Thirteen commercial banks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) raked in N655.669 billion from fees and commission income last year, figures compiled by THISDAY from the full year 2017 audited results have shown.
The amount realised by the banks represented an increase by 11 per cent, compared with the N591.987 billion they realised in 2016.
Analysts have predicted that the financial institutions would be aggressive in fees and commission income as they continue to contend with the reduced yields on treasury bills.
The fees and commission income by the banks were derived from account maintenance fees, fees from electronic banking channels, ATM charges, letters of credit commission, remittances fees, card-based fees, fees from brokerage commission, financial advisory fees, among others.
The results reviewed by THISDAY were those of Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Ecobank, Wema Bank, Union Bank and Diamond Bank.
According to findings, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), because of its spread in the continent, recorded the highest fees and commission of N143.799 billion in 2017, up from the N124.759 billion it made the previous year, it was followed by Zenith Bank Plc, which posted fees and commission income of N90.143 billion in the year under review, up from the N68.444 billion the previous year.
Also, UBA which posted fees and commission income of N82.937 billion in the review year, higher than the N73.199 billion the bank realised in 2016, just as FBN Holdings posted fees and commission income of N74.453 billion in the review year, higher than the N71.360 billion recorded the previous year; while Access Bank Plc garnered N56.674 billion as fees in 2017, higher than the N55.440 it recorded in 2016.
In the same vein, while Stanbic IBTC reported net fees and commission of N59.089 billion in 2017, up from N52.154 billion the previous year; GTBank got N42.922 billion as fees and commission income in 2017, up from the N39.403 billion it attained in 2016; and Diamond Bank also made N37.068 billion in the review year, compared with the N41.432 billion it got the previous year.
Similarly, whereas FCMB reported fees and commission income of N21.630 billion, higher than N17.683 billion in 2016; Fidelity Bank posted N18.229 billion fees and commission income in the review year, as against the N20.557 billion it recorded in 2016; Sterling Bank's results also showed an improved fees and commission income of N12.876 billion in 2017, higher than N10.788 billion the previous year.
Also, Union Bank's results showed fees and commission income of N10.2017 billion was recorded by the bank in 2017, as against the N10.577 billion it made in 2016; while Wema Bank posted fees and commission income of N5.642 billion in 2017, from N6.191 billion the previous year.
Fitch Ratings had stated that Nigerian banks might find it difficult to sustain their profitability this year, given the decline in net treasury bill issuance by the federal government.
It pointed out that Nigerian banks were highly reliant on net interest income to remain profitable, saying treasury bills was an important source of the banks' profitability in 2017.
In addition, Fitch stated that its 2018 rating outlook for the Nigerian banking sector was negative, forecasting that some tier two banks would struggle to remain profitable this year.
"We expect falling treasury bill yields and lower issuance to put pressure on Nigerian banks' profitability in 2018," it said.
Also, Moody's Investors Service in its latest outlook on Nigerian banks also noted that the declining yields on government securities would dampen banks' core earnings.