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Banking Sector

The First Bank in Nigeria: Focus on First Bank of Nigeria Limited



First Bank Of Nigeria

The First Bank in Nigeria

When discussing banks in Nigeria, it is virtually impossible to avoid mentioning the banking giant that is First Bank of Nigeria Limited, known as First Bank. It was the very first bank to be established in Nigeria. The bank is a force to be reckoned with across Nigeria, and has a solid reputation among citizens and residents of the country.

History of First Bank of Nigeria

The Bank was initially founded in 1894, by Sir Alfred Jones who was a shipping tycoon from Liverpool, England. The Bank had its first head office in Liverpool, but started business on a medium scale in Lagos, Nigeria under the name Bank of British West Africa (BBWA).

In 1912, the Bank obtained its first competitor, the Bank of Nigeria (previously known as the Anglo-African Bank) which was established by the Royal Niger Company in 1899. In 1957, the Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) became the Bank of West Africa (BWA). In 1966, the Bank underwent another name change after its merger with Standard Bank of the UK, adopting the name Standard Bank of West Africa Limited. In 1969, the Bank was also incorporated locally as the Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited, in accordance to the Companies Decree of 1968.

There were more changes to the name of the Bank in 1979 and 1991, with the 1979 change seeing the name turn to First Bank of Nigeria Limited and the 1991 change seeing the name become First Bank of Nigeria Plc. In 2012, the Bank went ahead to change its name once again to FirstBank of Nigeria Limited as part of a restructuring process which resulted in FBN Holdings Plc, after detaching its commercial business from other businesses in the FirstBank Group, in line with the new regulation established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In December 2012, First Bank had great leaps. It had 1.3 million shareholders around the world, was quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as one of the most capitalized companies, and also possessed an unlisted Global Depository Receipt (GDR) programme, all of which were transferred to the Bank’s Holding Company, FBN Holdings in December 2012.

The Growth and Operation of First Bank

The Bank built on its solid foundation and has consistently broken new ground in the local financial sector for over 120 years. FirstBank is currently present in the United Kingdom and France through its subsidiary, FBN Bank Limited with branches in the popular cities of London and Paris; and in Beijing with its Representative Offices there. In October 2011, the Bank purchased a new subsidiary, Banque International de Credit (BIC) which was one of the top banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In November 2013, the Bank went on to acquire ICB in countries like Sierra Leone, Ghana, Guinea and The Gambia before acquiring ICB in Senegal in 2014.

These acquisitions represented major landmarks in the Bank’s plan to grow its footprints in Sub-Saharan Africa, and all the African subsidiaries now carry the FBN Bank brand.

As the operating environment continues to evolve around the world, FirstBank keeps up with these changes as it continues to respond to the specific needs of its customers, investors, regulators, host communities, employees and other stakeholders. Through a balanced take on plan execution, the Bank has strengthened its leadership of the financial industry by maintaining an appeal which cuts across generations. This has made the Bank to further bolster its customer base which spans across different segments in terms of sectors, structure and size.

Through the usage of experience which spans across more than one hundred years of reliable service, FirstBank builds relationships and partnerships with vital sectors of the country’s economy which have been strategic building blocks for the growth, development and overall well-being of the country. With the Bank’s large asset base and wide branch network coupled with consistent reinvention, FirstBank is Nigeria’s strongest banking franchise, maintaining market leadership in all areas of the country’s financial services industry.

The Bank has more than 750 business locations across Nigeria, all of which operate online and in real time, the Bank possesses one of the biggest domestic sales networks in the country. As a leader of the market in the financial services sector, FirstBank led initiatives in international money transfer as well as electronic banking in the country, serving well over 14 million customer accounts.

The Bank’s strategy has been focused on restructuring the business to take proper advantage of growth opportunities within the financial services industry, following business line expansion across strategic business units, continuously implementing a systematic international expansion plan, and building synergies across the FirstBank Group.

In terms of international expansion, the Bank’s focus is the financial services markets in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.

