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"Fidelity is Nigeria’s Soundest Bank" – The Banker

The world-renowned Banker magazine, a subsidiary of The Financial Times of London, last weekend released its ranking of the Top 1,000 banks in the world. Among the highlights is the listing of two Nigerian banks among the “soundest banks” in the world by virtue of their capital adequacy. Fidelity Bank was ranked Nigeria’s soundest bank, with a capital to asset ratio of 28.8 percent.  First City Monument Bank (FCMB), followed with a capital to asset ratio of 23.89 per cent.

Fidelity also emerged the 6th largest bank in Nigeria by tier one capital, otherwise known as Shareholders Funds, with a base of USD867million, making it also the 17th bank in Africa and the 618th in the world.
Nigeria’s largest bank by that measure is Zenith Bank which has a base of USD2.398billion, making it the 7th largest bank in Africa and the 322nd in the world. Nigeria’s old generation bank, First Bank is ranked 2nd in Nigeria, 8th in Africa and 338th in the world. Others are GT Bank, 3rd in Nigeria, 11th in Africa and 455th in the world; Access, 4th in Nigeria, 15th in Africa and 541st in the world; UBA, 5th in Nigeria, 16th in Africa and 563rd in the world. The 7th and 8th in Nigeria are FCMB and Skye Bank respectively.

The largest bank in the world is Bank of America with a tier one capital of USD163.626billion ; while the second is JP Morgan Chase with a capital of USD142.450billion and HSBC in the 3rd position. China has three banks in the top 10 list.

Africa’s largest bank is Standard Bank Group of South Africa, with a capital of USD9.42billion.  The first four banks in Africa are from South Africa, while the fifth is from Morocco.

The report noted that banks in Africa had serious challenges occasioned by the individual country’s weak currencies. “ African banks suffered in this year’s Top 1000 ranking from the weakness of their currencies, many of which fell sharply against the US dollar in the second half of 2011”. It noted that South African was the hardest hit with the rand sliding almost 19 percent to the US dollar last year.

The Banker magazine’s yearly ranking of banks globally, has come to stand as an authoritative assessment of banks in all territories. Banks which make both lists of capital base and capital adequacy ratios pride themselves as belonging to the elite group.

This year, 31 African banks made it to the Top 1000 as against 30 that were listed last year.

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