Zenith Bank is Nigeria’s largest bank and 7th in Africa according to the latest ranking of the Top 1,000 Global Banks by the influential Bankers’ magazine.

The ranking comes on the heels of limited upside suffered by the continent’s banks in 2012 top ranking – an incidence that is associated with weakness of their currencies, many of which fell sharply against the US dollar in the second half of 2011.

Zenith became Nigeria’s largest bank with $2.398 billion of Tier-one capital, followed by First Bank at $2.36 billion, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) $1.478 billion, Access Bank $1.05 billion, and UBA at $1 billion to make up the top five.

Fidelity Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, Diamond Bank, and Stanbic IBTC Bank, made up the rest, with Tier-one capital of $867 million, $683 million, $665 million, $587 million and $460 million respectively.

Tier-one capital is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength from a regulator’s point of view. It is the money that the bank has in its coffers to support all the risks it takes, such as lending and trading.

Nigerian banks’ tier-one capital are made up of common stock, disclosed reserves, retained earnings and minority interests in the equity of subsidiaries that are less than wholly owned.


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