Huge Profit Boost From Overseas Operations Realised By Nigerian Banks In 2023


Nigerian banks’ overseas ventures significantly increased their profits in 2023. Four major banks—Access Holding, GTCO, UBA, and Zenith Bank—earned a combined N627.027 Billion from their international branches, marking a 319 percent rise from the previous year.


This growth is largely due to higher earnings from their foreign operations. Additionally, policy changes, such as increased interest rates and Naira devaluation, contributed to substantial gains in interest income and foreign exchange.


The four leading banks saw their overall earnings rise by 114.40 percent year-on-year, reaching N7.988 Trillion in 2023. This boosted their pre-tax profit by 233 percent, totalling N2.892 Trillion.


Despite strong domestic performance, international expansion played a crucial role in these banks’ financial success. The significant revenue and profit growth from their foreign subsidiaries highlight this trend.


United Bank for Africa (UBA) had the most international branches, followed by GTCO, Access, and Zenith. Nairametrics tracked these banks, noting their countries of operation and financial contributions.


While FBN Holdings did not release detailed subsidiary data, it reported that its international branches, including those in Africa and the UK, contributed 24.5 percent to its overall profits. Altogether, the four banks made a pre-tax profit of N627.027 Billion from their overseas operations in 2023, up from N145.953 Billion in 2022, showing a 329.61 percent year-on-year increase.


This profit surge was driven by a 124 percent increase in gross earnings, reaching N1.666 Trillion, and a 9 percent rise in net impairment loss, totalling N189.75 Billion. Here are the details of the profits from the banks’ foreign subsidiaries for 2023, based on their audited financial statements.


GTCO Plc reported a pre-tax profit of N130.664 Billion from its operations in eight countries, including Ghana, Liberia, and the UK. This marks a 309.89 percent increase from 2020, with GT Bank Ghana leading with a pre-tax profit of N65.870 Billion.


Zenith Bank Plc earned N131.486 Billion from its foreign subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and the UK. Despite a significant net impairment loss in Nigeria, the bank maintained the highest pre-tax profit among its peers, totalling N795.962 Billion.


UBA Plc generated N165.697 Billion in pre-tax profit from its 20 African subsidiaries and the UK. However, despite a 69.40 percent increase from 2022, the contribution of foreign subsidiaries to the group’s total profit decreased to 19.6 percent.


Access Holding Plc led with a pre-tax profit of N199.180 Billion from its 14 foreign subsidiaries.

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