In this article, we shall be looking at the new banks in Nigeria that was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the year 2019 and some much older ones. It is important for you to have an idea of what these new financial institutions are all about and their operations to. Maybe, you are just conducting a research and you stumbled upon this article, then you are at the right place.

Also read: CBN AGSMEIS; 185,000 Applicants in Nigeria Will Benefit from This Loan Scheme

In the early 90s, the Nigerian banking industry is made up of majorly these four banks – First Bank, Union Bank, Afribank, and UBA. Since then, the industry has undergone series of changes. The major change is experienced during the banking reform of 2004, which focuses on bank consolidation through the mechanism of merger and acquisition.

The major effect of this reform is the rebasing of commercial banks from N2 billion to N25 billion before it can begin operations. Before the reform, there were 89 commercial banks in Nigeria, and after it the number dropped to 25. In this article, I will be showing you the new banks in Nigeria and a little bit of their history.

New Banks in Nigeria Licensed by CBN – Check the List

New Banks in Nigeria

The following are the newest new banks in Nigeria, and maybe the names of some might sound strange to you.

Titan Trust Bank

In 2019, the Central bank of Nigeria licensed three new banks and Titan trust bank is one of them. The Titan Trust Bank Nigeria will operate as a commercial bank with national recognition.

Globus Bank

Globus Bank is one of the new banks in Nigeria. It was granted regional authorization and was duly licensed by the CBN on March 6, 2019. Globus Bank was incorporated as a limited liability company and duly licensed to provide commercial banking services. The bank aims to be the leading bank in using technology in delivering value to its customers.

Jaiz Bank Plc

Jaiz Bank is a non-interest bank which operates under Islamic banking principles. It is the first non-interest bank established in Nigeria in the year 2003. It has its headquarters in Abuja.

Taj Bank

Taj Bank Nigeria limited was licensed by the CBN to function as a non-interest bank.

Heritage Bank

Heritage Bank can be traced as far back as the late 1970s. As that time, the bank was operating under the name Societe Generale Bank Nigeria and was owned by the late Olusola Saraki.

The Central Bank of Nigeria closed down Societe Generale Bank in January 2006, simply because the bank was not able to meet the new minimum capital requirements of 25 billion naira for a national bank. However, the bank challenged the action of CBN in court in December 2012, and CBN re-issued license to the bank but they will be operating as a regional bank.

Having acquired the banking license, the new ownership of Societe Generale Bank then re-branded the bank and changed its name to Heritage Banking Company Limited. Heritage bank was opened for business on March 4, 2013

Keystone Bank Limited

Keystone Bank Limited was issued a commercial banking license by the CBN on Friday, August 5, 2011. CBN also revoked the banking license of Bank PHB on the very same day. Keystone Bank then assumed the assets and some liabilities of the now-defunct Bank PHB.

Polaris Bank Limited

Polaris Bank Limited is also one of the new banks in Nigeria which was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The history of Polaris bank can be traced back to 1989 when Prudent Bank Plc, was incorporated as a limited liability company. A year later, the bank was issued a license and named merchant bank. That same year, it re-branded and changed its name to Prudent Merchant Bank Limited. In 2006, Prudent Merchant Bank Limited merged with four other banks in order to form Skye Bank Plc.

In January 2011, Skye bank introduced a Naira-denominated debit card, called “MasterCard Verve”. This was the first of its kind in Nigeria. In 2014, the bank acquired Main street Bank Limited. On 21 September 2018, it was announced that theCBN had revoked the operating license of Skye Bank. This was due to the inability of the bank’s shareholders to recapitalize after the 2016 intervention from the Central bank. The assets and liabilities of Skye bank were to be taken over by a new entity called Polaris Bank due to the inability of the Skye Bank’s shareholders to adequately recapitalise the bank after the 2016 intervention.

Standard Chartered Bank

The history of the Standard Chartered Bank can be traced to 1965 when the Standard Bank of South Africa merged with the Bank of West Africa. The name was then changed to Standard Bank of West Africa. Four years after the merger, Standard Bank Nigeria was incorporated locally to take over its operations in Nigeria.

However, the Nigerian civil war saw a major economic upturn and as a consequence, the bank remained a shareholder of First Bank of Nigeria until 1996. Standard Chartered bank came into Nigeria again in 1999 and was opened to customers on 15 September 1999. This time, the bank came as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank Plc with its headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Unity Bank

Unity Bank provides financial services such as corporate banking, retail banking, as well as investment banking in Nigeria. In January 2006, nine financial institutions with expertise came together to form Unity Bank plc.

SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited (STBNL)

SunTrust Bank is among the new banks in Nigeria. It  is a commercial bank with regional authorization. The bank is licensed by the Central bank of Nigeria and national banking regulator. SunTrust was incorporated and founded in 2009 as a mortgage bank. Later in November 2015, the bank was converted to a regional commercial bank and granted license by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The bank was opened for business to the public on August 15, 2016.

Providus Bank Limited (PBL)

Providus Bank is a commercial bank with regional authorization. The bank was granted its regional banking license to function as a commercial bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria in June 2016.


While omitting the names of some recent mergers, the above are the names of the new banks in Nigeria and some facts about them you need to know.