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6 Nigerian-owned banks with Pan-African presence

Pan-African banks are banks that have a presence in other African countries other than the countries where they were incorporated.

These banks expanded across the continent either organically or inorganically. An example of organic expansion is greenfield investments which entails a parent Nigerian bank establishing a subsidiary in a foreign country and growing it from the ground up. On the other hand, inorganic expansion entails mergers and acquisitions. 

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the rise of pan-African banks is indicative of economic integration across the continent and offers many opportunities and advantages.  

  • Additionally, it promotes financial inclusion, increases scale economies, enhances competition and opens the door to cross-border banking, particularly in host nations with small local markets.  
  • This explains why many Nigerian banks are establishing their presence outside of the country. Highlighted below are six Nigerian-owned banks with presence across Africa.

First Bank Nigeria  

The first bank was founded in 1894 as the Bank of British West Africa, but in 1979 it was renamed First Bank of Nigeria. The bank specializes in retail banking and has 700 locations across Africa with the subsidiaries FBN Bank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. Tunde Hassan-Odukale. Chairman while The current MD is Mr. Adeshola Kazeem Adeduntan, who assumed his position in 2016.  

Union Bank  Plc

United Bank for Africa, or UBA, is a commercial bank that has been operating since 1917. The bank has over 20 million customers, 20,000 employees, and 1,000 branches across 20 African countries. On June 2nd, 2022, TitanTrust Bank Limited purchased a controlling stake in Union Bank of Nigeria. Its key people are Mr. Farouk Gumel as the Chairman and Mr. Mudassir Amray as the CEO.  

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 Zenith Bank Plc

Zenith Bank was founded in 1990 by Jim Ovia. The bank now has more than 10,000 staff globally and presently operates from over 500 branches and business offices across all states of Nigeria. Its African subsidiaries are in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and South Africa. The current MD/ CEO is Ebenezer Onyeagwu.  

 Access Bank  

Access Bank Group is a multinational commercial bank owned by Access bank group, founded in 1989. The bank has subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Gambia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia asides the United Kingdom. Its key people are Herbert Wigwe as the Group MD, and Dr. Ajoritsedere Awosika the CEO.  

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 United Bank for Africa (UBA)  

United Bank for Africa, or UBA, was founded in 1949 and is regarded as a sub-Saharan African bank with over 21 million customers, 20,000 employees, and 1,000 branches across 20 African countries. These countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mail, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The Group Chairman of the bank is Tony Elumelu, and the GMD/CEO is Oliver Alawuba. 

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) 

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) is a global financial institution providing commercial and other banking services. The bank was founded in January 1990 by Tajudeen Fola Adeola and Tayo Aderinokun. GTCO Plc was created in July 2021 following the corporate reorganization of GTB into a Holding Company.  

GTB has subsidiaries in Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, asides from the United Kingdom. Its key people are Hezekiah Oyinlola (Chairman) and Segun Agbaje, the Group CEO.  


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