First Bank of Nigeria

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First Bank of Nigeria
Industry Finance
Founded 1894 (as Bank of British West Africa)
1979 (renamed First Bank of Nigeria)
Headquarters 35 Marina, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
Number of locations
790 branches (2012)
Key people

Mrs. Ibukun Awosika
Urum Kalu Eke Mfr
Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
Group Managing Director/CEO
Gbenga Francis Shobo, ACA
Deputy Managing Director
Dauda Lawal]
Executive Director, Public Sector
Products Financial Services
Revenue IncreasePretax: N10,675,000,000
Total assets N4,514,789,000,000
Number of employees

First Bank of Nigeria, sometimes referred to as FirstBank, is a Nigerian multinational bank and financial services company headquartered in Lagos.[1] It is the biggest bank in Nigeria by total deposits and gross earnings. It operates a network of over 750 business locations across Africa, the United Kingdom and representative offices in Abu Dhabi, Beijing and Johannesburg set up to capture trade-related business between geographies. The bank specialises in retail banking and has the largest retail client base in Nigeria. In 2015, The Asian Banker awarded FirstBank the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria award for the fifth consecutive year.

The Nigerian banking business operates nationally, with an active customer base of over 10 million, and employs over 7,000 staff. FirstBank operates along four key Strategic Business Units (SBUs) – Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking and Public Sector Banking. It was previously structured as an operating holding company before the implementation of a non-operating Holding Company structure (FBN Holdings) in 2011/2012.


As of December 2015, the Bank had assets totalling NGN3.9 trillion ($12.2B according to 2017 exchange rates).[2] The Bank's profit before tax for the twelve months ending 31 December 2015 was approximately NGN10.2 billion. FirstBank’s ownership is diversified, with over 1.3 million shareholders. The bank was founded in 1894 and is Nigeria’s oldest bank. It converted to a public company in 1970 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1971. However, as part of the implementation of the non-operating holding company structure, it was delisted from the NSE and replaced with FBN Holdings Plc. in 2012.

FirstBank has been named "The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria" for five years in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 – by The Banker magazine of the Financial Times Group, and "Most Innovative Bank in Africa" in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2014.


The subsidiaries of First Bank of Nigeria include the following:[3]

  • FBN Bank (DRC) Formerly Banque International de Credit (BIC) – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo – (75% shareholding) is a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and was until September 2014 called BIC which was founded in April 1994[4]
  • FBN Bank (China) – Beijing, China China – representative office
  • FBN Bank (Ghana) – Accra, Ghana Ghana – 100% shareholding[5]
  • FBN Bank (Guinea) – Conakry, Guinea Guinea – 100% shareholding
  • FBN Bank (Senegal) – Dakar Senegal – 100% shareholding
  • FBN Bank (Sierra Leone) – Freetown, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone – 100% shareholding
  • FBN Bank (South Africa) – Johannesburg, South Africa South Africa – representative office
  • FBN Bank (UAE) – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates – representative office
  • FBN Bank (UK) – London, United Kingdom United Kingdom – 100% shareholding – savings products sold under FirstSave brand
  • FBN Bank (UK/Paris) – Paris, France France – a branch of the subsidiary in the UK
  • First Pension Custodian Limited
  • FBN Mortgages Limited

FBN Holdings[edit]

In 2010, the Central Bank of Nigeria revised the regulation covering the scope of banking activities for Nigerian banks. The universal banking model was discontinued and banks were required to divest from non-core banking businesses or adopt a holding company structure. FirstBank opted to form a holding company, FBN Holdings Plc., to capture synergies across its already established banking and non-banking businesses. The new structure resulted in a stronger platform to support the Group’s future growth ambitions domestically and internationally.

Bello Maccido, who was Executive Director (Retail, North) of FirstBank, became the CEO of the new parent company. He retired effective from 31 December 2015 and was succeeded by Urum Kalu Eke Mfr (former Executive Director, South of FirstBank) as Group Managing Director of the Holding Company. The shares of FBNHoldings are listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange. The business groups of FBNHoldings are:

  1. Commercial Banking – includes First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and all its commercial banking subsidiaries: FBNBank (UK) Ltd with branch in Paris, France, FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal, First Pension Custodian Limited, FBN Mortgages Limited.
  2. FBNQuest – FBNQuest is the brand name of the Merchant Banking and Asset Management businesses of FBN Holdings Plc, which comprises FBN Merchant Bank Limited, FBN Capital Limited, FBN Securities Limited, FBN Capital Asset Management Limited, FBN Trustees Limited, FBN Funds Limited and FBN Capital Partners Limited.
  3. Insurance – The Insurance business covers our insurance-related subsidiaries: FBNInsurance, FBN General Insurance and FBN Insurance Brokers. The business group offers Life and General insurance services as well as insurance brokerage services.

As at 31 December 2015, the Group closed with gross earnings of N505.2 billion, total assets of N4.2 trillion and N578.8 billion in total equity.



FirstBank commenced business in 1894 in what was then the British colony of Nigeria, as the Bank of British West Africa.[6] The bank originally served 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.


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 patronise the new Bank of West Africa.

