Data from the banks’ 2021 financial statements has said that fees and commission income in the leading commercial banks rose by 31 percent to N384.8 billion in nine months of 2021 from N292.4 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
The banks are Guaranty Trust Bank Holding Company (GTCo) (N51.9 billion), Access Bank (N88.9 billion), Zenith Bank (N78.2 billion), United Bank for Africa (N67.9 billion), Stanbic IBTC (N60.9 billion), Unity Bank (N10.5 billion), Union Bank (N10.3 billion), Fidelity Bank (N9.3 billion), Wema Bank (N8.7 billion) and Sterling Bank (N4.2 billion).
According to data for the nine month period, which ended September 2021, the fees and commission income generated during the period comprised account maintenance fees which rose 30 percent to N59.65 billion from N45.8 billion in the corresponding period in 2020.
Similarly, fees and commission income generated from electronic banking grew by 34 percent to N145.9 billion in 2021 from N108.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
Fidelity Bank had the highest percentage rise in fees and commission income recording 89 percent increase to N9.3 billion from N4.9 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.
Speaking on the development, Shina Loremikan, Coordinator, Campaign Against Impunity (CAI), attributed the growth in fees and commission income of the 10 banks to the rise in the prices of goods and services.
He said: “As you know, there is a general rise in prices of goods and services. If you are into the poultry business, you need over 50 percent of what you spent last year to feed the same number of birds you fed a year ago.
“The inflation rate is so high that the same thing you were doing last year with N40,000, you may need N51,000 to do it this year and some of these bills have to be paid into the banks. So, they encourage more people to go and use the banking system for transactions and inflation is increasing. The end user will be in a better position to know whether it is better off or otherwise.
“For every payment you make, the bank is making some money. Put all together, they have more profit in their hand but I am afraid if the services are equal to the payments.”