchmark interest rate, at 11.5 per cent since September 2020, when it was reduced by 100 basis points from 12.5 per cent.