Best Banks in Nigeria 2020 {Top 4}


If you’ve been longing to know the best banks in Nigeria or the top commercial ones, lucky you, that is exactly what this write up is all about.

For every industry, there must be a set of leaders, and of course the Nigerian banking industry is not left out.

best banks in nigeria

Before coming up with this list at all, some of the key parameters we assessed in the 20+ commercial banks in Nigeria includes – net asset value, customer support quality, merit awards received, employee’s welfare package, salary structure, among others.

Best banks in Nigeria 2020

  • First Bank
  • Gtbank
  • Access Bank
  • Zenith Bank
  • UBA
  • Fidelity Bank
  • FCMB

1.) First Bank of Nigeria

It is Nigeria’s pioneer financial institution. It was established in 1894 as British Bank of Nigeria and had its name changed to First Bank of Nigeria in 1979.

The bank came in the era when most Nigerians have no clue about modern banking or how it works; piggy banking and other traditional banking system were the existing system then.

Its core Strategic Business Units (SBUs) include Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, and Public Sector Banking.

Some of the countries where you can find First Bank subsidiaries include the UK, China, Guinea, South Africa, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates, Democratic Republic of Congo, Paris, etc.

FirstBank is truly ‘the first’ and of course one of the leading banks in Nigeria, especially when considering the quality of its financial services, workforce and leadership, customer support, offers and bonuses, salary structure, etc. – all of which are on the excellent side.

Currently, FirstBank’s has over 10 million customers, 1,000 branches and over 800 business offices across the continent, not forgetting that the employees in the bank are also more than 10,000.

With that being said, it will interest you to know that First Bank also belongs to the league of the biggest and richest banks in Nigeria. The bank’s total assets is currently valued at #5 trillions plus while the revenue and net income are estimated to be around #500 billion and #50 billion respectively.

Also, First Bank of Nigeria in 2015 was named the foremost Nigerian Bank to accumulate net assets above N5 trillion along with Zenith Bank Plc, and it took over 4 years for UBA and Access Bank to reach the milestone.

Due to its commitment to delivering superb banking services, FirstBank has received several awards in time past, and this includes;

The prestigious Banker magazine’s Award, which it won 5 consecutive years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).

This bank was also ranked as the 417th most valuable banking brand by The Brand Finance Banking (an independent international brand valuation firm) earlier in 2019. Other Nigerian banks

featured on the list include Zenith Bank (391), United Bank for Africa (UBA) (399), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (474).

2.) Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank)

The introduction of GTBank into the Nigerian banking sector is one of the most fortunate that could ever happen to the industry and Nigeria at large.

The reason is because this bank delivers impressive financial services, ranging from retail, corporate, investment banking, internet banking, as well as asset management.

Guaranty Trust Bank was incorporated in 1990 and kickstarted banking operations in 1991.

However, it might interest you to know that the bank that was established then by 35 young entrepreneurs as a ‘mere’ financial institution has grown to become one of the Nigeria’s largest and richest banks in market capitalization.

Beyond reasonable doubts, GTBank is indeed a game-changer as there are a lot of innovation pioneered by the bank in Nigeria’s banking sector.

For instance, online banking, SMS banking and Naira dominated MasterCard in Nigeria were first introduced to the industry by GTBank before other banks began to follow suit.

Apart from being innovative, another thing that distinguish GTBank from most other banks is the emphasis laid on manpower development & welfare as well as customer support.

To start with, GTBank has in stock a lot of policies and programmes to help improve the overall efficiency of each employee and also their staffs are one of the most paid in the sector (entry level staffs earn up to #220,000 per month).

When it comes to customer support, you will bear me witness that GTBank performs excellently in it. This is majorly because the bank spends heavily and create systems that can help customers to easily reach them should in case situation warrants.

You can contact the bank via many platforms, including Facebook, twitter, Instagram, telephone, email, etc. You can also check the FAQs page on GTBank’s online portal to get answers to some frequently asked questions.

However, the reward for all these efforts is highly visible today as it has significantly boosted the bank’s position both in the local and international banking sector.

