By Omodele Adigun
Access Bank pooled N7.49 trillion in customer deposits last quarter, Q1, to lead other 10 banks that grew their total customer deposits to N33. 69trillion. With the Access Bank’s figure, the 11 banks cumulatively recorded N41.18 trillion in customer deposits. This was an increase of 4.31 per cent or N1.70 trillion when compared with the N39.48 trillion recorded at the end of 2021.
The rest of the banks are Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, UBA Plc, Ecobank, FCMB Group Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria.
According to their unaudited financial statements for the first quarter of 2022, Access Holdings grew its customer deposits to N7.49 trillion in March from N6.95 trillion at the end of last year, while Zenith Bank pooled N7.25 trillion in March from N6.47 trillion in December 2021 as that of UBA increased to N6.65 trillion from N6.37 trillion.
GTCO had customer deposits of N4.05 trillion as of March 31, up from N4.01 trillion at the end of 2020. Customer deposits in Fidelity Bank increased to N2.07 trillion from N2.02 trillion, while that of FCMB rose to N1.57 trillion from N1.55 trillion.
Stanbic IBTC grew its customer deposits to N1.20 trillion from N1.13 trillion, while deposits in Wema Bank and Unity Bank increased to N1.01 trillion from N927.47 billion and N378.52 billion from N322.28 billion respectively.
Customer deposits in Ecobank, however, decreased to N8.195 trillion from N8.36 trillion, in the review period, while that of Union Bank also declined to N1.31 trillion from N1.36 trillion.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund(IMF) has predicted that the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), also known as e-Naira, may function as a deposit at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and consequently reduce demand for deposits in the commercial banks.
In its report, entitled ‘Country Focus; Five Observations on Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency, the Brentwood institution noted that the “eNaira wallets may be perceived, or even effectively function, as a deposit at the central bank, which may reduce demand for deposits in commercial banks. Relying as it does on digital technology, there is a need to manage cyber security and operational risks associated with the it”.
In a related development, addressing a delegation of Executive Directors from the Bank of Uganda, who was on an experience sharing tour of the CBDC project recently, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele promised that the apex bank would achieve the 85 per cent financial inclusion rate target, in a very short period from its current rate of slightly below 70 per cent.