Best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account 2021

Are you looking for the best banks in Nigeria 2021 to open a bank account, you need not worry as I’ve provided you with what you needed, on this unbiased post.

This post is strictly written, based on the number of banks that I’ve done business with, and also my friends and family.

I’m writing this post which is the best banks in Nigeria 2021 to open a bank account, and I’m emphasizing savings account.

Please note that the criteria I used are based on the company revenue and assets, the customer service, and also the banking services giving to the bank customers.

However, I’m not fully dependent on the customer service provided by the various banks in Nigeria.

For example, you will see someone in Oshogbo complain about how bad the zenith bank customer service is, and someone in Enugu saying that Zenith bank has the best customer service in Nigeria.

So in terms of good customer service, it differs from location to location or the bank branch, and also the MD in charge of that particular branch or location.

I will focus more on the services provided by the banks we have, and these include interest rates, money transfer, wire transfer, exchange rate, applying for a loan, atm services, etc, and lastly the bank revenue or total assets.

So let’s move onto the best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account today.

The Best Banks in Nigeria

Now the question goes, what are the best banks in Nigeria, and the unbiased list goes below;

Best banks in Nigeria


1. The First Bank Of Nigeria

Founded in 1894 | Good customer service | Gives interest on savings | Good Exchange Rates | Good mobile banking services | Good internet banking services 

Yes, they are the number one best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account and you shouldn’t doubt it.

In terms of bank services, the First Bank of Nigeria provides top-notch service to its customers.

For example, if you want to receive money from abroad to your local bank account. With the first bank it will only take a duration of one to two days, whilst other banks might take up to five working days.

Not only that, the first bank is the very first bank that issues their customers with their naira or even dollar debit or credit card(atm card) the very first day you opened an account with them.

Other banks will ask you to come in two weeks in time for your atm card collection.

Is so difficult to experience atm dispense error with the bank, it does happen but very rare to see.

In terms of interest on a savings account, I’m pleased to tell you that the first bank does give their customers interest on their savings account.

However, the rate is usually poor until you have a good sum amount of money with them.

But at least it is something compared to other banks that don’t offer much at all.

In terms of customer service, I will rate them 9/10 based on the number of locations and branches I’ve visited so far.

When I requested a hard copy of my statement of account, they treated me well and filed it with a clean and strong first bank envelope.

The reverse was the case when I requested a hard copy of my account statement with gtbank.

The first bank of Nigeria mobile banking is very good, of recent, I haven’t had any issues buying airtime or internet data, paying for utilities, or transferring money from my account to another bank.

I’m sorry to say this but zenith bank *966# is very awful, one can’t use it at night or midnight, not until daybreak( by 8 or 9 am).

In terms of exchange rates, be it a dollar, pounds, euro, etc, it is quite okay. If you’re buying or selling your foreign currency, the difference isn’t that much.

For example, if you want to change your foreign currency (dollar) using gtbank, the bank gives you N358.5 per dollar.

But in the case that you want to make payment in dollars, the bank charges N365 per dollar.

The first bank of Nigeria gives you N359 or N360 per dollar if you’re selling your dollar, and N365 per dollar if you are buying(making payment in the dollar).

Applying for a loan with the first bank isn’t that bad, and I applied using my salary account. It was quite easy and didn’t even require a grantor.

According to Wikipedia, the first bank of Nigeria has a net income of N13,588,000,000 and total assets of N4,514,789,000,000 respectively.

That’s the number one on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account.

2. Guaranty Trust Bank

Founded in 1990 | Average customer service | Good mobile banking services | Average Exchange rate | No interest on savings account 

Another bank on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account is the guaranty trust bank.

In as much that Gtbank is a new generation bank, it deserves to be on the number two on the best banks in Nigeria 2020.

The bank is waxing strong and definitely on the top five banks we have in this country.

Guaranty trust bank is one of the banks that offer free opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria.

The likes of the first bank will ask you to deposit the sum of $100 before creating your domiciliary account.

Opening a savings account with gtbank is so cheap, will only cost you a thousand and five hundred which is used in creating your naira debit card(atm card).

Gtbank is one of the banks that you can withdraw all your whole money, leaving your account N0.00.

When it comes to mobile banking services, both the *737# and the mobile app are top-notch.

Even at the midnight, you can still buy airtime or data, make a payment or transfer money without hitches.

The transfer charges are quite okay compared to other banks.

