Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 July 2012

Nigeria: Fidelity Is Nigeria's Soundest Bank - Banker Magazine

Lagos — The Banker magazine, a subsidiary of the Financial Times of London, at the weekend released the list of the world's top 1000 banks, a list that has come to represent the "who is who" amongst banks in the world.

According to the magazine, two Nigerian banks featured in the capital adequacy ratio measurement. They are Fidelity Bank, with a capital to asset ratio of 28.8 per cent, "making it the soundest bank" in Nigeria.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB), came second with a ratio of 23.89 per cent, with both of them coming into the 1,000 soundest capital to asset ratio banks in the world.

Fidelity is also ranked as the 6th largest bank in Nigeria by tier one capital, also referred to as Shareholders Funds, with $867 million, making it the 17th largest in Africa and 618th in the world.

Fidelity's shareholders funds which is well above N130 billion in the local currency was once above $1.1billion but dropped because of exchange rate variation. This affected all Nigerian banks, and most of African banks.

Seven other Nigerian banks joined Fidelity in the list of world's top 1,000 banks, with Zenith Bank ranking number one having $2.398 million in capital. First Bank comes second with $2.262 million; and GTB third with $1.47 million.

Accordingly, Zenith is 7th in Africa and 322nd in the World; First Bank is 8th in Africa and 338th in the world; GTB is 11th in Africa and 455th in the world.

The complete ranking is as follows: Zenith, First Bank, GTBank, Access Bank, UBA, Fidelity, FCMB and Skye Bank.

Bank of America occupies the prime position as the largest bank in the world with a capital base of $163.626 billion, followed by another American bank, JP Morgan Chase with a capital base of $142.4 billion; HSBC as third, worldwide. China has three banks in the top 10 list.

Africa's largest bank by the ranking is the Standard Bank Group of South Africa with capital base of $9.842 billion. The first four banks in Africa are from South Africa, with the fifth from Morocco.

Banks which make the top 1,000 list either by capital base or the capital to asset ratio are considered the prime banks in the world.

The Banker magazine's yearly ranking of banks has come to be seen as authoritative and objective judgment of the size and health status of banks. The presence of eight Nigerian banks in the top 1,000 by size and two by capital to asset ratio is a positive statement on the performance of Nigerian banks.

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