By Babajide Komolafe
THERE are strong indications that the total asset and liabilities of commercial banks in the country have crossed the N33 trillion mark, according to the economic report of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for May, 2017 released on Friday.
The report showing a marginal growth of about 0.6 per cent in the industry’s total assets and liabilities, also revealed that banks ‘credit to the domestic economy fell by 1.1 percent during the month, while currency in circulation fell by 3.9 per cent.
The report stated: “Total assets and liabilities of the commercial banks at end-May 2017 amounted to N32,907.64 billion, showing a 0.6 per cent increase, compared with the level at end-April 2017.
“Funds were sourced, mainly, from unclassified liabilities, claims on private sector and drawdown on reserves. The funds were used, mainly, for acquisition of unclassified and foreign assets, and redeemption of time, savings and foreign currency deposits.
“Banks’ credit to the domestic economy, at N21,060.72 billion, fell by 1.1 per cent, compared with the level at end-April 2017. The development was attributed to the fall in claims on the Federal Government and the private sector, at the end of the review month.
“Total specified liquid assets of commercial banks stood at N7,028.49 billion, representing 38.1 per cent of their total current liabilities. At that level, the liquidity ratio was 1.3 percentage points below the level at the end of the preceding month, but was 8.1 percentage points above the stipulated minimum ratio of 30.0 per cent. The loans-to-deposit ratio, at 80.4 per cent, was 0.09 percentage point below the level at end-April 2017, but 0.4 percentage point above the maximum ratio of 80.0 per cent.
“Currency-in-circulation, at N1,897.92 billion, fell by 3.9 per cent in the review month, compared with the 0.4 per cent decline at end-April 2017. This was due to the 5.4 per cent fall in its currency outside banks component.”