For instance, GTBank was in 2019 ranked the 474th most valuable financial institution in the world by The Brand Finance (an independent international brand evaluation firm).

Similarly, at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence held in July 2019, GT Bank was crowned the best bank in Africa while it was also named the best for the ninth time that same year.

That aside, the number of staffs in Gtbank is estimated to be around 10,000+ while the bank is said to have up to 10 million customers, more than 250 branches, 1,000+ ATMs, and over 50 e-branches.

Also, GTBank total asset is around #3.5 trillion while the revenue is about #400 billion, and net income is gearing towards #200 billion.

3.) Access Bank

It is yet another high-performing and reliable bank in Nigeria. The bank is renowned for its financial prowess, which was arrived at courtesy of mergers that took place recently and a couple of years ago.

Let’s take a look at the brief history of Access Bank…

Access Bank plc is a Nigerian multinational bank, owned by Access Bank Group. The bank was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 1989 and became a privately owned commercial bank in 1989. It operates through four major areas, which include Personal Banking, Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Corporate and Investment Banking.

In 2005, Access Bank acquired Marina Bank and Capital Bank (formerly commercial bank Crédit Lyonnais Nigeria) by merger while the institution also acquired the then Intercontinental Bank in 2012.

After this period, the Bank was growing at a faster pace, and in a bid to capture more percentage of the banking industry they merged with Diamond in 2019.

Having acquired and merged with the aforementioned banks, Access Bank was able to record a significant boost in the level of partnership, customers, revenue, profit, and even assets. The bank now has over 5 million customers, 10,000+ staffs, 300+ branches, 1,000+ ATMs etc.

As at May 2019, the net assets of Access Bank is estimated to be around #6.4 trillion, making it the richest Bank in Nigeria. With this figure, Access Bank and UBA were able to join First Bank and Zenith Bank in 2019 as the few Nigerian banks with asset base more than #5 trillion.

In addition to the above, we are glad to inform you that Access Bank is one of the highest paying banks we have in Nigeria, with entry level staffs receiving up to #240,000 take home salary every month.

Although, the salary might look huge and attractive, but the plain truth is just that you will work a lot to proof that you’re worth the pay.

4.) Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank is among the best and even in Africa. The bank was established in May 1990, became a publicly traded company in 2004, and since then has grown from a local bank to a global banking firm.

It has subsidiaries in both African and non-African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, China, South Africa, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirate, to mention but a few.

When the bank first came into the banking sector, the dominant banks then were Union Bank , First Bank , UBA and Afribank – some of which Zenith Bank is now better than by far. Zenith is one of the earliest Nigerian banks to leverage on the power of the Internet, which aids the delivery of its financial services to various customers in various locations.

Zenith Bank is quite innovative and places premium on customer satisfaction. As a result of this, the Bank has been able to reach one height to the other in the Nigerian banking sector.

For instance, the Bank was the first Nigerian Bank to garner asset base worth more than #5 trillion (a milestone achieved together with FirstBank in 2017).

The bank was also ranked 391st most valuable financial institution in the world by The Brand Finance (an independent international brand evaluation firm) in 2019. As at December 2018, Zenith banks total asset is valued at $5.9 trillion.

Having said that, it is worthwhile to highlight that Zenith Bank boasts of more than 500 branches across the nation with thousands of Nigerians being employed into one position or the other in the institution.

The bank also has a large number of ATMs in the country and has millions of customers scattered across the whole States of the federation.

Again, if you intend working in a Nigerian Bank, Zenith Bank is definitely one of the best institutions to start with. They pay their entry level employees as much as #130,000 monthly minus some other bonuses and allowances that you will receive.

Wrapping it Up

As we all know, there are more than 20 commercial banks in Nigeria but here are the best right now.

However, you should watch out for the likes of UBA, FCMB, Sterling and Fidelity to join this list or replace some of the big ones there right now.

Feel free to make use of the comment box for your opinion regarding the best banks in Nigeria. While at that, you can take couple of minutes of your time to share this write up.


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