NINE major Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria raked in the sum of N554.23bn from fees and commissions in 2021.
This amount is 29.4 per cent higher than N428.32bn they made in 2020.
The banks are Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, United Bank for Africa Plc, First City Monument Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank, and Fidelity Bank Plc.
The sum of N554.23bn was arrived at after aggregating the net fee and commission income contained in the banks’ annual financial statements ended December 31, 2021.
Fees and commissions account for a significant percentage of non-interest income for banks and represent income from account maintenance fees, electronic banking fees, and other credit-related commissions.
Net fee and commission income is the actual revenue generated from these charges after expenses incurred from providing the services have been deducted.
Access Bank raked in a total of N118.56bn as against N93.57bn generated during the same period in 2020.
The bank’s financial report also showed that it made N7.23bn from electronic bank charges and the sum of N33.35bn from e-banking fees.
During the review period, Zenith Bank made N103.95bn from fees and commissions, resulting in a total income of N132.88bn and expenses of N28.96bn.
The amount generated by the bank in 2021 is 31.03 per cent higher than N79.33bn recorded in the previous year.
The bank said, “Total fee and commission income recognised at a point in time amount to N91,291 million and N71,092 million for Group and Bank (December 31, 2020: N70,556m and N52,446million) respectively while an amount of N41,593 million and N41.068m (December 31, 2020: N32,669 million and N31,932 million) was recognised over the year”
From fees on electronic products, the bank raked in N37.47bn while the sum of N31.39bn was generated from account maintenance charges.
UBA generated N110.9bn, N25.9bn higher than the N85bn made in the nine-month period of 2020. It made N7.1bn from account maintenance charges and N41.9bn from e-business fees.
According to the financial statement of GTB, N65.65bn was generated from fees and commissions in 2021, a N18.72bn jump from the revenue generated in 2020.
The bank also disclosed that the sum of N16.68bn was generated from account maintenance fees while e-business fees produced N21.08bn.
For FCMB, revenue from fees and commission rose to N28.75bn in 2021 from N19.55bn recorded in 2020, the bank’s financial statement stated.
The report also revealed that the bank earned N12.82bn from electronic banking fees and N4.8bn from account maintenance charges.
Meanwhile, Wema Bank generated the sum of N13.42bn from fees and commissions in 2021, while Sterling Bank generated N13.08bn during the same period.
For account maintenance and electronic banking services provided, Stanbic IBTC generated N5.08bn and N3.69bn respectively, raking in a total of N82.87bn from fees and commissions.
Findings show that Stanbic’s income from fees and commission in 2021 was higher than the amount recorded in 2020 by N11.68bn.
Another bank that recorded an increase in fee and commission revenue in 2021 was Fidelity Bank Plc. As of December 31, 2020, the bank declared that it generated N13.76bn from fees and commissions.
This figure jumped to N20.78bn in 2021constituting N4.14bn from account maintenance and N2.99bn from fees on e-banking activities.
On January 1, 2020, the apex bank ushered in a new regime for bank charges. The changes to its guidelines mostly affected things like card maintenance fees, charges for hardware tokens, and the amount that can be paid for electronic transfers.
In a circular dated December 20, 2019, the CBN placed N2,500 as the maximum cost for a hardware token.
It also said that bills payment including bills payments through other e-channels should cost a maximum of N500, and gave a range of costs for electronic funds transfer.
“Card maintenance fee on current account has been removed as the accounts already attract account maintenance fee. Savings accounts will now attract a card maintenance fee of N50 per quarter from N50 per month,” the central bank said.
Speaking on the development, the President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, Uju Ogubunka, lamented the issue of excess charges paid by bank customers, describing it as a major concern.
He said, “The issue of excess charges has been a major source of concern to us as an association. We have since been fighting it and we will not stop.
“However, I must say that in most cases, the excess charges imposed on bank customers are not deliberate but a result of a capacity-building problem. That is when new recruits or inexperienced hands handle transactions and overcharge.
“Also, most times, when the banks overcharge, they are made to repay customers with prime interest plus two percent.”
He advised banks to prioritise professionalism and ethical standards in their operations to reduce the amount of excessive or irregular charges recorded.
Similarly, a financial analyst and a professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Sheriffdeen Tella complained that many of the bank charges imposed on customers were irregular and fraught with inconsistencies.
Also, the Managing Director of Cowry Asset Management, Johnson Chukwu, attributed the huge income from fees and commissions to the high volume of digital banking transactions in the country.
Chukwu said, “I don’t think the issue is the rate they charge, as private organisations and other corporate bodies usually negotiate down the charges they pay.
“So I think it is all about the volume of transactions. You will observe that many banks are making income from commissions and fees principally because with the advancement in technology people are taking their transactions online.
“For each digital transaction a customer executes, they give the bank the opportunity of making income.
“Thus, I don’t think that bank customers are complaining that the charges are steep and as such, there is no need for a review.”