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Nigerian banks open 66.6m new customer accounts in two years, Access leads in deposits



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Nigerian banks leveraging on technology have helped pushed the total number of bank accounts in the country to 191.4 million as at the end of December 2021 compared to 124.8 it stood as at December 2019.

This is according to the latest data from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) obtained by Ripples Nigeria on Wednesday.

The latest figure means Nigerian banks between 2019 and 2021 registered 66.6 million new accounts.


A breakdown of the total bank accounts shows that there are 49.8 million current accounts, 120.4 million savings accounts, 8.9 million corporate accounts and 179.2 million individual accounts.

Out of the total, only 133.5 million of the total accounts are currently active out of which 122.3 million are individuals accounts.

READ ALSO: Nigerian banks grow combined profit by N120bn, despite threats from Fintechs

This development means no fewer than 69 million registered individual bank accounts are dormant putting more pressure on Nigeria’s commitment to bring into the financial system the over 40 million unbanked.

89 million active accounts without BVN

Further analysis of NIBSS data also showed that Nigerian banks in the last seven years have processed at least 51.9 million Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration of which 44.5 million are active.

When you subtract the active BVN numbers from the total active bank accounts it shows that at least 89 million bank accounts are operating without BVN.

the BVN was introduced by the CBN in 2014 to curtail the crime in the banking sector in Nigeria.

It involves identifying an individual based on physiological or behavioural attributes, such as fingerprint, signatures and others.

The customers’ unique BVN is accepted as a means of identification across all banks systems, seven years after its introduction, it seems many bank account holders have found a way around it.

Top Nigerian banks by deposit

Meanwhile, Access Bank has overtaken Zenith Bank as the biggest Nigerian bank by customer deposits.

Access Bank in its latest financial result announced that its customers’ deposits grew to N6.95 trillion in 2021.

This was followed by Zenith Bank with N6.47trillion customers’ deposit.

UBA followed with N6.47 million, GTB has N4.01 trillion, FCMB N1.56trillion.

Stanbic IBTC reported total customer deposits of N1.13 trillion in its unaudited result for the 2021 financial year.

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