Being woven into the fabric of society for over 127 years means that FirstBank remains at the forefront of providing the desired financial products and services to meet the needs unique to the banking public.
As Nigeria’s premier and most valuable banking brand, with over 30 million customer accounts, FirstBank has continued to provide a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to its customers and the banking public in Nigeria, extending the services to its FBNBank subsidiaries in 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, China. These have been critical to ensuring the banking giant expands its frontiers beyond the Nigerian financial landscape.
Having built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership, the banking giant remains one of the most popular banks in Nigeria.
FirstBank 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, it provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities in Nigeria with the aid of an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.
Through the years, it has stood the test of time designing products and services that make banking fun, convenient and safe for its customers, irrespective of where they may be across the globe. On the digital front, with tailor-made financial solutions, FirstBank provides an array of digital financial services through various electronically driven payment channels to reach carefully segmented audiences. Some of these channels, which have become the toast of customers and the industry, include FirstMobile App, FirstOnline, USSD (*894#) and FirstMonie wallet, as well as its widely celebrated and popular Firstmonie Agent Banking Network that has been at the forefront of the national financial inclusion and gender diversity revolution.
Firstmonie falls in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) mandate to make affordable financial products and services available nationwide. In 2012, the CBN adopted the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). The strategy highlights regulatory barriers to financial inclusion while identifying areas of focus. This strategy is built on four strategic areas of agency banking, mobile banking/mobile payments, linkage models and client empowerment. With over 130,620 Firstmonie Agents spread across 772 of the country’s 774 Local Government Areas in the country, the laudable initiative by FirstBank is another way to carry out one’s banking transaction – without visiting a Bank – which allows you to make a cash deposit, transfer money to any bank and enjoy other banking services like bills payment and purchase of recharge card amongst others.
In 2020 alone, the Bank processed over 295 million transactions with a total value of N6.65 trillion and opened more than 196,000 accounts. However, for FirstBank, it is neither about number nor competition with others or even being the largest bank-led network in Africa, but the impact its Firstmonie Agent channel is creating by integrating diversity and inclusion policies and awareness whilst being the gateway to promoting financial inclusion in areas with minimal or no banking service. Through the years, FirstBank’s Financial inclusion drive is making an impressive impact on job creation, women and youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship development which are fundamental pillars of overall economic development.
Also, in demonstrating its continued commitment to National development, FirstBank’s ‘SMEConnect’ continues to create an atmosphere for SMEs to build, grow and scale. SMEConnect is FirstBank’s value proposition geared towards strengthening the capacity of SMEs to deliver their business goals and contribute even more significantly to national development. SMEConnect is a digital platform through which SMEs can access the bank’s plethora of services. The portal is designed to help SMEs access the Bank’s unique propositions and identify various gaps that hinder their business growth. Currently, there are over 4,225 registered businesses and 20,880 users on the platform.
The FirstGem account is another initiative specifically designed to meet the financial needs of women as it offers unrivalled services that empower women to do more and achieve more. FirstBank recognises that promoting female entrepreneurship and empowerment is crucial to a better society. The product is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women to promote their business through an array of benefits. Since the product launch in October 2016, the bank has implemented various activities targeted at promoting female empowerment, impact and influence in the economy.
These initiatives, continuous drive and product performance has ensured that FirstBank remains stronger, younger at heart in pursuing excellence in every possible variant. These strides are underpinned by the bank’s commitment to putting the customer and other stakeholders first.
With the Bank’s pedigree of facilitating the requisite tools and resources to drive business sustainability and expansion goals in Nigeria, FirstBank’s role of impacting the country through the last 127 years has been exemplary to growing the business landscape in Nigeria – beyond the Banking industry. The theme of its 125th anniversary – woven into the fabric of society – reiterates the Bank’s influence and unprecedented role in putting its customers at an advantage in meeting their banking need irrespective of where they are across the world.