Important Milestones of First Bank

  • 1894 – Incorporated and Headquartered in Marina, Lagos as the Bank of British West Africa (BBWA)
  • 1912 – The second branch in Nigeria was opened by King Jaja of Opobo in Calabar, with a branch also opened in Zaria as the first branch in the northern part of the country
  • 1947 – BBWA gave the first long-term loan to the colonial government at the time
  • 1955 – Partnered with the government to expand railway lines
  • 1957 – Became the Bank of West Africa
  • 1966 – Became Standard Bank of West Africa Limited, after a merger with the Standard Bank of the UK
  • 1969 – Became locally listed as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited
  • 1971 – Bank’s first listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
  • 1979 – Became the First Bank of Nigeria Limited
  • 1991 – Became First Bank of Nigeria Plc
  • 1994 – Launched the first university endowment programme in Nigeria
  • 2012 – Became a Subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc.
  • 2013 – Completed the acquisition of ICB assets in Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana as part of an expansion program

Leadership of FirstBank 

Chairman – Tunde Hassan-Odukale

Tunde Hassan-Odukale is a graduate of the University of London and City University, London. He joined the board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited as a Non-Executive Director in 2011, and is currently the Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Company Limited. His management experience spans over 22 years and includes asset management, finance, life insurance operations and IT.

Managing Director/CEO – Adesola Adeduntan

Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan has been the Managing Director/CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited and its Subsidiaries since January 1 2016. Before this, he was the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of the Bank since 2014 when he was given an appointment on the Bank’s board. He was a Director and the pioneer Chief Financial Officer/Business Manager of Africa Finance Corporation.

He has also served as a Senior Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer at Citibank Nigeria Limited, a Manager at Arthur Andersen Nigeria and a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Group of KPMG Professional Services.

Deputy Managing Director – Olugbenga Francis Shobo

Olugbenga Francis Shobo joined the board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited in 2012. He was formerly the Executive Director overseeing the Retail Banking/Public Sector businesses in the Lagos, West and South Directorate before his appointment as the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank. He is the first person to be given an appointment as the Deputy Managing Director of FirstBank in the Bank’s history which spans over 120 years.

Executive Director, Public Sector Group – Abdullahi Ibrahim

Abdullahi Ibrahim was appointed as an Executive Director at First Bank back in 2017. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he served as Group Executive Retail banking north from December 2012 until he was appointed as Group Executive, Technology and Services. He was the first Group Head, Manufacturing Group in the Institutional Group of the Bank.

Executive Director, Corporate Banking – Remi Oni

Remi Oni was appointed as the Executive Director, Corporate Banking in April 2016. Prior to his appointment, he was the Executive Director, Corporate & Institutional Banking for Nigeria and West Africa at Standard Chartered Bank.

Banking Sector

FirstBank Commemorates 2022 International Youth Day, Dedicating the Week to Celebrating the Youth

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022.



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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022 and themed “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.” 

The International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. The Day also amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.

Leading up to the day, the Bank dedicated the week of 8 – 12 August with a lineup of activities to reiterate its commitment to Youth Empowerment.

As a Bank renowned for its role in developing the economy through sustainable employment and entrepreneurship endeavours, the 2022 edition of the Youth Week will promote economic empowerment and employment, digital technology, and education as its focus during the celebration.

The Youth Week comprises various activities, including a Fashion illustration workshop, Design skill training, Gen Z/Millennial Webinar and many more exciting activities. These activities would give participants opportunities to win various exciting gift items.

Under the First@arts program, the Bank will empower the youths through Artistry Workshop Sessions & Arts Classes. Interested in the art of fashion design and illustrations, visit the Bank’s social media handles – Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr – for information on how you can be among 10 lucky winners to have the opportunity to learn the business of fashion at Claire Idera fashion studio.

Likewise, the Creative design workshop will enable youths design skill training; design thinking principles and their application in the context of layout, typefaces and colour. Interested youths can also participate on the FirstBank social media handles, where 25 lucky winners will be selected to learn the Art of Design at Geneza School of Designs.

Commemorating the Youth Week, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said: ‘’We remain committed to celebrating the younger demography whose voices, actions, vigour, and tireless participation in the political, economic, and social activities have continued to birth major contributions towards the sustainable development of Africa and the world at large. The planned activities will promote better collaboration and solidarity across generations to foster successful and equitable relationships, and partnerships thereby ensuring “no one is left behind” and empowering everyone to leverage their full potential toward achieving the much-desired Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Youth demography has a striking significance for us at FirstBank with the Millennials and Gen Zs constituting almost 60% of our workforce. This shows that youths are an integral part of our organisation and every country where we operate”, he concluded.

For more information and participation in the Youth Week, kindly visit the bank’s verified social media platforms; Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr

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Banking Sector

FBN Holdings Reports 49% Increase in Profit in H1 2022

FBN Holdings Plc has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.



