The Brand story
Excerpts of the Brand story
Founded in 1894 as The Bank for British West Africa, FBN Group’s FirstBank was the very first banking institution to be established on the African continent. Over 120 years of shared history we have more memories than we could possible share. We have sought to showcase some of the key milestones in our history and to demonstrate our enduring commitment to value creation for all of our stakeholders.
Our story is a story of humble beginnings- from a small bank with a paid up capital of £12,000 to one of the most enduring African brands. This year sees us celebrate a hundred and twenty years from when we opened our doors for business. Since 1894, we have stood together with the Nigerian people through groundbreaking historical events, from our amalgamation in 1914 to our independence in 1960 and through many military and democratic regimes. We have seen the Nigerian public through the turn of two centuries and even a new millennium. Our story is the story of Nigeria and the Nigerian people.
· Incorporated in 1894 and head quartered in Marina, the heart of Lagos, where we are still have our head quarters to date.
- Acquired African Banking Corporation (Founded 1892) in 1894.
- First international branch opened in Accra in 1896. FirstBank took its firsts steps towards expansion and early globalization, today we are back in Ghana.
- Opened second branch in Freetown, Sierra Leone In 1898.
- In 1912, Calabar branch was opened by King Jaja of Opobo the second branch opened in today’s Nigeria and the Zaria Branch was also opened in the same year as the first bank branch in what is today’s northern Nigeria.
- The bank has shown business leadership since its inception, having acquired Anglo-African Bank in 1912, its competitor in the very first M&A recorded in this region.
- 1914 saw the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates - FirstBank had branches in what would today be Kano, Zaria, Calabar, Lagos and Ibadan.
- 1947: Advances the first long-term loan to the then colonial government. A demonstration of our long term commitment to national development.
- 1955: Partners with the Government to expand the railway lines
- 1957: Changes name from BBWA to Bank of West Africa (BWA) to truly reflect the regional identity of the bank
- 1960: At Nigeria’s Independence, advances the first ever loans to the citizens of the independent Nigeria. Birth of true retail banking.
- 1963: Operates 114 branches across West Africa. When Nigeria became a Republic. Partly because of desire for service; commitment to financial inclusion with over 100 branches as far back as 1963.
- 1966: Adopts the name Standard Bank of West Africa, following its merger with Standard Bank, UK.
- 1969: Incorporates locally as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited, in line with the Companies Decree of 1968
- 1971: First listing on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Allows Nigerians to buy/own a part of the FirstBank heritage. into the huge potential of the financial services powerhouse.
- 1978: Commenced the FirstBank Essay Competition to foster intellectual development and hone writing skills in Nigerian secondary schools
- 1979: Changes name to First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
- 1982: London Branch established to foster international banking relationships for Nigerian and foreign businesses alike.
- 1991: Changes name to First Bank of Nigeria Plc, following the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Decree (BOFID). Alongside side currency reforms and other initiatives to enhance the payment structure
- 1991: First ATM introduced in 35 Marina as part of ease of convenience, round the clock banking.
- 1994: The Bank is a hundred years old, a feat for any brand even today. Birth of the popular and legendary “FirstBank o una well done o, una do well o” (centenary corporate campaign) URL to jingle and celebrated newspaper article on the centenary.
- 1994: With a rich tradition of giving back, 1994 saw FirstBank Launch a university endowment programme, another first and we have retained commitment to this programme which today has Professorial Chairs in 10 Nigerian Universities.
- 1996: Commences business transformation project code-named “Century II”, to strategically position for its next century of operations.
- 1999: A former MD of FirstBank is appointed CBN Governor
- 2001: Revalidates business transformation project code-named “Century II: The New Frontier”, to revolutionise the Bank’s operations in line with the dynamics of the operating environment, strengthen the bank’s brand, leverage and heighten the customers’ experience, and project FirstBank as sophisticated and dynamic.
- 2002: Establishes FBN Bank (UK), regulated by the FSA, the first Nigerian bank to own a wholly own a full-fledged bank in the UK. Established first international subsidiary of a Nigerian-owned bank in the UK in 2002.
- 2004: Launch of a new brand identity, introducing substantial changes to the entire look and feel of the FirstBank brand, transforming FirstBank’s corporate identity to reflect its rejuvenated focus and strategically positioning the Bank at the industry’s competitive edge.
- 2004:The Nigerian Stock Exchange Annual President’s Merit Award for the 2003 Financial Year
- 2004: Establishes FirstBank Representative Office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- 2005: Acquires two banks – MBC International Bank Ltd. and FBN Merchant Bankers) Ltd.
- 2005: Increases capitalization to ₦25 billion.
- 2006: Commenced strategic segmented approach to marketing as far back as 2006 with the launch of the U-First, a comprehensive and easily accessible suite of retail and consumer products.
- 2007: Introduces the innovative Finnone credit administration software, being the first bank in Africa to pioneer the service.
- 2007: Floats first-ever hybrid capital offering out of Africa (₦100bn hybrid offer), fondly called “The Big One”.
- 2007: Establishes a global custody business, emerging as the first Nigerian owned bank to offer such services.
- 2007: Paris Branch of FBN Bank (UK) was set up to serve as a marketing base to service francophone West Africa.
- 2008: The first Nigerian Bank and indeed the first quoted company in the country to hit the ₦2 Trillion market capitalisation.
- 2009: Establishes FirstBank Representative Office in Beijing, China.
- 2009: Launch of notable corporate transformation projects including FirstContact, the 24/7 multi-lingual integrated and interactive customer service contact centre, a key component of FirstBank’s service delivery transformation, which revolutionized customer feedback processes; and FirstServe, the Centralised Processing Centre, a dedicated back-end processing centre, drastically minimising transaction times and standardising service delivery.
- 2010: FirstBank becomes the first organization in Nigeria to be granted notable international standardization certifications: The prestigious Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) - ISO/IEC27001:2005 certification, which is the world’s highest accreditation forinformation protection and security and the BS25999 Business Continuity Management System Certification, both from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), following rigorous certification processes by theBritish Standards Institution (BSI), a leading organization in the field of auditing management systems and processes.
- 2011: Acquires a new subsidiary, Bank International de Credit (BIC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), extending the Bank’s international expansion to the central African region in line with the bank’s strategic focus to serve markets with significant potential.
- 2011: Establishes FirstBank Representative Office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
- 2011: FirstBank launches first Biometric ATM in Nigeria, consistent with our Bank’s tradition of pioneering far-reaching innovations in the financial services industry.
- 2011: FirstBank launches first Cash Deposit ATM in Nigeria
- 2011: FirstBank launched its official presence on 5 (five) social media websites:
- Facebook (www.facebook.com/firstbankofnigeria), Twitter (www.twitter.com/firstbankngr),YouTube (www.youtube.com/firstbankngr), Flickr and Slideshare. Social media and did you know campaign is not relevant
- 2011: Launched the Did You Know campaign
- 2011: Launched the FirstBank Impact Series on thought leadership, influencing
- policy and promoting financial inclusion
- 2011: Named “Nigeria’s Number One Banking Brand” by Brand Finance Top 500 Banking Brands by The Banker a sub of FT and the “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” by the African Banker, attesting to our forward-thinking approach.
- Announced the successful completion of the acquisition of ICB assets in Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana in November 2013 as part of an on-going pan-African expansion programme.