Banking in Nigeria has become a great delight due the massive overhaul in the industry in recent years. Gone are the days you put your money in the bank and go home living in constant fear, not knowing what will be the next news and, developing heart attack over your money. Those days are gone for good!
Today, you can work into any Nigerian bank and expect world class services, complete with the beaming faces of smiling and extremely courteous staffs.
There is huge competition among Nigerian banks to out perform one and other and I think this is good for the banking customers because if bank [A] isn’t doing me well, I can easily move my stuffs to bank [B] that offers better services suitable to my need.
However, in the quest to be the best among banks in Nigeria, some are winning while some are getting it all wrong due to factors such as poor customer services, poor internet banking, poor management, and poor facilities in general.
In this list, I’m going to be as objective as possible to rate the banks base on my own perception and that of the general public. Enjoy!
|Central Bank of Nigeria|
Below is the complete list of banks in Nigeria and how I rate them base on personal experience and service delivery over time.
22. Union Bank – One of the most reliable bank in those days in terms of keeping your money safe. Union bank is among the oldest banks in Nigeria and is still going strong. But banking has gone beyond just keeping money safe! While banks in Nigeria have made huge effort to improve in their service delivery and customer services, this bank seems to prefer the old way.
Though it may be working well for some people for some reasons, Union bank (to me) is not just getting it right these days. Twice I have had reasons to transact business with the bank, and twice I was disappointed. From old staffs looking like pensioners, to 1960 model computer systems and rusty desks – this bank is a “No” for me.
21. Mainstreet Bank – To me, this bank is just a paper bank. Nothing different from the Afribank they took over from. In fact Mainstreet is even worse. Granted, Mainstreet bank may be doing some high profile businesses that we don’t know, such as investment banking but, to average customers like me, they are nowhere to be found as a bank. Customer cares are none existent and their facilities are extremely poor.
20. Sterling Bank – They recently acquired Equatorial Trust Bank, that’s a good deal and one would expect greater business and big improvement. The bank is doing well in the stock market, posting revenue of NGN 45.17 billion 2011 financial year. But what is the average customers business with that? Only the investors cares about the revenues!
I visited one of the popular branch to open a business account recently. The first person I asked directed me to a man who took me upstairs and asked me to wait. I waited endlessly for about 40 minutes while the man chat around with other staffs. When I got tired, I just took my leave the way I came. Another customer lost on a platter of gold due to carelessness of ill-trained staffs.
19. Savanna Bank – Nothing much can be said about this bank since they are yet to recommence full banking operation after the restoration of their operational license that was withdrawn years ago. So let’s wait until they are fully into the market. But judging from what happened last time in business, people would always be a little skeptical with Savanna bank this time, at least for now.
18. United Bank for Africa – Probably one of the biggest bank in Africa and they have been around for a very long time. Got into the new generation platform when they merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005. In those days, Standard Trust Bank used to be the king in Nigerian banking circle. So, it’s natural that people flowed with Standard Trust Bank to UBA.
UBA is still doing their very best to remain on top of the game, like introducing new products and all that, but I think their best is not too good enough. I opened a current account with them in 2008 and my account got compromised within days due to pure carelessness and complacency from UBA. Though my money was refunded, I was never happy with that level of carelessness and inefficiency.
Again, a mischievous client could just pay money into your account, transact business with you and call UBA on phone that he has been duped and UBA will freeze your account instantly without any verification or contacting you in anyway. It happened to me and I am sure it has happened to many customers out there.
17. Enterprise Bank Limited – Formally Spring Bank. I really don’t know much about this bank so I am going to rate them base on Spring Bank. If you are banking with this bank, you have to contend with unavailability of branches and ATMs. Their online banking is zero and I don’t see them with plenty of innovations to compete with the other top banks in Nigeria.
16. Heritage Bank Plc – This bank is not into regular day to day banking. Appointed as a Lagos State revenue collection bank, Heritage bank is one of those banks we see their name only on paper but still doing great businesses.
15. Standard Chartered Bank – British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It operates a network of over 1,700 branches including some in Nigeria. They are just international bank with few outlets in Nigeria.
14. Citibank – This is a bank I respect internationally. Citibank has retail banking operations in more than 160 countries and territories around the world. More than half of its 1,400 offices are in the United States. I don’t think they are in Nigeria for retail banking operation. Like Standard Chartered Bank, they are international bank doing investment banking in Nigeria with few outlets.
13. Wema Bank – I have never had any complain with this bank but it’s not uncommon to hear their customers complain of poor services. However, they are one of the most improved banks in Nigeria in recent time. Because they are regional bank and doing very well more than other regional banks, I am giving them 3-star rating.
12. First City Monument Bank – This bank is doing very well in the industry, they are one of the banks that is always upgrading their services, introducing new products and always innovating. They recently acquired FIN Bank which I am sure will add capacity to their business.
However, most of the staffs in the customer care unit seems to be fond of making their customers look stupid. They would attend to you at their own convenient time no matter how urgent you are. Their online banking is extremely poor and difficult to locate mostly due to bad domain name.
