First Bank of Nigeria Logo

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First Bank of Nigeria Logo

First Bank of Nigeria Logo

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (“FirstBank”), established in 1894, is the premier Bank in West Africa, Nigeria’s number one bank brand and the leading financial services solutions provider in Nigeria. The Bank was founded by Sir Alfred Jones, a shipping magnate from Liverpool, England. With its head office originally in Liverpool, the Bank commenced business on a modest scale in Lagos, Nigeria under the name, Bank of British West Africa (BBWA).

In 1912, the Bank acquired its first competitor, the Bank of Nigeria (previously called Anglo-African Bank) which was established in 1899 by the Royal Niger Company. In 1957, the Bank changed its name from Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) to Bank of West Africa (BWA). In 1966, following its merger with Standard Bank, UK, the Bank adopted the name Standard Bank of West Africa Limited and in 1969 it was incorporated locally as the Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited in line with the Companies Decree of 1968.


Changes in the name of the Bank also occurred in 1979 and 1991 to First Bank of Nigeria Limited and First Bank of Nigeria Plc, respectively. In 2012, the Bank changed its name again to First Bank of Nigeria Limited as part of a restructuring resulting in FBN Holdings Plc (“FBN Holdings”), having detached its commercial business from other businesses in the FirstBank Group, in compliance with new regulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). FirstBank had 1.3 million shareholders globally, was quoted on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), where it was one of the most capitalised companies and also had an unlisted Global Depository Receipt (GDR) programme, all of which were transferred to its Holding Company, FBN Holdings, in December 2012.

Building on of its solid foundation, the Bank has consistently broken new ground in the domestic financial sector for over a century and two decades. FirstBank is present in the United Kingdom and France through its subsidiary, FBN Bank (UK) Limited with branches in London and Paris; and in Beijing with its Representative Offices there. In October 2011, the Bank acquired a new subsidiary, Banque International de Credit (BIC), one of the leading banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In November 2013, FirstBank acquired ICB in The Gambia, Sierra-Leone, Ghana and Guinea, and in 2014, the Bank acquired ICB in Senegal. These were major landmarks in its plan for growing its sub-Saharan African footprint and all the African subsidiaries now bear the FBN Bank brand.

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As the global operating environment evolves, FirstBank has kept pace, responding to the dynamic needs of its customers, investors, regulators, host communities, employees and other stakeholders. Through a balanced approach to plan execution, FirstBank has consolidated its industry leadership by maintaining trans-generational appeal. Thus, the Bank has continuously boosted its customer-base, which cuts across all segments in terms of size, structure and sectors.

Leveraging experience spanning over a century of dependable services, FirstBank has continued to build relationships and alliances with key sectors of the economy that have served as strategic building blocks for the wellbeing, growth and development of the country. With its huge asset base and expansive branch network, as well as continuous re-invention, FirstBank is Nigeria’s strongest banking franchise, maintaining market leadership on all fronts in the nation’s financial services industry.

FirstBank is a well-diversified financial services group and the largest private sector financial services provider in sub-Saharan Africa (ex-South Africa). The Bank maintains the leading position in many of the markets in which it operates, market leading distribution capability and a well recognised brand with a large customer base.

With over 750 business locations in Nigeria, all on-line and real time, the Bank has one of the largest domestic sales networks in the country. As a market leader in the financial services sector, FirstBank pioneered initiatives in international money transfer and electronic banking in the country, serving more than 14 million customer accounts.

FirstBank’s strategy has been focused on restructuring the business to take advantage of growth opportunities within the industry, pursuing business line expansion across strategic business units, continuously implementing a systematic international expansion plan, sequencing its growth initiatives across defined metrics, as well as building synergies and cross-selling across the FirstBank Group. This strategy supports the Bank’s vision of being the leading sub-Saharan African financial services group. Continued implementation of this strategy will produce long-term profitable growth as well as build great franchises and deliver value to all stakeholders. The focus of the Bank in terms of international expansion remains the financial services markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

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As one of the leading private sector employers of graduate-level personnel in the country, FirstBank’s manpower development policy recognises the invaluable contribution that human resources make to the growth and development of countries successfully navigating from third world to developed country status. Consequently, its human capital management initiatives are geared towards providing necessary support to staff, departments, and the various business drivers to enable the Bank achieve its goals and objectives.

As the Bank grows its footprint locally and internationally, contributing positively to customers’ value chains, it hires personnel with the unique skill sets needed to fully leverage its operations. The Bank’s succession planning framework ensures perpetual business continuity. FirstBank continues to replenish its workforce, especially at strategically important levels of responsibility.

FirstBank boasts of a rich pool of resourceful industry experts who contribute significantly to national development through ongoing secondment to different tiers of governments and institutions across the country. The Bank’s alumni are highly sought after in both the public and private sectors. FirstBank believes strongly that by ensuring a robust employee value proposition that helps retain top performers, it will continue to improve on the outstanding performance of its people during and after their service to the Bank.