Access Bank Accesses the Zenith as it Topples Zenith Bank Nigeria on Assets

Access Bank Accesses the Zenith as it Topples Zenith Bank Nigeria on Assets

There is a new king in the Nigerian banking: Access Bank which rules on assets. The Lagos-based lender topples Zenith Bank which has held that position for days now. Of course you may argue that banking goes beyond assets these days with a new construct that your assets can fund a pipeline others can milk honey from. The real deal is creating and accelerating leverageable factors which can compound, at least from the investors’ perspectives.

An appreciation of N1.537 trillion or 21.6 per cent within one year has ramped up the asset value of Access Bank Plc to N8.680 trillion, making it Nigeria’s biggest lender in that rating category.

Jim Ovia-led Zenith Bank hogged the prime spot for 37 days since February 23, when the release of its audited financial statement for 2020 put its asset estimate at N8.481 trillion. But the publication on Thursday of Access Bank’s earnings report means it will now take the back seat behind the latter.

As AfCFTA arrives, the biggest battle would come down to this: quality and cost efficiency on intra-African banking. Technology companies which offer banking services will compete with banks which use technology, and we will be watching who will win this battle.

New species of companies like Flutterwave belong to the former while Access and Zenith banks belong to the latter with mutation to also have features of the former. So, the battle will be ferocious – and I expect customers to win.

Yes, customers will win because many new domains would be opened. Nigerian banks are expected to allow customers to use gold as collaterals in the near future, according to a federal minister. It is very possible that tagging the assets and recording them will open opportunities. While we hope for farmlands, forests, and other assets could be formalized, building a centralized system to enable interoperability would make this very impactful.

Banks will soon allow Nigerians, especially owners of Small and Medium Enterprises, to use their gold jewellery as collateral for loan facilities. This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, on Sunday: We are discussing with some financial institutions to create products to accept the gold jewellery from Nigerians and give them credit that is within the worth of the commodity.”


The Minister explained that all interested Nigerians need to do is to approach the bank, drop the gold in its vault and collect a certificate to that effect.

According to him, the certificate can be used to obtain a loan from either the same bank where the jewellery was deposited or another financial institution. When the bank has been refunded, the individual gets his certificate/gold back


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2 thoughts on “Access Bank Accesses the Zenith as it Topples Zenith Bank Nigeria on Assets

  1. We would like to see the size of their digital assets, that should be the winning formula, which also levels the playing field for customers.

    Some states in the north used to have only one bank branch, located in the capital; I don’t know if the count has increased, it may not be necessary.

    The key question is, why do banks need more physical assets? If the system is actually working, the physical footprints should be decreasing, while the digital footprints should be experiencing exponential growth. If lots of people still visit the banking halls, then it’s part of the system failure; not many things should require a bank visit for resolution.

    There’s no need wasting more money printing currency notes, if the financial services sector has taken it upon itself to reorient minds, education should be part of financial inclusion, not just who can transact or get loans.

    Any entity, wether tech or financial, that makes it possible for people to carry out transactions from anywhere, should be the winner of the assets war, and you don’t need amalgam of buildings and vehicles to do so; digital infrastructures should win it.

    Developing nations ought to be bold and ambitious when experimenting, timidity can’t get you ahead.


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