Please, understand that the website’s Domain names that
most businesses in Nigeria think is not important could mar your
business big time. You don’t just pick any crap and call it a domain – Firstcitygrouponline.com – even a responsible blog wouldn’t go with such Domain Name let alone a professional bank! What happened to FCMB.COM? If it’s not available buy it, it’s the brand you promote and projects to us!
Update! It has been confirmed that FCMB.COM actually belongs to First City Monument bank. That is probably one of the best domain name by any Nigerian owned company. We therefore moved FCMB from 17th to 12th position!!
11. Keystone Bank Limited – Formerly Bank PHB, this is one of the banks Sanusi took over for no reason in my own opinion. The only changes we see are banners on the branches of the former Bank PHB buildings nationwide. Their official website looks like entertainment blog. The bank is certainly not the best option for anyone who wants to bank from outside Nigeria.
10. Skye Bank – Great bank with good products, always on the move and I think they can only get better. However, their online banking really suck. Adding a “Live Chat” that is always offline on a working day is a clear evidence of customer carelessness and irresponsibility. Maybe this bank don’t really know what live chat is?
09. Unity Bank Plc – This bank is doing very well but building micro branches in-place of standard bigger branches like other banks? To me, this is short sightedness and most customers sees it that way and avoid them.
08. Access Bank – Acquired Intercontinental Bank, this bank is getting bigger by the days and have good customer base to show for it. But that hasn’t come without complains. Below is what a customer has to say which is very peculiar with Nigerian banks anyway:
Alert! Access bank suspected fraud. I wish to use this medium to call on the management,staff and customers of access bank to investigate the custant unexplanable deductions of small monies from account holders. Is someone repeating the American’s fraud? Where somebody syhoned little negligeble amounts of money from ususpecting account holders & made so much. Eg: if you syphon N10 from one million accounts, the owners may not notice, but you have made 10 million naira. I hope this is not what someone is doing in access bank. My savings account had a deduction of almost N500 in less than 2 months, when i did not do any transaction. Even current account service charges are not that high. Pls access should correct this, else we use all available means to correct them. Meanwhile, if you bank with access, check your ac balance regularly before any further transaction.
My account with GTBank is going through the same problem and the banks always think we wouldn’t notice. Access bank have been accused of wrong doings many times by their customers and was involved with the police pension scam. That alone make them a “No” for me
07. Fidelity Bank Nigeria – This bank is one silent giant bank in Nigeria. Though their adverts are everywhere, people rarely take them very serious. But you need to work in and experience how good they are.
In 2011, the bank was ranked the 7th most capitalized bank in [Nigeria], the 25th most capitalized bank on the African continent and the 567th most capitalized bank in the world – Wikipedia
The only problem I have with the bank is adding PLC on their website’s domain name, making it difficult to locate them online. That alone is killing their brand on the internet.
06. Ecobank Nigeria – “I love this bank because they are well organized,their ATM service is fast, they attend to their customers on time and they are customer friendly” – happy customer
Recently acquired Oceanic Bank which used to be one of my choice bank. Good product, good services, good online banking.
05. Diamond Bank – – This bank used to be the number one bank on this rating but it seems they are just determined to degenerate at great speed. Diamond bank is expert in chosing poor locations for their branches. For that alone, I am giving them four star rating. Their ATM network is always very poor and their customers do complain a lot and they’ve forgotten what it means to to look good, repaint walls and get new furniture.
04. Stanbic IBTC Bank – A member of Standard Bank Group, this bank is one of the best bank in Nigeria judging by customers comments and general ratings elsewhere. Stanbic IBTC is one of the few banks in Nigeria that really operate on international standards. Great bank!
03. Zenith Bank – This bank would want us to believe they are the gods in banking in Nigeria. N50,000 before you open a savings account, N100,000 if you wants to open a current account, and N200,000 for business account? Who exactly are they trying to filter in this 21st century where banks are looking for customers? They are certainly top bank in Nigeria but not even my number two.
02. Guaranty Trust Bank – This is the bank where I have all my major accounts. Savings, Current, Domiciliary, MasterCard, Business account, Domiciliary again! GTBank is a bank I like so much but that doesn’t qualify them to be number one on this list.
I tried to buy Norton anti virus online with my GTBank master card early this year; Norton declined the transaction and GTBank still retained my N15,000! When I went to their customer care to find out why, they told me they have to hold on to the money for 21 days to be sure Norton wouldn’t come asking for for it.
It is so sad that a top bank in Nigeria don’t have a clue about how automated online transaction is. That one can only download or get any goods supplied by merchants only after they have successfully charged an account. However, I think they have improved in this regard. GTB is the bank to beat in the industry. They have one of the best if not the best online banking system among Nigerian banks.
01. First Bank of Nigeria – A bank that understands customer convenience and satisfaction. First Bank have overtaken Diamond Bank in this rating as our number one bank in Nigeria. From old generation bank with rusty infrastructures to world class bank with first class branches spread across the nation, First Bank of Nigeria has improved like no other banks in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, Nigerians don’t go with the best most times, they go with the trend that’s why some banks are taking them for a ride. First Bank is a bank that stands out in terms of quality banking and service delivery, you need to walk in to any branch of the bank to experience what I am talking about! Base on these and many more, First Bank is hereby rated in this review as the number one bank in Nigeria!
What do you think about this rating? Share your opinion using the comment box below.
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