Sustainable Banking as a Driver for Growth: A Survey of Nigerian Banks

Deloitte West Africa recently published a report about Nigerian Banks' experiences with sustainable banking. I'm happy to have championed this report and with it, launched the sustainability services of Deloitte in Nigeria and West Africa. The findings were surprisingly optimistic, showing that the banking sector has made significant strides in sustainability. Please read the report and let me know what you think. I'm sure there is a lot of food for discussion.


Financial services regulators in Nigeria increasingly see sustainable banking as an avenue to promote the sustainable development of the nation. As such, key regulators have established and continue to improve frameworks, guidelines and regulations mandating banking institutions to implement sustainability in their business operations and activities.

However, beyond regulatory compliance, we believe that banks in particular can achieve other benefits which ultimately lead to the greater impact on their customer experience, impact on the society in which they operate and overall  - a sustainable growth of their business.

With the adoption of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP), most banks in Nigeria have been prompted to intensify their adoption of sustainable banking principles. Although the banks are at varying levels of engagement with these principles, and with sustainable banking in general, significant progress has been made since 2013.

Deloitte surveyed 18 of the largest banks in Nigeria to understand how they have adopted sustainable banking principles, what their experience has been and what they need to overcome the challenges they have experienced so far. 

Some key highlights from the survey are outlined below:

  • All the respondent banks currently engage with the NSBP on some level, and they all expect their level of engagement to increase in the near future.
  • The three most common triggers for sustainable banking activities are reputational benefits, regulatory compliance and operational benefits.
  • All the respondent banks have developed an Environmental and Social (E&S) framework to guide their sustainable banking activities and about 95% of them have implemented E&S initiatives over the last three years.
  • Most banks have developed products specifically to promote women economic empowerment and financial inclusion.
  • About 83% of respondent banks have realized both financial and non-financial benefits from their sustainable banking efforts and about 61% of them are either happy or very happy with their Return on Investments.
  • Improved brand value and reduced costs are the areas of greatest improvement as a result of sustainable banking efforts.
  • The respondent banks’ SME/retail client segment has benefited the most from sustainable banking efforts. However, about a third of the banks surveyed do not have data to prove the link between their sustainability efforts and these benefits.

Download the report for details on the impact of sustainable banking practices in the Nigerian banking sector.