Nnamdi Okonkwo

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.

The financial services provider announced gross earnings of N359.2 billion for the period under review, an increase of 22.4% when compared to the N293.4 billion recorded in the first half of 2021.

Interest income jumped 40.6% from N161 billion achieved in H1 2021 to N226.4 billion. While the Group’s net interest income rose a whopping 47.3% to N152.9 billion, up from N103.8 billion in H1 2021.

Non-interest income remained largely unchanged at N120.6 billion, a 0.2% decline from N120.9 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2021.

FBN Holdings’ operating income expanded by 21.7% to N273.5 billion from N224.7 billion in H1 2021. The lender’s impairment charges improved by 18.7% to N21.7 billion, down from N26.7 billion in the same period of 2021.

As expected, operating expenses inched higher to N186 billion from N152.6 billion recorded in H1 2021. Profit before tax stood at N65.7 billion a 45.3% increase from N45.2 billion filed in H1 2021.

The total profit realised for the period grew by 48.6% from N38.1 billion in H1 2021 to N56.5 billion in H1 2022.

Earnings per share also rose 48% to N1.55 from N1.05.

Speaking on the group performance, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Group Managing Director said “FBNHoldings continues to demonstrate resilient performance despite the challenging operating environment with an impressive improvement in revenue and profitability. For the half year 2022, gross earnings and profit before tax grew by 22% y-o-y and 45% y-o-y to N359.2 billion and N65.7 billion respectively. Furthermore, we continue to see good progress across our performance metrics, which remain in line with our focus on driving sustainable growth.

“The Group remains committed in its transformation drive, which has resulted in stronger balance sheet and better asset quality with non-performing loans closing at 5.4% at H1 2022. Similarly, risk management capability remains robust across the Group supporting the drive for enhanced earnings for sustainable capital accretion.

“During the period, cost to income ratio remained flat y-o-y despite the inflationary and currency pressure, as we continue to focus on optimising overall efficiency.

“Our strategic intent remains unchanged in optimising opportunities that drive growth in revenue, profitability, capital accretion and overall operational efficiency that delivers sustainable value to our stakeholders.”

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Banking Sector

FirstBank’s Firstmonie Agents Processed Over N22 Trillion in Transaction Value

FirstMonie Agents have processed over N22 trillion in combined transaction value.



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Nigeria’s leading financial services provider, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited on Thursday said its fast-growing agent banking network, Firstmonie Agents, has collectively processed over N22 trillion in transaction value.

The lender, which announced a profit after tax of N53.3 billion in the first half of the year, said Firstmonie Agents processed transaction volume in excess of 1 billion across all its 180,000 agents that operate in 772 local governments.

In an effort to bring financial services to the unbanked and underbanked segment of the Nigerian society, Firstmonie Agents was the first banking network to operate in all the local government areas, except the two local governments enmeshed in insecurity.

Since its launch, FirstMonie Agent Banking has been providing convenient banking services to Nigerians previously cut off from the financial system, playing a pivotal role in deepening financial inclusion and empowering existing businesses within the communities to deliver these services.

Popularly called ‘Human ATM’, Firstmonie Agents are empowered to reduce the reliance on over-the-counter transactions while providing convenient personalized services. Amongst the services carried out by the Agents include; Account Opening, Cash Deposit, Airtime Purchase, Bills Payment, Withdrawals and Money Transfer.

Through various empowerment and reward schemes implemented to put its Firstmonie Agents at an advantage to economically impact their immediate communities whilst importantly having their business sustained, the Bank’s Agent Banking scheme has remained a toast to Nigerians, irrespective of where they are in the country. Amongst these schemes is the Agent Credit – launched in 2020 – which has had the Bank provide credit facilities to the tune of 238 billion naira to its teeming Firstmonie Agents.

Commenting on the milestone, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank said “since the relaunch of our Agent Banking scheme in 2018, our Firstmonie Agents have played a vital role in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country, as many more people have been able to undertake various financial and business transactions in cost-effective ways, thereby saving a lot of time and money in travelling over long distances for basic banking services.“

“We are delighted by the giant strides of our Firstmonie Agents in promoting financial inclusion and commend them for their efforts in taking banking to the doorsteps of Nigerians – irrespective of where they are – in a very effective way”, he concluded.

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