Access Bank, 4 others spend N19.5bn on business travels

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In a year where inflation rate has been dropping and exchange rate stabilized, investors hoping to see a cut down of operating expenses of some of our biggest bank could be disappointed, National Daily findings has revealed.

Bankers were apparently busy traveling locally and around the world to close deals, seek for deposits, raise loans etc. It’s important to add too that banks have also posted record profits this year and could somewhat justify this spend.

National Daily gathered that FBN Holdings, UBA Plc, GT Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank spent a total of N19.5 billion as travel expenses for the 9 month period ended September 2017. The banks had spent N14.2 billion in the corresponding period of the prior year, indicating an increase of 37% or N5.4 billion.

Access Bank still topped the chart as heavy spenders when it comes to travel expenses. At N5.6 billion, Access Bank travel budget is already 10% of its 9 months profits.

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Zenith Bank had the biggest provision for travel expenses as the bank spent N5.1 billion as travel expenses for the 9 months ended September 2017. This represents a whopping 177% increase from the N1.8 billion spent this time last year.

GT Bank’s famed cost efficiency is also present in its travel expenses as it spent a total of N545 million for the 9 months ended September 2017, an increase of 46% from the N372 million it spent in the corresponding period of 2016.

Considering the size of their operations, it is not surprising that they rank as one of the biggest spenders. Being a holding company, FBNH travel expenses cater for all their subsidiaries, including First Bank, FBN Capital, FBN Insurance etc. These are all top-heavy subsidiaries and will typically incur huge travel expenses. At N3.4 billion travel expenses is just 8% higher than the N3.4 billion spent this time last year.

United Bank for Africa is another behemoth of a bank with over 12,000 employees, it’s no surprise that they also have a large travel budget. At, N4.8 billion this year, travel spend rose 40%, from the N3.4 billion spent last year. UBA is on track to spend above N5 billion this year.

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