The International Monetary Fund, IMF has said that Nigeria’s banks closed 234 branches and 649 Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, in 2020 leading to a decline in the country’s Financial Access Score (FAS) to 4.44 in the year against 4.78 in 2019.
The IMF disclosed this in its Financial Access Survey 2021 Trends and Developments released.
According to the report, the international community uses two FAS indicators to monitor the Target 8.10 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aims at strengthening the capacity of domestic financial institutions to expand access to banking and financial services.
The two FAS indicators are Number of Commercial Bank Branches per 100,000 Adults and Number of ATMs per 100,000 Adults.
According to the report, Nigeria recorded declines in these two critical FAS indicators and 12 other indicators among the 64 indicators measured by the FAS.
Also, the Number of ATMs per 1,000 km2 in Nigeria fell to 20.65 in 2020 from 21.36 in 2019.
The IMF report also showed a sharp decline in the number of registered mobile money agent outlets in Nigeria to 129,154 in 2020 from 145,800 in 2019, representing 11 per cent decline.