Data obtained from financial reports of some banks have shown that nine Deposit Money Banks (DMOs) spent N 23 billion on business trips and hotels in 2021.
The reports showed that Access Bank, First Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, GTBank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) spent the amount on travels, hotels and other logistics within and outside the country
The breakdown showed that the amount spent during the period is 15 per cent higher than N 20 billion spent for the same purposes in the year 2020.
The increase recorded by the banks 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.
Of the tier one banks, Access Bank, UBA, Zenith Bank, First Bank, GTBank and FCMB paid N21 billion, representing 91 per cent of the total amount on business trips.
Details of the amount spent by the banks in order of spending showed that Fidelity Bank Plc spent N89.4 million on travel expenses in 2021, representing seven per cent dip from the amount spent during the same period in the previous year.
Fidelity Bank grew its gross earnings in 2021 from N206 billion to N249 billion, just as the profit for the period reflected the trend as it rose from N27 billion during the year.
Zenith Bank recorded N2.6 billion in travel and hotel expenses, which depicts a 40 per cent increase from the amount during COVID-19 pandemic.
In its 2021 financial statement, the bank reported a profit after tax (PAT) of N244.5 billion, being the highest on record and reflecting a 6.07 per cent increase year-on-year.
First Bank spent N4.2 billion on travel and passages in 2021 a 21 per cent rise from the N3.5 billion recorded in 2021. It reported a profit after tax of N117.8 billion in 2020 while its profit before tax (PBT) rose to N130.9 billion, up 77.9 per cent year-on-year from N73.6 billion in 2020.
During the year, the bank’s non-interest income grew by 106.4 per cent to N342.2 billion from N165.8 billion due to increased fees and commission income, treasury activities and other operating income.
Similarly, it reported gross earnings of N717.5 billion in 30.3 per cent year-on-year from N550.3 billion posted in 2020.
United Bank for Africa recorded the second-largest spender, as the bank recorded N5 billion on business travels, representing 28 per cent of the total amount spent by banks under spotlight.
The amount also slightly increased by 5 per cent compared to the amount spent in 2020 for the same purpose.
However, it delivered a robust 20.3 per cent growth in profit before tax to N153.1 billion in 2021 compared to N127.3 billion compared to the 2020 financial year, while its profits after tax grew by 8.7 per cent in 2021 against N109.2 billion in the previous year.
Access Bank spent the highest on travel expenses in 2021 at N8 billion, representing 36 per cent of the total amount spent by the banks during the year under review.