In 1965, Standard Bank acquired the 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 Limited in 1979. By then, the bank had re-organized and had more Nigerian directors than ever. In 1991 the Bank changed its name to First Bank of Nigeria Plc following listing on The Nigerian Stock Exchange. In 2012, the Bank changed its name again to First Bank of Nigeria Limited as part of a restructuring resulting in FBN Holdings Plc (“FBNHoldings”), having detached its commercial business from other businesses in the FirstBank Group, in line with the requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria. 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.

In 1982 FirstBank opened a branch in London, which it converted into a subsidiary, FBN Bank (UK), in 2002. Its most recent international expansion was the opening in 2004 of a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2005 it acquired FBN (Merchant Bankers) Ltd. Paribas and MBC International Bank Ltd, a group of Nigerian investors, had founded MBC in 1982 as a merchant bank, and it became a commercial bank in 2002.

In June 2009, Stephen Olabisi Onasanya was appointed Group Managing Director/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. He retired on 31 December 2015 and Dr. Adesola Adeduntan took over as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and Subsidiaries effective 1 January 2016, with Gbenga Shobo as Deputy Managing Director.

Key milestones[edit]

  • 1894 – Incorporated and headquartered in Marina, the heart of Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa's commercial nerve centre (and still there today).
  • 1912 – Calabar branch, the second branch in Nigeria, was opened by King Jaja of Opobo; Zaria branch was also opened as the first branch in northern Nigeria.
  • 1947 – FirstBank advanced the first long-term loan to the then colonial government, followed in 1955 by a partnership with the government to expand the railway lines.
  • 1971 – First listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
  • 1991 – First Automated Teller Machine (ATM) introduced at 35 Marina as part of ease of convenience, online real time banking.
  • 1994 – Launched first university endowment programme in Nigeria.
  • 2002 – Established FBN UK regulated by the FSA, the first Nigerian Bank to wholly own a full-fledged bank in the UK.
  • 2004 – Launched a new brand identity which introduced substantial changes in the look and feel of the FirstBank brand.
  • 2007 – Introduced the innovative Finnone credit administration software as the first bank in Africa to pioneer the service.
  • 2011 – Launched the first biometric ATM and cash deposit ATM in Nigeria.
  • 2012 – Became a subsidiary group of FBN Holdings Plc.
  • 2013 – Completed the acquisition of ICB asset in Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana as part of an ongoing Pan African expansion program.
  • 2014 – Initiated, at 120 years, the launch of a new corporate identity.
  • 2015 - was reaffirmed ‘Best Retail Bank in Nigeria’ for the sixth consecutive year by the Asian Banker.
  • 2015 - named ‘The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria’ for six times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the globally recognised The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group.
  • 2015 - was recognised by Interswitch as the first financial institution in the country to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment, in December 2015 and again in May 2016
  • 2015 - launched the First@art initiative to consolidate its numerous partnerships in promoting the performing arts and other entertainment projects.
  • 2016 - Launch of FirstLounge, the first Landside Lounge at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in February 28, 2016.
  • 2016 - celebrated 20 years of partnership with Western Union Money Transfer in July 2016.
  • 2017 - total number of Firstmonie, FirstBank money wallet user hit 4,035,307, March 2017.
  • 2017 - Launch of FirstGem, FirstBank Retail Products, a women centric lifestyle product designed for women of all ages across different segment in October 23, 2017.
  • 2017 - was awarded ‘Most Valuable Banking Brand’ for the 6th consecutive time in 2017 by The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group.
  • 2017 - Launch its Human Resource Solution in the Cloud


  • Chairman – Mrs. Ibukun Awosika
  • Managing Director/CEO – Dr. Adesola Adeduntan
  • Deputy Managing Director – Mr. Olugbenga Francis Shobo
  • Executive Director/Public Sector Group – Abdullahi Ibrahim
  • Executive Director, Corporate Banking – Dr. Remi Oni
  • Independent Non-Executive Director – Dr. (Mrs.) Ijeoma E. Jidenma
  • Independent Non-Executive Director – Mrs. Olusola Oworu
  • Independent Non-Executive Director - Lateef Akande Bakare
  • Non-Executive Director – Mr. Lawal Kankia Ibrahim
  • Non-Executive Director – Obafemi Adedamola Otudeko
  • Non-Executive Director – Tunde Hassan-Odukale
  • Non-Executive Director – Ibrahim Dahiru Waziri
  • Non-Executive Director – Urum Kalu Eke, MFR (Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "First Bank Of Nigeria". May 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ "XE: Convert USD/NGN. United States Dollar to Nigeria Naira". Retrieved 2017-08-29. 
  3. ^ Subsidiaries of First Bank of Nigeria
  4. ^ Chima, Obinna (2011-10-14). "Nigeria: First Bank Expands, Acquires Congolese Bank". This Day (Lagos). Retrieved 2017-08-29. 
  5. ^ [Acquisition of ICB Takes First Bank to Four Countries FBN Bank Acquires ICB Assets In Four West African Countries]
  6. ^ "Our History". Retrieved June 8, 2017. 

External links[edit]