Maintaining the superior performance of Zenith Bank three years later

It has been a momentous three years since Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu took the reins as Group Chief Executive and Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc on June 1, 2019. Back then, the question on the lips of many is whether whether Onyeagwu’s tenure would witness the continuation of the superior performance the bank was known for and whether the bank would continue to hold its leading position in the country’s financial sector.

The events of the past three years, however, particularly the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic which massively disrupted the global business and financial landscape, have proven Onyeagwu’s mettle as a proven leader with vision, knowledge and courage to provide the leadership essential for the stability of a financial juggernaut like Zenith Bank.

Undoubtedly, running a behemoth as part of Zenith Bank is no small feat; it definitely requires a seasoned boss in the Onyeagwu mould. Indeed, Onyeagwu has deployed impeccable professionalism, discipline and perseverance to change the traditional narrative of banking in Nigeria and on the continent, utilizing the best of ideas, people, talent and other resources within the bank to create the momentum necessary to generate excellent continuity. performance over the past three years. Founded by Jim Ovia, CON, Zenith Bank Plc was established in May 1990 and commenced operations in July of the same year as a commercial bank.

The Bank became a limited company on June 17, 2004 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, now the Nigerian Stock Exchange, on October 21, 2004, following a highly successful IPO. Zenith Bank offers individuals and corporate a range of financial products and services from over 500 branches and business offices in all states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. It also has a presence in the United Kingdom, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, United Arab Emirates and has a representative office in China, and its shares are traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

In just over thirty years, Zenith Bank has grown tremendously to become Nigeria’s largest financial institution and one of Africa’s largest financial institutions by Tier 1 capital, with equity of 1 .28 trillion NGN ($3.03 billion) as of December 31, 2021. The bank is an undisputed leader in the Nigerian financial space, with several firsts in rolling out innovative products and solutions that ensure convenience, speed and transaction security. With a team of dedicated and well-trained professionals, the bank relies on its strong information and communication technology infrastructure to deliver products and services through its network of branches, point-of-sale terminals and through electronically through its internet and mobile banking channels. Zenith bank favors its core business strategy which is anchored on “People”, “Technology” and “Service” to create value for its customers. In strict compliance with global best practices, the bank combines market knowledge, professionalism, expertise and ICT to create products and deliver services that anticipate and respond to the dynamic needs of customers.

To align its processes with global best practices and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, Zenith Bank continues to uphold its commitments as a member and signatory to various national and international sustainability frameworks, including the United Nations Global Compact and the Central Bank of Nigeria Sustainable Bank Principles. The Bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative and a founding signatory of UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking. After joining 130 banks around the world to launch the Principles in September 2019, the Bank has vigorously pursued the implementation of the Principles thereafter, signifying its intention to create value for its shareholders, clients, customers, its investors, communities and the environment through its practices. , operations and investments.

Through a myriad of corporate social responsibility initiatives and donations, Zenith Bank contributes significantly to the sustainable development of many local communities across Nigeria. He understands the development gap that exists in many rural communities in Nigeria. Therefore, it is making concerted efforts to fill these gaps through provision of access roads, clean water for local communities, establishment of health centers and rural hospitals, provision of agricultural extension services free to host communities, among others.

Additionally, while the devastating impact of the coronavirus on society has subsided somewhat, many communities are still struggling to rebuild from the economic and social losses of the pandemic. Zenith Bank continues to play an active role in rebuilding with its communities. In 2021, Zenith Bank’s total CSR investment was NGN 4.37 billion, representing 1.79% of its after-tax profit and a 33.1% increase from 2020. Zenith Bank has remained one of the biggest social investment spenders in the Nigerian business space. Priority areas of its CSR efforts during the year reflect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and include security, healthcare, education and skills development, sports development, empowerment of youth and women and the development of public infrastructure. Promoting the safety of life and property remains an important social investment of the bank.

As in the previous year, the needs gap analysis revealed that safety remains a fundamental need in our communities. Thus, in 2021, the bank has invested the sum of NGN 2.78 billion in various partnerships with local communities, federal, state and local governments, and other relevant agencies to preserve public peace and ensure a crime-free environment. . The sum also includes contributions to several state security funds across the federation. As a testament to its achievements in this area of ​​sustainability, Zenith Bank won the “Best Company in Infrastructure Development 2021” award at the 2021 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards. The bank’s investments in sports development in 2021 included various initiatives such as the title sponsorship of the Zenith Bank Delta State Principal’s Cup; Zenith Bank Principals Cup, Ikoyi Club Zenith Tennis Championship, Ikoyi Club Ball Boys Zenith Tennis Championship, Zenith Country Club Lagos Tennis Championship, Zenith Bank Next Gen Tennis Championship.

In 2021, Zenith Bank supported the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, a health initiative complementing government efforts to improve life expectancy in the country. It has also invested in medical interventions for low-income people facing various life-threatening medical conditions. The total investment in health was around NGN 103.5 million. The bank continues to pay great attention to the defense of SDG4 (quality education). In reaffirmation of its commitment to the development of the country’s education sector, the bank spent approximately NGN 776.5 million on education initiatives in fiscal year 2021. Some of the investments in education initiatives include donations the Nigerian Law School, University of Lagos, St. Savior School Education Endowment Fund, Ikoyi; and sponsorship of the 2021 Microsoft Office Specialists World Championship. billion naira in the first quarter of 2021 to 191 naira. 5 billion in Q1 2022.

According to the unaudited account statement presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange in April 2022, strong double-digit revenue growth resulted in an increase in net profit, with the Group recording an 11% increase in profit before year-to-year tax. , from N61.02 billion in the first quarter of 2021 to N67.99 billion in the first quarter of 2022. After-tax profit also increased by 10%, from N53.06 billion to N58.19 billion. naira during the same period.

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank has won numerous awards, including being voted Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation in Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance, Nigeria in the World Finance Banking Awards 2022; Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria at the World Finance Banking Awards 2021; Best in Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, by the Ethical Boardroom; and Bank of the Year (Nigeria) at the Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020.

In addition, the Bank appeared as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in Banker Magazine’s Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, the number one bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2021 Top 1000 World Banks” ranking by The banker’s magazine and Retail Bank of the Year Business day Awards for Banks and Other Financial Institutions 2020 and 2021. Similarly, Zenith Bank was honored as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the Today’s price 2020 and emerged victorious in four categories at the 2021 Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility Awards, taking home the awards for “Best Company in Reporting and Transparency”, “Best Company in Infrastructure Development”, “Best Company in Equality and Women’s Empowerment”, and the coveted “Africa’s Most Accountable Organization”.

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