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Zenith Bank Stands Tall Among Its Peers

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Founder and Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, CON.

2021 is the fourth consecutive year that Zenith Bank Plc, a leading bank in Nigeria and 390th in the World would be ranked as the most valuable bank in Nigeria by the Banker Magazine.

According to the Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times Group, brand value is the licensing rate that a third-party would need to pay to use the bank’s brand.

Zenith Bank Plc has again emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2021.

According to the magazine, Zenith Bank’s brand value was worth $275 million, moving up two places from 392 in 2020 to 390 in the 2021 global ranking of banks. It is the only Nigerian bank among the first 400 banks in the global ranking.

Commenting on the latest ranking, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “This ranking is a further affirmation of the bank’s resilience given the very challenging macroeconomic environment brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

He added: “Zenith Bank remains committed to sustaining the superior performance which has earned it this recognition as Nigeria’s Most Valuable Banking Brand, thus building on the legacy of its visionary Founder and Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, CON, whose pioneering and foundational role in building the structures and laying the foundation ensured an enduring and very successful institution.

“Zenith Bank places a premium on its core business strategy anchored on People, Technology and Service, to create value for its numerous clientele. With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and electronic/ digital channels.”

Zenith Bank’s emergence as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria is coming on the heels of several awards and recognitions in 2020 for its track record of excellent performance.


The bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020” and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” ranking by The Banker Magazine. Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the THISDAY Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.

To a large extent, the Zenith bank’s financial report for the unaudited Q3 financial period ended September 30, 2020 was cheery to investors as key performance measuring ratios recorded modest growth. The bank is expected to declare a good return on investment for its shareholders at the end of the financial year ending December 31, 2020 barring any unforeseen circumstances in the last quarter of the year.

The nine months financial records of the bank obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), indicated that the bank, one of Nigeria’s top-rated tier-one banks, recorded strong earnings growth.

Gross earnings (total revenue) increased by 3.6% from N491.3billion in September 30, 2019 to N508.9billion. Breakdown of total earnings indicates that interest income closed at N319 billion, supported primarily by decrease in interest expenses and income from loans and advances to customers which increased by 32.7% to N2.7trillion.

Profitability indicators were stronger, with profit-before-tax settling 0.6% higher year-on-year while profit-after-tax settled 5.7% higher year-on-year, on account of a 28% decline in income tax expense.

But interest expense declined by 12.7% y/y to N93.6 billion, reflecting lower interest cost on borrowings over the corresponding period of the prior year (-19% to N59. 55billion) and increased cost on deposits from customers. Following a decline in interest expense, net interest income settled higher by 4.9% y/y at N225.2 billion. Continuing the trend during the year, non-interest income (NII) was strong, settling 12.3% higher y/y at N190.2billion. The significant growth recorded was supported by growth in foreign exchange revaluation gains and gains on investment securities. This expansion in NII, alongside the growth in net interest income, led to an expansion in operating income of 34% y/y to N89.8billion.

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Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu.

Operating expenses (Opex) growth was moderate, as the bank continued to focus on cost management in the face of moderate gross earnings growth. Opex grew by 12.2% y/y to N115.2 billion, an improvement from N135.85 billion posted in half year result. Consequent to the Opex growth relative to operating income growth, the bank’s cost-to-income ratio settled higher at 68.7% relative to 54.3%, and 51% in the prior quarters (Q1 and Q2) 2020.

The bank’s total deposits grew by 32.3% to N5.2 trillion while loan to deposit ratio settled at 51.9%. However, both return on equity and return on assets dipped from preceding year figure as they settled at 15.4% and 2.0% respectively.

About Zenith Bank 

Zenith Bank Plc was established in May 1990, and commenced operations in July of the same year as a commercial bank. The Bank became a public limited company on June 17, 2004 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on October 21, 2004 following a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Zenith Bank Plc currently has a shareholder base of about one million and is Nigeria’s biggest bank by tier- 1 capital. In 2013, the Bank listed $850 million worth of its shares at $6.80 each on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc has over 500 branches and business offices in prime commercial centres in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In March 2007, Zenith Bank was licensed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the United Kingdom to establish Zenith Bank (UK) Limited as the United Kingdom subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc.

Zenith Bank also has subsidiaries in: Ghana, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited; Sierra Leone, Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited; Gambia, Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited. The bank also has representative office in The People’s Republic of China. The Bank plans to take the Zenith brand to other African countries as well as the European and Asian markets.

Zenith Bank Plc blazed the trail in digital banking in Nigeria; scoring several firsts in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers.

The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking. Driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices, the Bank has combined vision, skillful banking expertise, and cutting-edge technology to create products and services that anticipate and meet customers’ expectations; enable businesses to thrive and grow wealth for customers.

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