Despite CRR debits, Nigerian Banks record higher net interest income

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Some of the top banks in Nigeria posted a total net interest income of N403 billion in the third quarter of 2020 compared to N369.5 billion in the same period in 2019.

In the first 9 months to date, the banks have reported a combined net interest income of N1.2 trillion compared to N1.1 trillion same period last year.

Nairametrics collated these figures from the following banks, FBNH, UBA, GT Bank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, and Union Bank. The banks recently released their third-quarter interim results.

Deposit money banks have complained bitterly over the central bank’s frequent CRR debits chalking off significant amounts of cash that they could have earned on.

A Nairametrics report indicates banks suffered CRR debits of over N1.9 trillion in the second quarter of 2020, taking the total amount of customer deposits held by the CBN at about N6.5 trillion.

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The figure is likely higher now as more CRR debits have occurred in the third quarter of the year. Nairametrics reported banks were debited N226 billion CRR debit in a recent update provided by reliable sources.

However, as the above report indicates, the banks still earned more this year compared to 2020. Where banks may have suffered dips is in net interest margin, a measure of the percentage of income banks earn after netting off the cost of funds.

However, this has also been largely mitigated by low deposit rates even as banks maintain most of their lending rates.


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Despite the rise in net interest income for the collection of banks under our review, some banks individually faired worse in 2020 compared to 2019. FBNH, Stanbic IBTC, and Access Bank all recorded lower net interest income in the first 9 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Significant gains over the prior year were however recorded with the other banks.

What is driving Margins

Banks are recording higher net interest income largely because interest rates on deposits are at near-record lows.

This drive down in the cost of funds helps boost the income of banks because they are also yet to significantly drop their lending rates.

In the first 9 months of the year, the banks reported total loans and advances of N1.6 trillion, 14% higher than the N1.4 trillion reported at the end of 2019.

Banks have also reported generally improved pre-tax earnings, posting a combined N737 billion in the first 9 months of 20120 compared to N723 billion in the same period last year.

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The better than expected results has triggered a boost to their share price. Banks have also seen their share price rally in recent weeks as investors finally recognize their low valuations amidst strong earnings.

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The Banking sector index is up 14.72% year to date and only fell last week after investors embarked on cashing out their profits.

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