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Which is the best current account for a salary earner – UBA, Standard Chartered or Zenith?


If you’re a hardworking employee who devotedly pays your salary into a dedicated bank account, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you get in return. If the answer includes high fees, terrible customer service and little or no interest on balances, then maybe it’s time to switch. The single most common reason why people continue to remain in abusive relationships with their banks  is the fear of the unknown. If your bank doesn’t treat you well, it is not a holy matrimony – switch! One of the best things you can do for your finances is to move frequently to get the best possible offers every time. It is a bit of a hassle, but one that your personal finances will thank you for. The banks need your business, so ensure that you are treated well for them to have it.

This guide looks at a cross-section of mainstream employee bank accounts, as well as their associated benefits in comparison to others. Before we continue, we need to clarify common terms used in account opening lingo – opening balance and operating balance.

Opening balance refers to the amount of money you need to deposit at the time when opening your account. You will not be able to open an account without this amount as a minimum.

Operating balance is the minimum amount of money which must be held in the account at any given time.  Some banks might charge if your balance falls below this minimum.

All banks offer internet banking and SMS as standard so this was not included in the list of benefits offered.

COT is an abbreviation for Commission on Turnover, which refers to the amount a bank charges for all withdrawals from your account – whether by online banking, cheque or ATM withdrawal. COT  charges are typically calculated at “₦X per mille”. This means that for every ₦1,000 withdrawn, the bank charges you ₦X COT. These charges are calculated and taken from your account at the end of every month.

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From our analysis of 3 dedicated employee salary accounts, the UBA salary account (or the “UBA Professional”) seems to offer the most benefits to salary earners. In addition to a personal overdraft (Salary Advance) which all banks cap at 50% of the monthly salary, they offer access to a mortgage loan for house purchases as well as a MasterCard and a VISA card. Plus there is zero opening balance, unlike Standard Chartered which requires ₦50,000 as a minimum opening balance. However, this account requires an operating balance of ₦1,000.

Standard Chartered bank comes second, offering 2% discount on personal loans, as well as 50% discount on foreign currency cards, but potential customers will find that they need to have a ₦50,000 opening balance for the privilege. It probably helps that this account comes with zero COT which means that you don’t get any unexpected charges down the line. This bank account uniquely can also be held in local or foreign currency, so could replace a domiciliary account for employees interested in that option.

Finally we have the Zenith Salary Current account, which in addition to internet banking, mobile money, debit card and e-mail alerts offers access to loans as well as a salary advance of 50% of your monthly salary. There is also a zero opening balance attached to this account.

For all the banks featured above,  salary earners will need to have their salaries paid into the relevant accounts for a minimum of 3 months before getting the opportunity to access any of the loan or credit facilities.

Am I an agent? I work for neither of these banks, nor have I been sponsored by any. My selection of this two is purely by chance and accessibility of contact information via the bank websites. I simply picked the banks with the most prominent contact information via websites. My reviews are unbiased, and if I haven’t reviewed any others yet, don’t worry – “life is turn by turn”.
















Here are the requirements you would need to open an account with each of these accounts.

I'm an grammar-obsessed writer with a passion for finance, innovation, lifestyle design, tech, healthy eating and who knows what else. Nothing makes my day like a nice, chunky comment on one of my posts to sink my teeth into. So go on, make my day :-)


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