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Sterling Bank Hits New Milestone as Deposit Base Crosses N1trn

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Sterling Bank joined some of Nigeria’s major banks with over N1 trillion in total deposits for the first time in its history in the first quarter of 2021 as its total deposits grew from N997.7bn at year end 2020 to N1.09tn at the end of Q1 2021.

By hitting this milestone, Sterling joins the likes of Access, Zenith, First Bank, UBA, GTBank, Ecobank, Stanbic, Union, FCMB and Fidelity bank who are all among the illustrious banks with over N1tn in total deposits. Only Wema and Unity among the 13 publicly listed banks still have a total deposit base of less than N1tn.

Still, it will be several years before Sterling will be able to join a more illustrious club of the Tier 1 banks who all boast a deposit base above N4tn. The 5 Tier 1 banks recorded growth in their deposit base nearly the size of greater than the entire deposit base of Sterling bank between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, showing the size and strength of Nigeria’s biggest banks.

The largest growth in deposit in among the Tier 1 banks was recorded by UBA (N1.5tn), Access (1.19tn), Zenith (N1.15tn), GTBank (N935.3tn) and FBNH (N653.2tn). This simple one-year change in deposit base of the Tier 1 banks appears surreal when compared to the total deposit base of Sterling which reached N1.09tn in Q1 2021.

Although Sterling bank hit a record in deposit base, its quarterly net income performance failed to impress in the same manner as its PAT for Q1 2021 was just N2.7bn compared to the N4.2bn recorded in Q4 2020.

Sterling Bank Plc announced last year that it had obtained the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) approval in principle to enable it restructure as a Holding Company.

The Bank is currently in the process of meeting the conditions for the final approval, it said.

The Bank’s desire to operate as a Holding Company was driven by its plan to spin off its Non-Interest Banking window which became operational in January 2014 into an autonomous entity.

“Going into the Holding Company structure, our desire is to entrench our business model premised on social capitalism where we believe that private sector capital and market-based tools will offer the best types of solutions to Nigeria’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The Holding Company gives us the structure to explore our business model further,” the bank said in a statement.

The Holding Company is designed to operate on 3 major premises – Specialization, Partnership and Digitization.

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