Easing Nigeria’s Banking Gridlock
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
The past decade of banking in Nigeria has not been for the faint hearted. The combination of a large population and a large economy has driven international and domestic interest in the sector – with investors often attracted more by the market’s potential than its reality.
After the 2004 bank consolidation and the rapids of the stock market bubble and crash of 2009, Nigeria’s banks now find themselves in calmer and better regulated waters.
Nigeria now has 22 licensed commercial banks; 21 are fully operational, while Savannah Bank has not recommenced full banking operations since the central bank reinstated its licence to operate in February 2009 after its earlier revocation in February 2002.
The newest addition to Nigeria’s commercial banking sector is Heritage Bank, which formally commenced operations on 4 March 2013. The bank is not new in the true sense of the word as it was formerly called Société Générale Bank of Nigeria.