Six Nigerian banks which included Zenith Plc, FirstBank Nigeria Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Diamond Bank Plc were ranked among The Banker Magazineâ€™s Top 25 Banks in Africa that was released last night, in the magazineâ€™s 2017 1000 Global Banks’ ranking.
According to the ranking, Zenith Bank was placed first in Nigeria and 10th in Africa. The bank was also ranked as the 430th bank in the world.
Zenith Bank was closely followed by FirstBank as the second largest bank in Nigeria, 12th in Africa and 567th in the world. GTBank was ranked the third in Nigeria, 13th in Africa and 588th in the world.
Access Bank occupied the fourth position and was ranked 14th in Africa and 628th in the world, while UBA was placed fifth in Nigeria, 22nd in Africa and 832 in the global ranking.
Diamond Bank was ranked sixth in Nigeria, 24th in Africa and 881 in the world.
According to The Banker, Africaâ€™s leading economies faced adverse conditions over the 2016 review period, as low commodity prices continue to shake the continentâ€™s growth trajectory.
They pointed out that dealing with a shortage of foreign exchange, heightened political risk and volatile currencies, the performances of some regional lenders have suffered.
â€œYet, as the rankings demonstrate, this is not a one-dimensional story. In some cases, African lenders have improved on their positions in the Top 1000 ranking, helped in part by prudent growth strategies and diversified business models,â€ the report added.
South Africaâ€™s Standard Bank Group once again topped the regional table with $8.6 billion in Tier 1 capital. This represented a 15 per cent increase from the 2016 ranking, accompanied by a notable jump in the global table from 160 to 149.
Rounding out the top three positions were fellow South African lenders FirstRand and Nedbank, second and third, respectively, according to the report.
â€œOutside the top three banks, which have remained static in the regional table, some notable movements have occurred. Of particular note is National Bank of Egyptâ€™s climb to fifth place with $3.2bn in Tier 1 capital. â€œThis puts the bank at number 301 in the global ranking, up from 366 in the last yearâ€™s rankings. Nigeriaâ€™s Zenith Bank has fallen from seventh place last year to 10th in the 2017 Africa table. This follows a 25% fall in the bankâ€™s Tier 1 capital, largely attributable to the poor performance of the naira over the review period.
â€œIndeed, every Nigerian lender in the 2017 ranking experienced a significant reduction in Tier 1 capital,â€ it stated.
Africaâ€™s highest movers table was dominated by lenders from South Africa.
In total, four banks made the top 10 in 2017, pointing to the strengthening of the rand in the latter half of the review period as well as the diversified, sophisticated business models over which these banks preside.