Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa, has a robust banking sector with several commercial banks operating in the country.
Choosing the right bank can be a daunting task, given the numerous options available.
However, selecting the best bank in Nigeria can be a game-changer in terms of the quality of services, accessibility, and convenience of banking transactions.
In this article, we’ll explore the best banks in Nigeria, based on their financial performance, customer satisfaction, and innovative banking services.
Whether you’re a business owner, an individual or a student, finding the right bank in Nigeria can make a world of difference in managing your finances effectively.
10 best banks in Nigeria
1. Zenith Bank
Zenith Bank Nigeria is one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria. It was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
The bank offers a range of financial services, including retail and corporate banking, investment banking, asset management, and pension fund management.
Zenith Bank is known for its innovative products and services, such as its mobile banking app, which allows customers to perform transactions, pay bills, and access other banking services from their mobile devices.
The bank also offers internet banking, debit and credit cards, and various other financial products to its customers.
Zenith Bank has received numerous awards for its performance and innovation in the banking industry, both in Nigeria and internationally.
The bank has also expanded its operations beyond Nigeria, with subsidiaries and representative offices in several other African countries, as well as in Europe and Asia.
2. Union Bank of Nigeria
Union Bank of Nigeria is a commercial bank in Nigeria, one of the largest and oldest financial institutions in the country.
The bank was established in 1917 and has since grown to become one of Nigeria’s most trusted and respected banks, with a focus on providing innovative banking products and services to individuals, businesses, and government agencies.
The bank offers a wide range of financial products and services, including savings and current accounts, loans and overdrafts, foreign currency transactions, investment services, and online banking.
Union Bank of Nigeria has a strong reputation for providing excellent customer service and has won numerous awards for its banking services.
In recent years, Union Bank of Nigeria has undertaken a significant transformation, focusing on digital innovation and expanding its reach across Nigeria and beyond.
The bank has invested in cutting-edge technology to improve its digital capabilities and has expanded its branch network across the country.
3. Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank Nigeria is a commercial bank in Nigeria that offers a range of financial products and services to individuals, businesses, and other organizations.
The bank was established in 1988 and has since grown to become one of the leading banks in Nigeria.
Fidelity Bank Nigeria offers various products and services such as savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposit accounts, loans and overdraft facilities, debit and credit cards, online and mobile banking, and foreign currency transactions.
The bank also provides specialized services such as agricultural banking, small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) banking, diaspora banking, and corporate banking.
Fidelity Bank Nigeria is known for its innovative banking solutions, and has won several awards for its products and services.
Fidelity Bank Nigeria operates a network of over 250 branches and more than 770 ATMs across the country, making it easily accessible to its customers.
The bank is also committed to social responsibility and has various initiatives aimed at supporting education, healthcare, and the environment.
4. Polaris Bank
Polaris Bank Nigeria is a commercial bank that operates in Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa.
The bank was established in September 2018, after the acquisition of Skye Bank Plc by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Polaris Bank offers a wide range of financial services to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), corporations, and government institutions.
The bank provides savings and current accounts, loans and overdrafts, debit and credit cards, online and mobile banking, and other value-added services such as insurance, investment management, and foreign exchange transactions.
The bank is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, and has a network of over 300 branches and cash centers across the country.
Polaris Bank is committed to providing innovative and customer-centric banking solutions to meet the financial needs of its customers.
5. Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank)
Guaranty Trust Bank, commonly referred to as GT Bank, is a Nigerian financial institution headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
It was established in 1990 and has since grown to become one of the leading banks in Nigeria, with a presence in other African countries and the United Kingdom.
GT Bank offers a wide range of banking products and services to its customers, including personal and business banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and asset management.
Its products and services include savings and current accounts, loans and mortgages, internet and mobile banking, credit cards, foreign exchange, and trade finance.
GT Bank is known for its innovation in the banking industry, particularly in the area of electronic banking.
It was one of the first banks in Nigeria to introduce online banking and mobile banking, and it has continued to leverage technology to enhance its service delivery to customers.
In addition to its focus on innovation, GT Bank is also known for its strong corporate social responsibility initiatives, particularly in the areas of education, health, and the environment.
The bank has established various programs and partnerships to support these initiatives, and it is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where it operates.
6. Keystone Bank Limited
Keystone Bank Limited is a financial institution based in Nigeria.
It was originally incorporated in 1989 as a financial institution and received a commercial banking license in 2011, following its acquisition by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Keystone Bank provides a range of banking services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and large corporations.
Some of the services offered by Keystone Bank include personal banking, business banking, and corporate banking.
Personal banking services include savings and current accounts, loans, debit and credit cards, internet banking, and mobile banking.
Business banking services include SME banking, cash management, trade finance, and asset finance, while corporate banking services include treasury management, project and structured finance, and commercial banking.
Keystone Bank is committed to providing innovative financial solutions and excellent customer service.
They have a presence in all 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and have over 150 branches nationwide.
