The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Nigerian banks: Zenith – carefully does it

Zenith CEO Godwin Emefiele
Zenith CEO Godwin Emefiele

Zenith is the biggest of the generation of Nigerian banks set up after 1990. By assets and market capitalization, it has risen to the second-biggest listed bank in the country – if largely thanks to the demise of Oceanic Bank and the recent sluggishness of UBA. Others attribute Zenith’s position partly to building branches in business districts, then deploying funds in liquid assets and loans to the safer local corporations. Indeed, in the next five years, CEO Godwin Emefiele says growing retail deposit share will remain a focus.

Even today, Zenith has a high proportion of deposits from retail: about 60%, compared with around 50% at GT Bank, perhaps Zenith’s closest rival in terms of age and size. Within five years, Emefiele wants that proportion to rise to between 70% and 75%, partly by employing mobile and point-of-sale channels.

Conversely, Zenith’s proportion of loans in retail is only about 10%, while GTB’s retail book is proportionally much bigger, meaning Zenith’s net interest margin trails. "Consumer credit carries a lot of risk in Nigeria as the credit data on the population is not yet widespread," says Emefiele.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree