First Bank of Nigeria
|Founded||1894 (as Bank of British West Africa)
1979 (Renamed FirstBank of Nigeria)
|Key people||Prince Ajibola Afonja
Stephen Olabisi Onasanya
Group Managing Director
|Revenue||Pretax:542.5 million (NGN:86.2 billion) (2012)|
|Total assets||US$20.052 billion (NGN:3.186 trillion) (2012)|
As of June 2013[update], the bank had assets totaling approximately US$21.3 billion (NGN:3.336 trillion). The bank's profit before tax, for the twelve months ending 31 December 2012 was approximately US$542.5 million (NGN:86.2 billion). At that time, the bank maintained a customer base in excess of 8.5 million individuals and businesses. First Bank of Nigeria has solid short and long term ratings from Fitch, the Global Credit Rating Company, partly due to its low exposure to non-performing loans. The bank has strong compliance with financial laws and maintains a strong rating from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria.
The subsidiaries of First Bank of Nigeria include the following:
- FBN Bank (UK) – London, United Kingdom – 100% shareholding – savings products sold under FirstSave brand
- FBN Bank (UK) – Paris, France – a branch of the subsidiary in the UK
- Banque International de Credit (BIC) – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 75% shareholding
- FBN Bank (China) – Beijing, China – representative Office
- FBN Bank (UAE) – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – representative Office
- FBN Bank (South Africa) – Johannesburg, South Africa – representative Office
- FBN Bureau de Change (Nigeria) – Lagos, Nigeria – 100% shareholding
- FBN Bank (Ghana) – Accra, Ghana – 100% shareholding
- FBN Bank (Guinea) – Conakry, Guinea – 100% shareholding
- FBN Bank (Gambia) – Banjul, Gambia – 100% shareholding
- FBN Bank (Sierra Leone) – Freetown, Sierra Leone – 100% shareholding
Due to changes in Nigerian banking laws, following the Great Recession of 2007-2009, FBN re-organized itself into four business groups under a holding company called FBN Holdings Plc., also referred to as FBN Holdings. Bello Maccido, who was executive director (retail, north), was nominated to be the CEO of the new parent company. The shares of the holding company are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. FBN Holdings Plc is the parent company of all companies in the FirstBank Group. The four business groups of FBN Holdings Plc. are:
- Commercial Banking – includes First Bank of Nigeria and all its commercial banking subsidiaries listed in the previous section.
- Investment Banking and Asset Management – includes FBN Capital Limited, FBN Securities Limited, First Funds Limited and First Trustees Nigeria Limited.
- Insurance – includes FBN Life Assurance Limited and FBN Insurance Brokers Limited.
- Other Financial Services – consists of FBN Microfinance Bank Limited.
The Bank traces its history back to 1894 and the Bank of British West Africa. The bank originally served the British shipping and trading agencies in Nigeria. The founder, Alfred Lewis Jones, was a shipping magnate who originally had a monopoly on importing silver currency into west Africa through his Elder Dempster shipping company. According to its founder, without a bank, economies were reduced to using barter and a wide variety of mediums of exchange, leading to unsound practices. A bank could provide a secure home for deposits and also a uniform medium of exchange. The bank primarily financed foreign trade, but did little lending to indigenous Nigerians, who had little to offer as collateral for loans.
In 1957, Bank of British West Africa changed its name to Bank of West Africa (BWA). After Nigeria's independence in 1960, the bank began to extend more credit to indigenous Nigerians. At the same time, citizens began to trust British banks since there was an 'independent' financial control mechanism and more citizens began to patronize the new Bank of West Africa.
In 1965, Standard Bank acquired Bank of West Africa and changed its acquisition's name to Standard Bank of West Africa. In 1969, Standard Bank of West Africa incorporated its Nigerian operations under the name Standard Bank of Nigeria. In 1971, Standard Bank of Nigeria listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and placed 13% of its share capital with Nigerian investors. After the end of the Nigerian civil war, Nigeria's military government sought to increase local control of the retail-banking sector. In response, now Standard Chartered Bank reduced its stake in Standard Bank Nigeria to 38%. Once it had lost majority control, Standard Chartered wished to signal that it was no longer responsible for the bank and the bank changed its name to First Bank of Nigeria in 1979. By then, the bank had re-organized and had more Nigerian directors than ever.
In 1982 First Bank opened a branch in London, that in 2002 it converted to a subsidiary, FBN Bank (UK). Its most recent international expansion was the opening in 2004 of a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2005 it acquired MBC International Bank Ltd. and FBN (Merchant Bankers) Ltd. Paribas and a group of Nigerian investors had founded MBC in 1982 as a merchant bank; it had become a commercial bank in 2002.
In June 2009, Stephen Olabisi Onasanya was appointed Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who had been appointed governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Onasanya was formerly Executive Director of Banking Operations & Services.
Corporate Identity Refresh
2014 saw FirstBank mark 120 years from when it was founded, as the Bank for British West Africa. 2014 also saw the bank refresh its corporate identity, 10 years after the previous refresh. The brand, synonymous with the colour blue and iconic elephant, kept the elephant, but with a few noticeable changes.
The elephant's head has been lifted, the tusk is larger, the forehead wider, the ear's less pointy, the trunk longer and the eyes, looking upwards.
More noticeable is the absence of the hind legs of the elephant which has instead been replaced by the company name.
According to the bank, the raised head of the elephant in the refreshed identity is a promises to all customers that with the bank in their corner, they can face challenges with their head held high. The new deep blue colour, on the other hand, represents momentum, innovation and evolution.
The raised foot of the elephant is a promise to always put their best foot forward for their customers and the adoption of complimentary colours platinum and gold, precious metals identified with value, serves as a reminder of the inherent value and durability of the 120 year old brand.
The bank revealed the rational for the refresh as part of a wider strategic plan to ensure that as a group, FBN Holdings was delivering more efficient services that were closer in line with the needs of their customers.
The refreshed identity was revealed on January 27, 2014 in Lagos at two separate events for staff, partners, suppliers and friends.
- The Board of Directors At First Bank of Nigeria
- List of Licensed Commercial Banks In Nigeria
- Total Assets In June 2013
- Audited 31 December 2012 Financial Statement
- Subsidiaries of First Bank of Nigeria
- First Bank of Nigeria Acquires Congolese Bank
- [Acquisition of ICB Takes First Bank to Four Countries FBN Bank Acquires ICB Assets In Four West African Countries]
- The Organizational Structure of FistBank Group
- Richard Fry: Bankers in West Africa, The Story of the British Bank of West Africa
- Alfred Jones: Banking in West Africa. The Journal of African Society
- Jibrin Abubakar (5 June 2009). "Onasanya Succeeds Sanusi as Firstbank GMD". Daily Trust. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Interview With Bisi Onasanya FirstBank Group Managing Director In October 2013
- First Bank of Nigerian Buys International Commercial Bank Assets In West Africa
- First Bank of Nigeria official site
- First Bank of Nigeria at Alacrastore
- First Bank of Nigeria at Bloomberg
- First Bank of Nigeria at Nigerian Stock Exchange