One of Nigeria’s oldest banks, Since 1894, FirstBank has built solid relationships, good corporate governance and strong liquidity. 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 FirstBank 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 the 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 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 FBNBank brand.
As the global operating environment evolves, FirstBank continues to keep 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 transgenerational appeal. Thus, the Bank has continuously boosted its customer base, which cuts across all segments in terms of size, structure and sectors.
FirstBank engages in the business of commercial banking and has a number of subsidiaries that focus on international commercial banking, trusteeship, capital markets, pension fund custodianship, mortgage financing, insurance brokerage, management of SMIEIS fund investments, small-scale banking and bureau de change activities.
Chairman, First Bank
Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan
Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank Group