Zenith Bank says loans to the public will only grow by 2% in 2020 compared to the 22% lending growth in 2019 at the behest of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The top commercial bank says this is due to expected slowdown in business and the expected impact of the Coronavirus on the economy of the nation and its biggest partner, China.
Going forward, it says it will only go beyond the meager targeted percentage if funding opportunities arise.
Based on record, Zenith Bank extended N2.46 trillion to the public as loan in 2019, compared to N2.02 trillion in 2018.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the top bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, the bank has to abide with reality across its operating markets.
He said, ” “Loan growth is a reflection of what we see in the macro-environment,”
Citing the impact of the Coronavirus and consequent headwind, he added, “(We) can’t grow beyond the economy,”
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria has mandated money-deposit banks operating in Nigeria to give out 65% of deposit as loan to the public, the announcement by Zenith Bank signifies a breach which may have dire consequences on businesses in the country.