Gtbank doesn’t offer any interest rates on savings accounts unless you have millions in your bank account. Well, this is the case with most banks in Nigeria.

In terms of customer service, I always prefer using the online platform to contact the customer service representative and they reply swiftly.

People do always complain about their bad customer service in their branches.

Well this depends on one’s location cause their branch in Enugu has a good banker-customer relationship compared to their branch in Owerri or even the one in maitama Abuja.

The very day I had atm dispense error, didn’t bother going to the bank but rather contacted Gtconnet and it was resolved immediately.

Not only that, when I had issues with online payment that didn’t go through but I was deducted, contacted Gtconnet and they reversed my money back within five working days.

In terms of applying for a loan through gtbank, I must tell you that I haven’t tried that at all.

Though a friend of mine once did and there were no issues, even though the interest accrued was much.

In terms of exchange rates, the bank tried though some other banks offer a good amount of rate compared to guaranty trust banks.

But what I don’t like is the delay in receiving funds from abroad.

For example, if you have someone sending money to you from the UK or the US, with gtbank, it usually takes up to five working days, while some banks will give you two days.

What I hate about the bank is not issuing customers their atm card on time.

A customer will wait for a whopping two weeks to get his or her atm and in the case that the customer traveled up to a month, he or she will have to pay for a new atm card.

According to Wikipedia and Forbes, Guaranty Trust Bank total asset is a whopping ₦ 3.16 Trillion dated back in 2016, and I bet will triple in 2020.

When you multiply bank charges in the name of money transfer, card maintenance, monthly SMS charges by five million, why wouldn’t the bank have a huge asset?

That’s the number two on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account today.

3. Zenith Bank (Third best banks in Nigeria)

Founded in 1990 | Poor customer service | Average mobile banking services | Good exchange rate | No interest on savings account

The next bank that made the list on the best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account is the zenith bank plc.

Zenith bank being on the top three is just the bitter truth, in as much I do detest this bank, especially the poor services offered to their customers.

Having looked at the other banks, there’s no doubt that Zenith bank should be in the top three of the best banks in Nigeria 2020.

Please when I say that I detest the bank isn’t based on my biased opinion, cause the bank offers the worst customer service I’ve ever seen, both offline and online.

Mobile banking both the ussd code and mobile app always have network issues.

You can’t make use of them in the early hours of the day or even at night which can be annoying.

The bank mobile banking 24/7 available to customers is a complete farce.

Like other banks, they don’t offer any bit of interest in savings, no matter the amount you have with them unless you go for a fixed deposit.

Getting a loan from the bank can be easy but the interest charged is times fifty of what they offer in a fixed deposit account. Best banks in Nigeria.

Zenith bank is the only bank I’ve seen that always have an issue of network problem.

You go to the atm to make a withdrawal, and boom network issue, you go inside the bank and they will also tell you that they are having a network issue.

Getting my bvn from them was hell, it took me almost two weeks before they provided me with that, the reason that they were having network issues.

The reason why Zenith bank is on the top three of the best banks in Nigeria is that a customer’s account and money is very safe.

The bank has come to stay and they can’t experience liquidation especially with the bank’s total asset which is N5,898,596,000,000 according to Forbes and Wikipedia.

That’s the third bank on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account today.

4. United Bank For Africa (UBA)

Founded in 1949 | Average customer service | Good mobile banking services | Good exchange rate | interest on savings account 

The fourth bank to make the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account is the United Bank for Africa.

One of the oldest banks we have in Nigeria and they are still waxing strong.

The number four on the list of best banks in Nigeria 2020 is the united bank for Africa popularly called UBA.

One of the banks that offer interest on savings accounts, though very little interest rate.

The higher the amount you have with them, the higher the interest rate the bank will offer to you.

The bank offers good and poor services to their customers, and both their mobile banking or even internet banking services is always available to the customers.

Once had an account with them and didn’t experience any hitches like network issues with the bank.

Receiving money from abroad with your uba account is stress-free, just a matter of three working days and you will receive a credit alert.

Local money transfer is so easy with the bank, both on their mobile app or their ussd code, and you can make payments like electricity or DStv/Govt, etc without having issues.

You can also send money from your local bank account to someone abroad through Moneygram on UBA without much stress, and their exchange rate is quite okay.

Best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account.

Generally, UBA is quite good just that their workers(bankers) can be a lot mischievous and if you’re a novice, they can play you.

