Evaluating First Bank’s exemplary impact in Nigeria

With over 127 years of operations, 30 million-plus customer accounts and more than 750 business locations, coupled with over 130,620 banking agents spread across 772 Local Government Areas in the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited is a shining example of a resilient organisation in Nigeria, repositioned for growth and always leading the race in the transformation of the socio-economic landscape in Nigeria and beyond.

As the world is evolving and competition increases, banks and financial services providers are constantly looking for innovative offerings and ways to make the banking experience better and accessible in convenient, safe and secure ways.

FirstBank is not an exception to this as the efforts of the bank in this regard include building and constantly improving on its product offerings and channels like the USSD and ATM channels, its industry-leading mobile app (FirstMobile), the internet banking portal (FirstOnline), its recently launched LIT App and many other platforms provided by the Bank to ensure banking operations can be performed without having to be physically present at the bank.

 

In recognition of the impact of its commitment to offer value-added products and services to its customers, the Bank has received several recognitions by global leading financial awarding institutions. Amongst other laurels this year, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been awarded the 2021 ‘’Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria”, ‘’Most innovative Retail Banking App Nigeria” and ‘’Best CSR Bank Nigeria” awards by Global Banking and Finance magazine.

In 2020, the Bank’s mobile banking application, FirstMobile, won the Best Mobile Banking App at the Global Finance Best Digital Bank Awards and 2019 Best Mobile Banking App by the Global Business Outlook.

Over the years, FirstBank was 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. The bank’s brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of the business which aligns with the brand vision “to be the partner of the first choice in building your future.” FirstBank’s brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on inherent values of passion, partnership, and people, to position customers First in every respect.

The awards conferred on the bank over the years are in recognition of the indelible roles it plays in deepening financial inclusion in the country; advancing the digital banking ecosystem as well as impacting individuals in its host communities with technology to make learning available to individuals of all ages, amongst many others. These awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the bank as it continues to push the envelope towards delivering the best banking services for its customers.

All of these are not happening by accident, but by strategic positioning and constant innovation. At inception, FirstBank had taken it upon itself to support businesses that have what it takes to nurture into greater heights to continue generating the needed contribution to sustain the African economy whilst eradicating hunger in every form. The Bank promotes businesses through its SME specific accounts designed to reinforce the Bank’s role in putting SME’s at an advantage whilst contributing to national growth and development.

The SME accounts – which are in two variants – FirstSME Classic and FirstSME Deluxe – are offered to SMEs, irrespective of industry, and tailored to have SMEs exposed to a wide range of services and opportunities that are essential for their continued growth and role in contributing to national development. The advantages and features of these accounts include; access to Temporary OverDrafts (TODs) and other facilities subject to meeting Risk Adjustment Capital (RAC) of each product; immediate enrollment on all digital platforms; free access to FirstBank SME events; free access to extensive business promotional and networking opportunities on the SMEConnect portal; access to a wide range of discounted and promotional offers.

Impressively, barely a year after the launch of its Agent Credit scheme, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that it has economically empowered its over 130,620 Firstmonie Agents with the sum of N100 billion.

With years of continuous banking operations, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been a life enabler, equipping Nigerians with the right financial services towards the achievement of their dreams.

Asides from its direct impact on businesses, Firstbank has been on the cutting edge of several social initiatives and programmes. These have been achieved through its First@arts initiative, a platform for consolidating all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.

Achieving these have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organizations like the British Council, Duke of Shomolu Productions, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), the sponsorship of Ayinla, the movie by multiple award-winning and globally acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker and director, Tunde Kelani, and produced by Jadesola Osiberu.

On the other hand, the Bank’s growing impact in sports remains unprecedented. In a recent article by ThisDay it was noted that “in Kaduna, where polo seems to be the first choice, the bank has been very active. It is on record that one of the world longest-running sponsored events is the Georgian Cup, one of Polos most glamorous tournaments, which has been held and sponsored by FirstBank for 101 years non-stop. Dala Hard Court, a Tennis Tournament which has been in Kano for 32-years is powered by FirstBank, then the annual OBJ Golf Tournament in Abeokuta Ogun State Capital.” The annual Lagos Golf Open Championship sponsored by the Bank – since its inception – is billed for its 60th edition later in the year.

The Elephant girls, a Basketball team powered by FirstBank is known to all. Their exploit in the African continent remains unprecedented.

Indeed, FirstBank remains a noble brand close to the heart of Nigerians and its deliberate efforts to reinvent itself has been a catalyst of socio-economic growth of the Nigerian populace and the nation as a whole.

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