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Zenith Bank Moves Into France

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Zenith Bank

CEM REPORT, FINANCE | Expanding its frontiers in business on the global stage, Zenith Bank Plc has moved to set up a subsidiary in France. Zenith Bank has set in motion to secure requisite regulatory approval from the Autorite’ de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution (ACPR) to establish a strategic presence in France.

Zenith Bank

Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank Chairman

Zenith Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the French government which would enable Zenith Bank, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Zenith Bank (UK) Limited, obtain licence to commence operations.


The MoU was signed by the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, and the French Minister for Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht.

Elated Ovia speaking at the signing ceremony expressed optimism to secure licence and commence operations by early 2024 while thanking the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann and her colleagues at the French Embassy in Nigeria for their efforts towards improving French-Nigerian business relations.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Nigeria and Zenith Bank. I am indeed very delighted about the signing of this MoU with France.

“For me, it is an honour to do this on behalf of the bank, and we look forward to securing the licence and starting operations in early 2024.”

On his part, Becht said the pro-business agenda of President Macron has made it possible and simple for businesses to thrive in the French ecobusiness system.

He noted that reforms in labour law, simplifying a lot of procedures and cutting business taxes, corporate taxes and production taxes by more than 25 billion Euros, have made France more attractive for investors.

On the MOU, he said; “For us, that’s a very good signal, and it is undoubtedly a demonstration of mutual confidence. No doubt also that your vision on international finance guided you to decide to open this branch and this decision in many respects can also be regarded as a milestone in French-Nigerian economic relations and an illustration of our friendship.”

“We hope that the opening of the branch of Zenith Bank in France will also be an occasion to boost the French-Nigerian business in order to have more French companies investing in Nigeria and also to have more Nigerian companies investing in France,” he added.

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Zenith Bank Plc posted an unaudited Q2’23 of 114% growth from ₦620.6 billion reported in Q3’22 to ₦1.33 trillion in Q3’23. The Group recorded a 149% Year on Year (YoY) increase in profit before tax, growing from ₦202.5 billion in Q3’22 to ₦505 billion in Q3’23. Profit after tax also grew by 149% from ₦174.3 billion to ₦434.2 billion in the same period.

Zenith Bank also has subsidiaries in Ghana, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited; Sierra Leone, Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited; The Gambia, Zenith Bank (Gambia) Limited. The Bank also has a Representative Office in The People’s Republic of China.

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