A new report  shows that in 2020, the banking sector was one of the few sectors that experienced remarkable profitability despite the retrenchment of workers and the cut in employee-related expenses in the Nigerian corporate space in the same year, most of the listed banks  were able to increase their personnel cost with the exemption of Access Bank, Union Bank, FCMB, Sterling, and Wema Bank. The report by Nairametrics  also highlight the Nigerian banks that incurred the highest personnel expenses in 2020.

One of the crucial roles of an organisation’s leadership is the management of its human capital. This is because the people who work for an organisation are responsible for producing economic value and ultimately building the wealth of shareholders.

Using the publicly available information of listed banks, Nairametrics gathered information on banks that incurred the highest personnel expenses in 2020 and analysed the structure of these expenses. It is worth noting that personnel expenses include wages and salaries of employees, pension contributions, and other staff costs.

According to the data, the thirteen banks under our watch spent a total of N551.89 billion on employee cost in 2020, representing a 3.37% increase compared to N533.91 billion recorded in the previous year.

Stanbic IBTC

Stanbic IBTC followed Access Bank in personnel expenditure as the international bank spent a total of N42.1 billion (+3.4%) on its employees in 2020. The total number of employees increased marginally from 2,936 employees in 2019 to 2,972 employees in 2020.

The bank’s average personnel cost per employee in 2020 was N14.2 million which is the highest seen among the banks under our watch.

Employees in the entry levels (N2 million to N4 million) declined by 89 persons, while all other levels increased in the Group.

Employees in the highest income bandwidth (N6 million and above) made the highest segment of the bank’s staff strength (60%). Stanbic delivered a PAT growth of 10.9% to N83.21 billion in 2020.

Access Bank Plc

Nigeria’s largest bank by asset value spent a total of N73.2 billion on its employees in 2020. This is however a reduction of 4.9% from the N76.96 billion spent in 2019. With a total staff strength of 6,781, the average personnel cost per staff stood at N10.8 million in 2020. The total number of employees in Access Bank also dropped by 117 from 6,898 in 2019 to 6,781 at the end of 2020.

In contrast to the reduction in the total number of employees, retirement benefit obligation expenses increased by 36.9% to stand at N4.94 billion in 2020.

Of the total personnel expenses, N68.95 billion was spent on wages and salaries, representing a decline compared to N73.2 billion spent in 2019.

Employees within the income range of N5.74 million to N6.67 million accounted for 27% of the total employee categories. The bank’s profit after tax increased by 12.71% in 2020 to N106.01 billion.

Zenith Bank plc

Zenith Bank, which recorded the highest profit after tax in 2020 came in third in terms of personnel expenses in the same year. Zenith Bank spent N79.3 billion as personnel expenses in 2020, a marginal increase of 1.8% from N75.1 billion spent in 2019. The average personnel cost per employee in 2020 was N10.5 million as the total staff strength stood at 7,544 personnel.

Unlike many of its peers, Zenith Bank increased its staff strength from 7,405 in 2019 to 7,544 at the end of 2020. This represents an increase of 139 staff in the review year.

N67.56 billion was spent on salaries and wages in 2020, N7.92 billion on other staff costs, while N3.78 billion was spent on staff pension contribution.

Employees in the income range of N300,000 to N2 million increased from 1,467 in 2019 to 1,747; N2 million to N2.8 million increased by 49 persons; and income range between N9 million and above increased by 108 persons.

As of the end of 2020, employees in the income range of N9 million and above constituted the largest section of the staff strength (40%).

Zenith bank posted the highest profit of N230.6 billion (+10.4%) in 2020 compared to N208.8 billion in 2019.


United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA)

UBA followed with a total personnel cost of N87.5 billion in 2020 from N75.1 billion in 2019. However, the number of employees in the bank declined by 2,420 to stand at 10,817 personnel. The average cost per staff in UBA Group was N8.09 million in 2020.

Of the total employee-related expenses, N84.5 billion was spent on wages and salaries while N3.1 billion was stated as defined contribution plans.

Employees in the lower income levels, specifically those earnings between N300,000 to N2 million reduced from 7,426 in 2019 to 4,200 at the end of 2020; while those earning between N2 million to N2.8 million declined from 2,168 persons to 628 persons.

There was, however, a sign of promotion and increase in remuneration as the decrease in the lower income levels, resulted to an increase in the medium-income level.

Personnel that earned between N2.8 million to N3.5 million in the year, increased from 294 to 1,516 personnel. UBA delivered a growth of 27.7% in profit to N113.8 billion in 202o from N89.1 billion recorded in 2019.

FBN Holdings Plc

FBN Holdings spent the highest on personnel expenses in 2020, increasing its staff cost by 4.91%, from N95.9 billion in 2019 to N100.6 billion at the end of 2020. With a total staff strength of 8,341, the Group had a personnel cost per employee of N12.1 million in 2020. Although personnel cost increased, the number of employed staff declined from 9,015 to 8,341 employees in 2020.

The number of employees, that received remuneration between N9 million and above in 2020, increased by 1,964 to stand at 3,473 personnel.

A cursory look at the data, suggests that the remuneration of a significant number of employees were increased in the review year as those that earned between N7.8 million and N9 million reduced from 800 to 62 personnel.

Employees in the highest income band of 9 million and above made the highest segment in the bank’s staff, making up 42% of the total.

Of the total personnel expenses, N89.26 billion was spent on the wages and salaries of the employees, hereby accounting for 89% of its personnel costs.

Meanwhile, FBN Holdings was able to increase its bottom line by 14.46% from N66.04 billion recorded in 2019 to N75.59 billion in 2020.

Bubbling under

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc – N37.6 billion (+0.9%)

Union Bank – N32.6 billion (-2.4%)

FCMB – N29.52 billion (-0.3%)

Fidelity Bank – N25.4 billion (5.1%)

Sterling Bank – N14.8 billion (-0.48%)

Wema Bank – N14.0 billion (-5.8%)

Unity Bank – N10.41 billion (+10.3%)

Jaiz Bank – N4.9 billion (26.89%)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: