Banks in H1 2020: Kicking-in a Response, Busting a Virus


Wednesday, October 14, 2020   / 05:00 AM / by Proshare Research / Header Image Credit: EcoGraphics

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"We're witnessing the creative destruction of financial services, rearranging itself around the consumer. Who does this in the most relevant, exciting way using data and digital, wins!" - Arvind Sankaran


To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on banks it is important to analyze the various possible response scenarios that might pan out. These scenarios enable stakeholders in the banking industry to properly plan and think through various outcomes that might arise as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


Different scenarios are likely going to play out due to the complex nature of the virus. To simplify understanding, this report considers four scenarios. The scenarios include an effective domestic response, isolation response, collaborative response, and effective global response. An effective domestic response means that though there was an initial disruption caused by the virus, the spread would be relatively controlled. Examples of countries that have recorded relative success in the domestic response to the virus include Taiwan, China, Germany, and Canada.


Furthermore, the dynamic nature of the virus and the inability of the government to effectively respond might give rise to the need for collaboration between private individuals, companies, and the government to help combat the virus. A collaborative response could help mitigate any further disruption of economic activities that may arise. In Nigeria, there was a collaborative response between the government and the private sector. The private sector under an umbrella intervention body called Coalition Against Coronavirus (CACOVID) collaborated with the Nigerian government in a joint effort to fight against the virus and minimize its negative socio-economic consequences.


In contrast to the collaborative approach, some countries have adopted an isolation response strategy. This strategy is adopted where there are indications of an inefficient and weak global response. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, many nations initially locked down their borders and restricted movement. The initial isolationist response adopted disrupted economic activities and resulted in high factory lockdowns and early job losses. On the other hand, an effective global response provides succour for the global and domestic economy as it helps propel the growth and quick recovery of business and ancillary activities (see Illustration 7). 


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Illustration 7: Kicking-in a Response, Busting a Virus

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Policy Responses; Banks Make Hard Work of Running Uphill

The banking sector would be affected differently from other parts of the economy depending on the defensive policies adopted by the government. An effective domestic response would most likely cause the banking sector to rebound quickly to pre-COVID levels of operations but fragile banks might still have hills to climb.


An effective global response to the pandemic could see a significant transformation of the banking industry as fintech platforms gain ascendancy and global players explore alliances. However, the isolation response is the least preferred COVID-19 strategy because its negative impact on the overall economy and financial markets could stretch for another two or more years, thereby ensuring that a couple of companies will go bust. An isolation response if adopted could cause a sever hit on the banking sector. A prolonged economic slowdown could see many banks struggle to navigate past poor long-term credit performances (see Illustration 8).


Illustration 8: Policy Responses; Banks Battle Fragile Outcomes

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Illustration 9: Nigerian Banking Sector in a World of Fluid Responses to COVID-19

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A Dive into The Strategy and Response Water Well

Analysts note that an effective domestic response clarifies the possible impact on the banking sector if the government mobilizes the required resources to combat the virus. Some of the signs of an effective domestic Nigerian response to the COVID-19 pandemic would include the effective mobilization of resources that contain the virus, no signs of a second wave, economic activity rebounds in early 2021 (GDP declined by -6.10% in Q2 2020) with recovery initially slow but speeding up by Q3 2021 as consumers regain confidence.


Understanding Domestic Signalling Responses

An effective domestic response would help prevent structural damage to the banking industry and help boost the sectoral growth.  Banks would most likely record quick rebounds in their profitability (many of them saw declining profitability in Q2 2020) (see Illustration 10).


Illustration 10: Understanding Domestic Signalling Responses

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Banks' profit and top line earnings recovery in 2021 will ride on the back of a strong response to the pandemic as the government curtails the virus spread and allows businesses to stay open. The strong government intervention would see a gradual recovery in loan volumes to pre-COVID levels, with a rise in self-service financial channels, and a growing reliance on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as customer confidence returns (see Illustration 11).

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Illustration 11: Understanding Flashes, Signals, and Responses; An Effective Domestic Response to COVID-19

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Responding to Collaboration Flashlights

In the last six months, the Nigerian government has been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 threat which has forced individuals and corporations to collaborate with the government to push back against the pandemic.


A prolonged crisis could lead to an uncoordinated response between the government and citizens which could result in the banking sector seeing changes in the dynamics of market power and a decline in profit margins. A collaborative response, on the other hand, would, therefore, cause banking activities to pick up gradually and the demand for non-loan banking services recover slowly as new banks and other niche players take advantage of the rising tide of customer trust (see Illustration 12).


Illustration 12: Responding to Collaboration Flashlights

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A collaborative response between the private sector and the government would have salutary effects on the banking system. A collaborative response would bolster customer confidence. There would be an increase in the use of digital channels, banks would most likely use customer data to develop personalized and tailored products and services. Banks that are slow to implement these adjustments would likely record thinner margins and a shrink in the customer base (see Illustration 13).


Illustration 13: Understanding Flashes, Signals, and Responses; Collaborative Response

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Downloadable Versions of Banks in H1 2020: Imagining Beyond COVID-19 Report (PDF)

1.     Executive Summary: Banks in H1 2020: Imagining Beyond COVID-19 - Oct 11, 2020

2.    Full Report: Banks in H1 2020: Imagining Beyond COVID-19 - Oct 11, 2020



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Related News post on Banks in H1 2020: Imagining Beyond COVID-19 Report

1.      Banks in H1 2020: Imagining Beyond COVID-19

2.     Banks in H1 2020: Weaving Past A Pandemic in Nigeria

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147.         CBN Directs Development Finance Institutions to Obtain Licence - Sep 08, 2015

148.        CBN Directs Banks to Remit FG's Funds into the Treasury Single Account - Sep 08, 2015

149.        CBN Finalises Guidelines for the Enrolment of Nigerian Bank's Customer in Diaspora - Aug 19, 2015

150.        CBN Directs All Licensed BDCs to Consummate Transactions with Customers' BVN Effective 1st August - Jul 21, 2015

