Figures from the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) has revealed that 29.7 million new bank accounts were opened between the month of March and May 2020 by Nigerians despite the Covid-19 lockdown and the corresponding low business activities in the country.
The increase in bank accounts might not be detached from the increase in electronics banking transactions occasioned by the inability of the banking public to visit public places during the period, as most banks recorded geometric increase in e-banking figures as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The increase in numbers of bank accounts in the 3-month period represents 22.8 percent increase over the 130 million bank accounts existing in the banking industry as at February 2020 and a 11.6 percent increase over the 143 million accounts as at end of April 2020. There was an increase on 16.7 million new accounts opened between April 2020 and May 2020.
For Year-on-Year (YonY), the number of bank accounts increased by 38 million between June 2019 to May 2020 representing a 38% increase from 122 million in June 2019 to 160 million in May 2020.
In the same vein, a total of 29 million additional bank accounts were active during the 3-month Covid-19 lockdown period, from 83 million as at February 2020 to 112 million active bank accounts as at end of May 2020. This represents a 35 percent increase in active account for the 3-month period. While the number of inactive accounts increased by mere 1.4 percent from 48 million in February 2020 to 48.5 million as at May 2020.
Active accounts in the Nigerian Banking Industry increased YonY by 39 million representing a 53 percent increase over the 73 million active accounts recorded in June 2019. While inactive accounts decreased YonY by 1 million representing 2 percent below the 49 million inactive accounts recorded in June 2019
The increase in bank accounts during the lockdown seems to have skewed towards current accounts as number of currents accounts in the banking industry in Nigeria increase by 28 million in the 3-month lockdown leading to May 2020, representing 27 percent growth during period from 102 million to 130 million current accounts. While savings accounts increased by 4 percent from 23 million to 24 million during the period.
The number of current accounts increased by 40 million YonY representing a 48 percent growth over the 90 million current accounts recorded in June 2019. While savings accounts dropped by 5 million accounts YonY representing 17 percent decline from the 29 million recorded in June 2019