Effect of corporate governance on the financial performance of commercial banks in Nigeria

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Banks are expected to operate within acceptable standards of governance for consistent profitable operations. They run heavily on customer deposits, which is confidence-driven. Since the quality of governance is critical to winning and retaining customer confidence and patronage, the imperative for good governance practices in banks cannot be overemphasized. This research paper explores the nexus between governance practices and bank profitability in Nigeria. It adopts the size of bank board and directors’ stake as proxies for corporate governance, with return on assets and return on equity as representations for financial performance. The research incorporates firm size as a controlled variable. The estimation technique of the Generalized Method of Moments was employed. Evidence from the research reveals that board size, directors’ equity, and firm size substantially affect Nigerian banks’ financial performance. Besides, the study shows a robust effect of lagged return on equity on the current level of performance. Therefore, the study asserts that governance in business entities strongly affects their financial performance and recommends maintaining optimum board size to minimize boardroom conflicts. It further prescribes that the requirement for substantial equity stake by directors of banking institutions be sustained, as it secures commitment to governance practices that support profitability.

Acknowledgment
The authors acknowledge the support of Covenant University towards the publication of this paper.

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