Determinants of Bank Profitability in Nigeria

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.0BACKGROUND INFORMATION TO THE STUDY
The study of profits is important not only because of the information it provides about the health of the economy in any given year, but also because profits are a key determinant of growth and employment in the medium-term. Changes in profitability are an important contributor to economic progress via the influence profits have on the investment and savings decisions of companies. This is because a rise in profits improves the cash flow position of companies and offers greater flexibility in the source of finance for corporate investment (i.e. through retained earnings). Easier access to finance facilitates greater investment which boosts productivity, productive capacity, competitiveness and employment. The existence, growth and survival of a business organization mostly depend upon the profit which an organization is able to earn. It is true that when Profitability increases the value of shareholders may increase to considerable extent. The term profitability refers to the ability of the business organization to maintain its profit year after year. The profitability of the organization will definitely contribute to the economic development of the nation by way of providing additional employment and tax revenue to government exchequer. Moreover, it will contribute the income of the investors by having a higher dividend and thereby improve the standard of living of the people. In order for a business entity (whether public or privately owned) to continue to prosper, there is need for its earnings to be relatively stable for its expansion and growth over time. In addition to its level of earnings, its external environment must also be carefully understood and reliably anticipated (Burns and Mitchell, 1946). Earnings and business environments are so serious issues that a business must study and understand in order to face its opportunities and threats with vigor and determination. Where for instance, the business does not recognize the effects of changes in external environment which may necessitate changes in business earnings, it may suffer some losses consequently. This perhaps explains why there has been continuing search by modern businesses to improve their methods of production necessary to cut down costs, and to develop new attributes or products, which may have wider appeal and satisfaction to their customers. On the other hand, the environmental and cyclical conditions are usually volatile and Dynamic (Sabo, 2003). This underscores the need for business firms to be able to reliably conduct forecast not only for their future demands or sales for their goods and services but also other variables that affect them directly such as their personnel and future profits. The volatility of the changes in the variables from the external environment in specific ways to the immediate factory level and to the remote industry and task environments can sometimes be very significant. These calls for managers’ ability to appreciate and apply formal forecasting techniques to assist their banks achieve this veritable task. The determinants of profitability are empirically well explored although the definition of profitability varies among studies. Disregarding the profitability measures, most of the banking studies have noticed that the capital ratio, loan-loss provisions and expense control are important drivers of high profitability. In this study, the drivers that would be considered are in two categories namely endogenous (internal) and exogenous (external) drivers or factors of Profitability. Internal drivers of bank performance or profitability can be defined as factors that are influenced by a bank’s management decisions. Such management effects will definitely affect the operating results of banks. Although a quality management leads to a good bank performance, it is difficult, if not impossible, to assess management quality directly. In fact, it is...
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