Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Plc
Company typePublic limited company
Founded1990; 34 years ago (1990)
FounderJim Ovia
Zenith Heights, Plot 83, Ajose Adeogun street, Victoria Island, Lagos
Area served
Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, UK, UAE
Key people
Ebenezer Onyeagwu (CEO)
Revenue$854m (2019)
Total assetsIncrease$21,667bn (2021)
ParentZenith Bank Edit this on Wikidata

Zenith Bank Plc is a large financial service provider in Nigeria and Anglophone West Africa, headquartered in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is licensed as a commercial bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the national banking regulator.

As of 31 December 2019, it holds $16.1bn in total assets, with shareholders' equity of $854 million. The company is listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.


Competitive environment

The Nigerian banking industry of the early 1990s was led by a select group of four major banks: Union Bank, First Bank, UBA, and Afribank.


In 1990 Jim Ovia founded Zenith bank plc to compete with the existing four major banks. Zenith Bank was established in May 1990 and commenced banking operations in July of the same year. At inception, it had a capital base of $4 million. It began operations during a period of government liberalization of the banking sector when the central bank granted up to twenty banking licenses a year to investors. The bank's first office was originally a residential house in Victoria Island that was modified into a banking hall. In its early years, the bank witnessed a period of rapid growth. In 1997, following a directive for banking institutions to shore up their capital base, Zenith increased its capitalization to 500 million naira.

Growth using technology

In 1999, Zenith bank embraced the use of the internet for marketing financial services and to promote the use of online banking by consumers and becoming one of the earliest companies to invest in online banking. In the early 2000s, Zenith's profile began to rise, its investments in information technology helped it compete against the major banks that had a larger branch outreach and it soon began to announce net profits comparable to some of the older big banks.


On 17 June 2004, following a successful IPO, the bank became a public limited company. On 21 October 2004 its shares of the stock were listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). The bank's shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) following a listing of the $850 million worth of its shares at $6.80 each, in 2013.

The bank has equity investments in Zenith Custodian, Zenith Securities, and Zenith General Insurance.

Branch network

Branch of Zenith Bank in Race Course Road, Kaduna State.

As of 2016, Zenith Bank had more than 500 branches and business offices in all states and the Federal Capital Territory. It maintained subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The Bank also has an office in China.

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-03-13 13:50 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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