151.         CBN Warns Authorized Dealers Against Funding Items Classified as "Not Valid for Forex" - Jul 01, 2015

152.        CBN Extends BVN Enrollment Deadline to 31st October, 2015 - Jun 30, 2015

153.        CBN Directs DMBs to Establish Industry Fraud Desks - Jun 12, 2015

154.        CBN to Review the Nigerian Cheque Standards - May 04, 2015

155.         CBN Moves to Check Rising Non-performing Loans in Banks - Apr 24, 2015

156.        CBN Clarifies Circular on Usage of Naira Denominated Cards Overseas - Apr 24, 2015

157.         CBN Stops Rendition of Returns on Defunct Micro Credit Fund - Apr 17, 2015

158.        CBN Limits Naira Card Usage on Overseas Transactions to $50,000 - Apr 14, 2015

159.        CBN Rolls Out Stiff sanctions to Dissuade Issuance of Dud Cheques - Apr 09, 2015

160.        CBN Warns Against the Use of Foreign Currency as Medium Of Exchange in Nigeria - Apr 07, 2015

161.         CBN lays Guidelines on Mobile Money Services in Nigeria - Apr 02, 2015

162.        CBN Sets Regulatory Framework for Licensing Super Agents - Apr 02, 2015

163.        CBN Releases Regulatory Framework for Mobile Money Services - Apr 02, 2015

164.        CBN Publishes Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for DFIs in Nigeria - Mar 19, 2015

165.        CBN Sets Guidelines for N300 Billion Real Sector Support Facility - Mar 04, 2015

166.        CBN Directs Banks to Commence FG's Treasury Single Account Scheme - Feb 26, 2015

167.         CBN Restricts Use of Unfettered Access in Exchange Manual - Feb 23, 2015

168.        CBN Sets Guidelines for Advisory Council on Non-Interest Financial Institutions - Feb 20, 2015

169.        CBN Closes RDAS/WDAS Foreign Exchange Window - Feb 18, 2015

170.        CBN Releases Exposure Draft for Dormant Accounts Management by Banks - Feb 18, 2015

171.         CBN Sets Time Bar for Resolution of Customers Complaints - Feb 18, 2015

172.         CBN Issues Framework for the Implementation of Electronic Payments Incentive - Feb 13, 2015

173.         CBN Sets Guidelines for Banking Operations in Free Trade Zones in Nigeria - Feb 11, 2015

174.         CBN Offers Special Intervention to BDC Operators - Feb 03, 2015

175.         CBN Inaugurates Financial Inclusion Steering Committee - Feb 03, 2015

176.         CBN Notifies Banks on Onward Reporting of Fraud in Non-EMV Environments- Jan 30, 2015

177.         CBN Directs Banks to Compute Net Open Position on Daily Basis - Jan 30, 2015

178.        CBN Reviews Weekly Cash Sales to BDCs to $30,000 - Jan 23, 2015

179.         CBN Reviews Foreign Currency Trading Position of Banks to 0.1% of SHF - Jan 13, 2015

180.        CBN Signs MoU with Deposit Money Banks to Boost Power Supply - Dec 23, 2014

181.         CBN Directs Banks to Commence Issuance of Centenary N100 Banknote - Dec 22, 2014

182.        CBN Reduces Foreign Exchange Trading Position of Authorized Dealers to Zero Percent - Dec 18, 2014

183.        CBN Issues 48hours Deadline for Utilization of Funds Purchased from Forex Market - Dec 18, 2014

184.        CBN Releases Circular on Sales of Foreign Exchange without Adequate Documentation - Nov 21, 2014

185.        CBN Releases Circular to All DMs and Merchant Banks on the Implementation of Swift SSS - Nov 20, 2014

186.        CBN Kicks-off the Development of Consumer Protection Framework for Financial Institutions - Oct 22, 2014

187.        CBN Sets BVN Compliance Deadline for DMBs and Bank Customers - Oct 22, 2014

188.        CBN Increases Outbound International Money Transfer Limit - Oct 14, 2014

189.        CBN Releases Collateral Registry Regulation - Sep 30, 2014

190.        CBN Rolls Out Electronic Payments Incentive and Awareness Campaign - Sep 19, 2014

191.         CBN Releases Circular on the Acceleration of Bank Verification Number - Sep 19, 2014

192.        CBN Releases Guidelines for Financial Holding Company (HoldCo) - Aug 29, 2014

193.        CBN Develops Authorized Signatories Verification Portal for the Banking Industry - Aug 21, 2014

194.        CBN Earmarks 60% of MSME Development Fund for Women - Aug 18, 2014

195.        CBN to launch Outbound Money Transfer Service with Western Union Money Transfer - Aug 14, 2014

196.        CBN Reviews Electronic Payment Operations via NIBSS Instant Payment System - Aug 14, 2014

197.         CBN Re-introduces ATM Cash Withdrawal Transactions Fee; Effective September 1, 2014 - Aug 14, 2014

198.        CBN Excludes Non-Distributable Regulatory Reserve in the Computation of Capital of Banks - Aug 07, 2014

