First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is Nigeria’s premier banking institution and has been at the vanguard of banking innovation, modernisation and business advancement for the past 120 years. Established in 1894, the bank has consistently grown through ground breaking and historical events, maintaining its commitment to the growth and economic development of the Nigerian People and the nation at large.
The bank has spread its tentacles all over Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa and in the international business climate to ensure a synergy that would foster development in all its business communities. First listed on The Nigeria Stock Exchange in 1971, Nigerians were allowed to buy into its huge financial potential and has since remained the people’s bank driving its interactions with a high level of corporate governance and responsiveness to stakeholders. FirstBank has since won the NSE’s Annual President’s Merit Award for the best financial report in the banking industry thirteen times as well as the Best Financial Reporting Company Award by The Africa Investor in 2011. It has been named “The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” three times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013 – by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group, the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards for three consecutive years, 2012, 2013 and 2014, “Best Bank in Nigeria 2014” by the US-based Global Finance magazine for the 10th consecutive time, and the “Best Bank in Nigeria” by the EMEA Finance magazine for four years .
Since 2009, when the present GMD/CEO, Mr. Bisi Onasanya took over the leadership of FirstBank, the bank has retained its position as the number 1 Bank in total gross earnings, total assets, total loans and total deposits in Nigeria’s financial services industry while maintaining unparalled reputation for leadership, strength, and stability. Mr. Onasanya has established a solid reputation for solid performance and sound judgment in FirstBank and is committed to driving the Bank’s ongoing transformation, growth and modernisation plans. He has championed several initiatives to position FirstBank as a leading financial services group in Sub-Saharan Africa whilst promoting the growth of the African financial services industry as a whole.
Mr. Onasanya’s giant strides in the bank have earned him and the institution several awards, and he was recently recognised in the BusinessDay Banking Awards 2014, as the Bank CEO of the Year for the second consecutive time. At the BusinessDay Awards 2014, FirstBank also won the Best Bank in Retail Banking and Best Bank in Private Banking Awards. For two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012, he won the Ai SRI 50 CEO of the Year by African Investor Capital Markets Index Series Awards. He was the 2011 Pearl Outstanding CEO of the Year in the Pearl Awards, CEO of the year in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards 2012 and the Nigeria Elite Business Awards 2013. Under Mr. Onasanya’s leadership, FirstBank became the first organisation to implement and obtain certification in September 2010 and recertification on the ISO/IEC 27001:2005 standard in May 2013. The bank is also the first organisation to implement and obtain certification on Business Continuity Management in BS 25999 standards.
According to the Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, the bank’s several awards and accolades are fitting recognition and testimony to its continuous efforts to drive financial services excellence in alignment with the promise to always deliver the gold standard of value and excellence to stakeholders. “Our awards belong to our customers and we would not rest on our laurels, but would work to always deliver absolute customer experience and excellence in our financial services solutions” she said.
It will be recalled that FirstBank celebrated its 120 years anniversary recently and fittingly marked the milestone celebration with the refresh of its brand identity. Speaking at the unveiling of the new identity, FBN Holdings Group Chairman, Mr. Bello Maccido said “The refreshed corporate identity is designed to reflect the progress that we have made so far. Our refreshed visual identity is more than just a logo. We believe that it captures the essence of our direction as a business. It is the renewal of an enduring promise to deliver value and excellence to all”.
With footprints in Sub-Sahara Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia and over 750 branches and business locations and having endured various banking reforms and policies in its 120 years of existence, it is then a fitting description by Onasanya, widely acclaimed as the ‘Architect of modern FirstBank’ that FirstBank is a bank for all generation.