Can’t forget my experience with the bank in 2014, when I wanted to close an account with up to N2.5M.

The banker on duty nearly cunned me, requesting for N20k charges, but for the fact that I’ve been in the game too, he didn’t succeed.

Being one of the oldest banks in Africa and Nigeria, as it was founded in 1949, there’s no way the bank will crumble.

The bank is not just only in Nigeria, but rather other African countries like Ghana, Benin Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Cameroon, Kenya, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Mozambique, Senegal, Congo DR, Congo Brazzaville and Mali.

That’s the number four on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account today.

5. Access Bank

Founded in 1989 | Good customer service | Good exchange rate | Good Mobile banking services | No interest in a savings account

The fifth on the list of top best banks in Nigeria 2020 to open a bank account is the Access bank plc.

Came to a shock when I learned that the bank is buying diamond bank, having bought intercontinental bank in 2011.

Access Bank is presently one of the five largest banks in Nigeria in terms of assets, loans, deposits, and branch network.

The merger of Access Bank and Diamond Bank on 1 April 2019 has made Access Bank the largest bank in Africa. Many diamond bank customers are missing the bank, but I think access banks added more value to it.

I try to understand people saying that the bank is the worst in terms of customer service, cause their branches that I’ve been to, treated me very well.

What I will say a good banker-customer relationship.

Maybe it depends on the location and the bank branch, but generally, their customer service is very good, starting with the security men at the gate to the bankers on duty. Best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account.

Access bank is one of the best banks that offers a good amount in terms of the exchange rate.

They offer up N360 per dollar compared to gtbank or even zenith bank that offers N358.5 per dollar.

If you’re making an online payment or wants to pay for a product in the dollar, they charge N363 per dollar(though it changes per hour).

Their mobile banking services are okay, both the ussd code, mobile app, or even the internet banking service.

They indeed offer 24/7 mobile banking services to their customers and receiving money from abroad to your access bank account doesn’t take time.

A long duration of three to four working days, else you know there’s an issue with the transfer.

The bank doesn’t offer any interest on a savings account, and their fixed deposit isn’t for a poor man.

The minimum fixed deposit is one million naira and the rates aren’t quite interesting either.

What I do hate about the bank is the hidden charges.

Once I’ve been deducted for no reason, contacted their online service provider and there was no response, had to head straight to the bank, and showed my temper.

Can’t imagine the bank taking 5k from my account and calling it a mistake and whereas it isn’t the first time.

The bank was fond of deducting N100 or even N200 from my account, and after a series of complaints, I closed the account.

Well, I’m back to access bank thanks to the diamond bank and I’m monitoring my account balance every day.

Founded in 1989, I will say that it will be hard for the bank to enter liquidation, having merged with intercontinental bank and diamond bank.

The bank has a total asset of NGN4.552 trillion (2018) and this will triple in 2019.

That’s the number five on the list of best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account today.

These are the top five best banks in Nigeria 2020, but other banks are very good and you can open an account with them.

They are as follows;

1. The Fidelity bank plc 

There’s no way I will be writing on the best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account without mentioning the fidelity bank plc.

The bank was founded in 1988, and the bank has indeed grown into a stable and respectable banking institution.

According to the Forbes and the Wikipedia, the bank has total assets estimated at over US$4.2 billion (NGN:1.4 + trillion), and shareholders’ equity over US$610 million (NGN:203 billion) dated back in 2017.

The bank has a good banker customer relationship and their services are a good one.

Opening an account Fidelity bank shouldn’t give you a second thought, you can go ahead if you want to and you wouldn’t regret it.

Moving onto the next bank that made the list on the best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account.

2. First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

FCMB  is one of the banks we have in Nigeria that is trying hard to be the best, and I must say that they are indeed achieving it.

Right now in 2020, the bank boost of millions of bank customers and their revenue have indeed increased over the years.

Banking with FCMB isn’t a bad one, their exchange rate is the best, very fast money transfer both international and local, and their customer service is good.

FCMB rightfully deserve to be on the list of best banks in Nigeria, and the bank keeps on improving day by day.

Apart from these two, you can open an account with Polaris bank, Union Bank, and Eco bank as well.

These three banks especially the Eco bank and Union bank are indeed good to have an account with or among the best banks in Nigeria.

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This is where I draw the curtain on the best banks in Nigeria to open a bank account in 2021 and please if you have any suggestions or more to add to this, I will be very thanks

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