199.        CBN Issues Draft Regulatory and Supervision Guidelines for Development Finance Institutions - Aug 05, 2014

200.       CBN Releases Exposure Draft for Recommendation of Time Bar on Consumer Complaints - Jul 25, 2014

201.        CBN Extends Timeline for the Resolution of Complaints on Excess Charges and Loans to 30 Days - Jul 03, 2014

202.       CBN Prohibits Loan Defaulters from Further Access to Credit Facilities in the Banking System - Jul 02, 2014

203.       CBN rolls out Cash-Less Policy on July 1, 2014, postpones withdrawal charges in 30 States - Jun 24, 2015

204.       CBN Orders Banks to Refund Monies to Customers Shortchanged By ATMs - Jun 16, 2014

205.       CBN Orders Banks to Refund Excess Commission on Turnover - Jun 13, 2014

206.       CBN Maintains Highest Level in Information Security Standard (ISO27001) Compliance - Jun 12, 2014

207.       CBN Extends Cashless Policy to 30 Remaining States; Kicks Off July 1st - Jun 05, 2014


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

Proshare's Memo to The Market and Market Updates

1.      NESG v CBN: Beyond the Battleground - The Need for Facts, Perspective and Resolution - Oct 05, 2020

2.     NSE Ten Years After a Takeover: The Good, The Bad and Undecided - Sep 16, 2020

3.     Online Trading Ranking Report 2020 - Trading in a Period of a Virus; Building Good Habits - Sep 02, 2020

4.     Otudeko: A Boardroom Revolutionary at 77 - Aug 18, 2020

5.     Roads: Concrete Vision, Asphalt Competition, Looking Ahead - Aug 01, 2020

6.     CEO Remuneration 2020 Report - Paying the CEO in a Pandemic; The Unanswered Questions - Jul 30, 2020

7.     Memo To AMCON: Nigerian Tax Payers are not Responsible for Repayment of Bad Debt - Jul 23, 2020

8.     Coronanomics (1) - Understanding the Realities of an Impending Recession - Jun 06, 2020

9.     Nigeria Cement Market's New Chess Play; Understanding The Market Dynamics - Jan 31, 2020

10.  NCM2020 - Fin. MKT in Transition: Understanding Past Uncertainties; Preparing for New Possibilities - Jan 20, 2020

11.   UBA's Staff Layoff; Understanding The Shifting Dynamics Of Banking's Future - Jan 20, 2020

12.  Ogun State: Working Past Economic Headwinds - Nov 04, 2019

13.  Banks' H1 2019 Numbers: Top Line Growth, Bottom Line Uncertainty - Sep 22, 2019

14.  Ecobank Nigeria: The Case For Restructuring, Repositioning and Retooling - Jul 31, 2019

15.  CEO Remuneration: Making Sense Of The Numbers For Listed Companies In Nigeria - Jul 12, 2019

16.  Beyond The Noise: MTN's Post Listing Reactions, Gaps in Rules and Lessons Learnt - May 26, 2019

17.   JUMIAs IPO and Q1 2019 Result; Understanding The Numbers and Ignoring the Noise - May 16, 2019

18.   Ogun State: The Debt Trap- Leaning Against the Wind - April 2019

19.  The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) OTC Market Report 2018 - Feb 06, 2019

20. Surviving Uncertain Times in the Nigerian Financial Market - Jan 19, 2019

21.  Unravelling The Ecobank Q3 2018 Results; Applying NAFEX, Different Outcomes Oct 26, 2018

22. Compliance With IFRS IAS21 - ETI and The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates - Oct 25, 2018

23. Nigerian Banks' Performance - H1 2018 - Sep 26, 2018

24. Swift Correction Of Honest Mistakes Helps Build Institutional Corporate Governance - Sep 05, 2018

25. Memo To The Market - The NSE, Oscar Onyema Foundation And Corporate Governance - Aug 20, 2018

26. AMCON and Financial Services Debt Burden in Nigeria - Aug 17, 2018

27. Memo to The Market: The Oando Corporate Journey - At The Regulators Gate - Dec 10, 2017

28. Leadership, Change and Corporate Transformation - The Nigerian Experience ... - Proshare Nov 07, 2017  

29. Analysing the H1 2017 Performance of FBNHoldings Plc - A Comprehensive Report - Oct 20, 2017

30. FBNHoldings Plc Q1' 2017 Performance Assessment Report Updated - Sep 25, 2017

31.  Years After - 5 years of Dr. Yemi Kale's Stewardship at the NBS - Aug 24, 2016

32. Memo to the Market: Reappointing Arunma Oteh as DG, SECJan 03, 2015

33. Where Nigeria got it Wrong - Proshare Dec 01, 2014

34. Fundamental Considerations for Capital Market Reforms in Nigeria ... - Proshare - Sept 06, 2010

35. The Bull in the China Shop - A New Paradigm in the Nigerian Financial Markets? - Aug 21, 2009

36. Making Money in The Nigerian Capital Market Report - Apr 25, 2009


Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

Proshare Nigeria Pvt. Ltd.

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