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Adeduntan: FirstBank is reducing poverty, deepening financial inclusion through its 31,000 agent network

In its quest to deepen financial inclusion, FirstBank is channelling its resources to reach those at the bottom of the pyramid through its agency banking.

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First Bank Adesola Adeduntan, Global transactions get easier with Firstbank’s Card Offerings, FBNQuest Trustees Marks 40th Anniversary of preserving legacies in Nigeria, Ellah Lakes Plc announces close period for H1 2019 results The Board of Directors of Ellah Lakes Plc has announced that the company would be meeting on the 22nd October 2019 to consider, among other matters, the audited financial statements of the Company for the financial year ended 31 July, 2019. The Company also announced the commencement of a closed period with effect from 7 October 2019, until 24 hours after the Company’s Audited Financial Statements is filed with The Exchange. Top executives, directors, advisers, and many others at Ellah Lakes Plc have been barred from trading in the company’s shares ahead of the meeting of board of directors of Ellah Lakes. This was disclosed in a notification which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). http://www.nse.com.ng/Financial_NewsDocs/27720_ELLAH_LAKES_PLC._CORPORATE_ACTIONS_OCTOBER_2019.pdf The announcement is in line with rule 17.18 of Part 2 (Issuer’s Rules) of the NSE’s Rule Book (2015) which states that, “The period of closure shall be effective from fifteen (15) days prior to the date of any meeting of the Board of Directors proposed to be held to consider any of the matters referred to above or the date of circulation of agenda papers pertaining to any of the matters referred to above, whichever is earlier, up to twenty-four hours after the price-sensitive information is submitted to the Exchange. The trading window shall thereafter be opened. Every issuer shall notify the Exchange in advance of the commencement of each closed period.” Why this matters: The close period will allow the board to consider the company’s unaudited financial statements for the third quarter. Other company issues will also be discussed during the meeting of the Board of Directors. What is a close period? A close period is a period before the release of a company’s result or financial statement when of course, those with sensitive information are not allowed to trade on the stock. These individuals may include company directors, audit committee members, persons discharging managerial responsibility, employees and consultants with sensitive information. About the company: Ellah Lakes Plc is a fish farming company., FBN processed 237 million transactions in two weeks, amid COVID-19 lockdown, First Bank Holdings declares a Profit after Tax of N26 billion in Q1 2020

In its quest to deepen financial inclusion, FirstBank is channelling its resources to reach those at the bottom of the pyramid through its agency banking. The tier-one bank has over 31,000 agents spread across Nigeria with 9,000 assigned to provide financial services to the highly excluded Northern region.

According to Adesola Adeduntan, the MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the bank took it upon itself as part of their strategic plan to be the bank that can be the right partner to the CBN and the government by helping to achieve the right social impact.

“If there is that bank on ground to help the country to address the seeming geographical gap in terms of financial inclusion, it is FirstBank, because we are already doing a lot,” Adeduntan said.

[READ MORE: Transact without Borders with the First Bank Verve Global Card]

With over 125 years of unbroken existence in Nigeria, the lender has the largest branch network in Nigeria with over 750 branches spread across the country. Nigeria has an exclusion rate of 36.8% as at December 2018; this translates to about 36.6 million Nigerian adults who are not included in the formal financial net.

FirstBank Agric Expo sets to promote new agribusiness opportunities

The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to ensure it drive that number to 20% by the year 2020. But with less than five months to the deadline, the regulator has about 16.8% exclusion gap.

“So with over 31,000 agents and 750 branches spread across all the LGAs in Nigeria, FirstBank is indeed a frontrunner at not just providing banking to all Nigerians but importantly improving their respective businesses and developing the Nigerian economy,” Adeduntan noted.

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According to Emeka Onwuka, CEO, Parkway Project, a Lagos-based Fintech company known for its popular ReadyCash product, when it comes to financial inclusion, the distribution is really “where we have the problem.”

“It is not about wallet rather it is about the touchpoint where people can actually go and have access,” Onwuka added. In January 2019, the central bank unveiled a revised version of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in which it projected that it will enrol about 500,000 mobile money/bank agents available to serve about 105 million adult Nigerians by the year 2020. The figure translates to about 476 agents per 100,000 adults.

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Less than five months to the projected deadline, Nigeria’s financial institutions have however enrolled a joint 65,753 mobile agents, data obtained from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed.