7. First Bank of Nigeria
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) is the oldest and largest financial institution in Nigeria.
It was founded in 1894 as The Bank of British West Africa and has since evolved into a leading financial services provider in Nigeria, offering a range of banking and financial services to individuals, small businesses, and corporate clients.
FBN has a network of over 750 branches across Nigeria and operates in other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, China, and South Africa.
The bank provides a wide range of financial services, including personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth management, and insurance.
FBN is known for its innovative products and services and has won several awards and recognition for its leadership in the Nigerian banking industry.
8. Ecobank Nigeria
Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, a leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries. Ecobank Nigeria was established in 1986 and is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
The bank offers a wide range of financial products and services to its customers, including personal banking, business banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and wealth management services.
It operates through a network of over 350 branches and over 800 ATMs across Nigeria, making it one of the largest banking networks in the country.
Ecobank Nigeria has been recognized for its innovative banking solutions and commitment to providing financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked population in Nigeria.
The bank has won several awards over the years, including the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria Award by The Asian Banker and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria Award by World Finance.
9. United Bank of Africa
United Bank of Africa (UBA) Nigeria is a commercial bank in Nigeria, one of the largest in the country.
UBA Nigeria is a subsidiary of United Bank for Africa Plc, a pan-African financial services group with operations in 20 African countries and in the United States, United Kingdom, and France.
UBA Nigeria offers a wide range of financial services to individuals, small businesses, corporate clients, and government institutions.
The bank was founded in Nigeria in 1949 as the British and French Bank Limited and was later renamed to United Bank for Africa in 1961.
Over the years, UBA has expanded its operations across Africa and has become a major player in the financial services industry on the continent.
UBA Nigeria operates over 600 branches and service centers across Nigeria and offers a variety of banking products and services, including savings and current accounts, loans and advances, credit cards, debit cards, mobile banking, internet banking, and corporate banking.
UBA Nigeria is known for its commitment to innovation and technology, and has won several awards for its digital banking solutions.
The bank has also been recognized for its corporate social responsibility initiatives, including its support for education, health, and the arts in Nigeria and across Africa.
10. Access Bank
Access Bank is a Nigerian multinational commercial bank, founded in 1989. It is one of the largest banks in Nigeria with over 700 branches and more than 40 million customers.
The bank provides a wide range of financial services including personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth management, and digital banking solutions.
In 2019, Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank, another Nigerian bank, to create one of the largest banks in Africa with operations in multiple countries. The bank is known for its commitment to innovation and technology, and has won several awards for its digital banking solutions.
Access Bank has a strong presence in Nigeria and is also expanding its operations across Africa and beyond, with a presence in several countries including Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, and the United Kingdom.
The bank is focused on driving financial inclusion and supporting economic development across Africa through its various initiatives and partnerships.
Things to consider when identifying the best bank
Choosing the right bank can be a daunting task, as there are so many factors to consider.
With the rise of online banking and the multitude of options available, it can be challenging to identify which bank is the best fit for your needs.
We will explore some of the critical things to consider when identifying a bank, including fees, convenience, services offered and security measures.
By taking the time to consider these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and preferences.
Look for a bank with a good reputation and positive reviews from other customers. You can research this online or by asking friends and family for recommendations.
2. Financial Stability
Check the bank’s financial statements and ratings to ensure they are financially stable and secure. You can find this information on the bank’s website or through independent rating agencies.
Consider the services and products offered by the bank. Do they offer the types of accounts and services that you need? Are their fees reasonable?
Check the bank’s location and hours to ensure that it is convenient for you. You may also want to consider if they offer online banking or mobile banking services.
5. Customer Service
Look for a bank with excellent customer service. You can gauge this by contacting the bank directly or by reading reviews from other customers.
Consider the bank’s security measures to protect your money and personal information. Look for features such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and fraud protection.
Red flags when identifying the best bank
Not all banks are created equal, and it’s crucial to be aware of the warning signs that may indicate a bank is not right for you.
We explore the red flags to look out for when identifying a bank, so that you can make an informed decision and avoid potential financial pitfalls.
1. Unregistered banks
Make sure the bank is registered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and has a valid license to operate. You can verify this by checking the CBN’s website or contacting them directly.
2. Poor customer service
If you encounter poor customer service, such as unresponsiveness or unprofessionalism from bank staff, it could be a red flag.
3. High fees and charges
Be wary of banks that charge excessively high fees and charges, especially those that are not clearly disclosed to customers.
4. Low capitalization
The Central Bank of Nigeria has a minimum capital requirement for banks, and any bank that falls below this requirement could be financially unstable.
5. Negative news or reports
Look out for negative news or reports about the bank, such as fraud or mismanagement, which could indicate instability.
6. Lack of transparency
If a bank is not transparent about its operations, financial statements, or fees, it could be a red flag.
7. Limited branch network
Banks with a limited branch network or poor ATM coverage may not be convenient for customers, and this could be a red flag.