UBA, Zenith Bank, 7 others spend N23bn on travel expenses

Zenith Bank, UBA, FirstBank and six other Nigerian banks spent N23 billion on business trips during the year 2021 covering the cost of travel, hotels, passages and other logistics tied to travelling within and outside the country.

The others are Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, GTBank, Stanbic IBTC and FCMB.

From analysis of data collated from their 2021 full year financial reports, the amount spent during the period is 15 per cent higher than the N20 billion spent traveling by the banks the previous year (2020).

The increase seen in 2021 could be attributed to the ease in lockdown and the resumption of economic activities locally and internationally compared to 2020 when movement was restricted due to the global pandemic.

Access Bank spent the highest on travel expenses in 2021 at N8 billion. The amount spent during the period is 36 per cent of the total amount spent by the nine banks and also represents 16 per cent increase from the N7.1 billion spent for the same purpose during the pandemic year.

The bank reported a profit of N160 billion in 2021, a 51.13 per cent increase year on year while its net interest income grew by 14.64 per cent from N262.95 billion to N301.46 billion in the current period.

UBA is the second-largest spender on business travel. The bank recorded a total of N5 billion which represents 28 per cent of the total amount spent by banks spotlighted.

The amount is also slightly up by 5 per cent compared to the amount spent in 2020 for the same purpose.

The bank delivered a robust 20.3 per cent growth in profit before tax to N153.1 billion in 2021, compared to N127.3 billion at the end of the 2020 financial year while it profits after tax rose grew by 8.7 per cent to N118.7 billion in 2021, against N109.2 billion recorded the previous year.

First Bank of Nigeria spent N4.2 billion on travel and passages in 2021, a 21 per cent rise from the N3.5 billion recorded in 2021.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N117.8 billion in 2021, up 73.9 per cent year-on-year from N67.8 billion posted in 2020 while its profits before tax was N130.9 billion, up 77.9 per cent year-on-year from N73.6 billion reported in 2020.

Zenith bank comes next on the list, recording N2.6 billion in travel and hotel expenses which depicts a 40 per cent rise from the amount during the Covid period.

In its financial statement for the year 2021, the bank reported a profit after tax N244.5 billion, the highest on record, and reflects a 6.07 per cent increase year on year.

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