First Bank of Nigeria Limited is leading 14 other commercial banks in the utilization of foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
With a total of $25,701,921.17 FirstBank reported the highest amount of forex purchased from the CBN on behalf of its customers.
The allocations ranged from fuel, machinery and pharmaceuticals imports, all the way down to invisibles dominated divestments by foreign investors exiting the Nigerian equities and bond markets, and forex allocations to school fees.
For the second time, school fees accounted for the highest number of allocations across several of the banks, but not in value, reflecting the lack of confidence Nigerian parents in high and upper middle-income brackets have in the country’s education sector.
FirstBank was followed by Zenith Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Limited with $23,811,329.77 and $20,618,105.09 respectively.
Standard Chartered Bank with total returns of $17,795,338.87 came in fourth, while Diamond Bank Plc reported returns of $17,691,840.54.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) reported returns of $15,828,891.14 to occupy the sixth place, while Ecobank Nigeria Limited reported returns of $14,684,365.28.
Also, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc reported returns of $12,550,289.46; Access Bank Plc published returns of $11,994,742.86; Citibank Nigeria Limited — $9,238,688.09; Fidelity Bank Plc — $7,447,530.26; and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) Plc — $6,711,545.29. Others included Sterling Bank Plc with total returns of $4,792,887.67 and Keystone Bank Limited which also reported returns of $3,732,629.81.
For the first time, three merchant banks also published their returns on utilisation of funds. They were Coronation Merchant Bank Limited — $4,838,429.62; FSDH Merchant Bank Limited — $3,701,840.84; and Rand Merchant Bank Limited which reported total returns of $2,225,002.42.
But in terms of volume, the purchase of foreign exchange for other invisibles such as school fees, business travel allowance (BTA) and personal travel allowance (PTA), was the highest.