This is 86.85% less than the 500,000 mobile agents which are going to serve about 105 million adult Nigerians. If the industry regulator is to meet the target by 2020, it would have to enrol about 434,247 agents in five months.

According to data by EFInA, a huge population of Nigerian adult still lack access to financial products and services. The number is however highest in the northern part of the country.

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Compared to other regions of Africa’s most populous nation, the northern part of the country reported more unbanked people owing to high illiteracy level, the insurgency in some parts of the region coupled with high poverty rate, as compiled from BusinessDay survey.

“Currently we have up to 9,000 agents specifically in the northern part of the country and the same thing goes for the statistics of our ATM,” Adeduntan said.

[READ ALSO: Reinventing First Bank through creativity and innovation]

By Okafor Endurance

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Content Partners

AXA Mansard records 56% growth in profits after taxes audited

According to the company, investment and other income of N7.09 billion, up 25 per cent from5.67 billion.

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AXA Mansard to downsize business activities, awaits shareholders’ approval 

AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, a member of the AXA Group, has recorded 56 percent growth in profit after taxes audited of N4.54bn, up 56% from N2.91bn in December 2019

In a statement by the company, gross written premium of N47.58 billion, up 9 per cent from N43.62 billion while Net Premium Income of N31.72 billion, up 21 per cent from N26.29bn in December 2019

According to the company, investment and other income of N7.09 billion, up 25 per cent from5.67 billion; operating expenses of N7.7 billion, up 3 per cent N7.51billion, while profit before tax of N6.04 billion, up58 per cent from N3.83 billion recorded in December 2019.

Commenting on the results, Mrs. Ngozi Ola-Israel, the Chief Financial Officer said. “It was a challenging year, but we achieved strong growth in PAT (56%) and Underwriting profits (22%). We managed operating costs at a low level of growth of3% despite COVID headwinds and inflation. We remain committed to delivering excellent underwriting, investment and operating performance while focusing on the satisfaction of our customers and stakeholders.

Speaking on the financial development of the firm at the end of December 2020, the Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Insurance, Kunle Ahmed, said “The 2020 full Year financial record is a proof of our ability to continually support customers to achieve their goals even in the midst of difficult and challenging times.

“With the support of our partners and through the harnessing of our distribution network, we achieved remarkable growth on our Health and P & C lines throughout the year. We are pleased that our continued effort to build a resilient non-bank financial services institution is yielding positive results”

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FirstBank launches a new corporate website, reiterates its commitment to service delivery excellence

The new website is upgraded with features that are streamlined to reinforce its role in delivering seamless banking and technology solutions.

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First bank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO, FirstBank

FirstBank, Nigeria and indeed West Africa’s premier financial inclusion services provider has announced the launch of its newly designed website at https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/.  The new website is upgraded with features that are streamlined to reinforce its role in delivering seamless banking and technology solutions to its customers across the world.

The website is configured with modern design and improved functionality that eases customer experience whilst carrying out various activities on the site, including electronic banking. Non-customers are also able to open an account, putting them at an edge in the industry as they establish a relationship with the Bank that puts YOU, its customers, First.

The new website seamlessly adopts a fresh, magazine-style look and feel for easy navigation in order to promote the access to essential information for its customers, FirstMonie agents, prospective agents and the public. This upgrade also guides one to make well-informed decisions about one’s personal, business and private financial needs.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group, while speaking on the launch of the New Corporate Website, said that “as one of the key contact points to existing and potential customers, the Bank’s website remains a gateway to our business, supporting our unique value propositions and financial services solutions. As such, we are committed to continuously improve the overall user experience through intriguing content quality, exciting features and ease of navigation’’.

He further noted that “the Bank’s new website will be updated on a regular basis with exciting features that will continue to reinforce the Bank’s resolve to promote digital customer interactions and transactions across our virtual touchpoints and platforms’’.

Concluding, he remarked that ‘’the website will also serve as a financial services library that will keep customers and the public abreast of various financial services solutions and offerings, thereby helping them to improve their economic and social wellbeing’’. He encouraged everyone to explore the website and follow the Bank’s social media pages for updates.

FirstBank has continued to evolve over the years, successfully adopting the latest technology and embracing innovation in its quest to be African’s bank of first choice.

About FirstBank

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

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The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”.

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Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

www.firstbanknigeria.com

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