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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Ecobank Falling Customer Deposits May Signal Deeper Issues

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), customer deposits saw a major drop in the nine-months period to September 2022, threatening to weigh on credit growth for the Tier-One lender.

Ecobank posted a 3.5% drop in customer deposits equivalent to N297.65 billion (compared to December 2021 levels), as it reported third-quarter earnings this week.

MoneyCentral data showed Ecobank was the only one out of the six biggest banks to post a drop in deposits in their third-quarter results.

Ecobank deposits from customers fell to N8.062 trillion in September 2022, compared to N8.360 trillion in December 2021.

By comparison, Zenith Bank grew its customer deposits to N8.042 trillion in September 2022, from N6.472 trillion in December 2021, (a 24.2% growth).

Access Holdings grew its customer deposits to N8.189 trillion in September 2022, from N6.954 trillion in December 2021, (a 17.7% growth).

FBN Holdings grew its customer deposits to N6.60 trillion in September 2022, from N5.849 trillion in December 2021, (a 12.8% growth).

United Bank for Africa (UBA) grew its customer deposits to N7.028 trillion in September 2022, from N6.369 trillion in December 2021, (a 10.3% growth).

Finally, of the big six, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), grew its customer deposits to N4.257 trillion in September 2022, from N4.012 trillion in December 2021. (a 6.1 % growth).

Analysts tell MoneyCentral that Ecobank would face deeper issues if its unable to mobilize deposits like other banks.

“If a bank doesn’t have enough deposits, slower loan growth might result, or the bank might have to take on debt to meet loan demand which would be far costlier to service than the interest paid on deposits,” one analyst said.

This is already showing up in their operations as Ecobank’s loan and advances to customers fell marginally to N4.030 trillion in the September 2022 period, from N4.061 trillion in December 2021.

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