First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is Nigeria’s premier commercial bank and most valuable banking brand. With over 10 million active customer accounts and more than 750 business locations, we provide a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to customers and investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities available in Nigeria and our business locations across Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. To live our promise of ‘YOU First’, we design products and services to support your personal, family and business needs. Our array of products – cards, channels, transfer services, loans & advances, deposit products, guarantees, distributorship financing, cash management and foreign trade service – create convenience for your transactions, empower your businesses and offer flexibility of choice. We are leveraging on technology to drive optimised and cost effective service delivery, enhance transaction efficiency, risk management as well as entrench collaboration, innovation and creativity across the group.
The Bank is divided into four business units: Retail and Corporate Banking, offering a range of retail, personal, commercial and corporate banking services and products; Investment and Capital Market Operation, offering investment and capital market services, as well as provides registrar services to both listed and private companies; Asset Management and Trusteeship, provides individuals and financial institutions with assets management and advisory services; Mortgage Banking, offers mortgage and home ownership banking services to individuals and corporate institutions, and Other activities include insurance brokerage functions, private equity and venture capital, as well as bureau de change business functions. First Bank of Nigeria operates through its 12 subsidiaries, including FBN Bank (UK) Limited, FBN Capital Limited and First Trustees Nigeria Limited, among other.
First Bank traces its history back to 1894 and the Bank of British West Africa. The bank originally served the British shipping and trading agencies in Nigeria. The founder, Alfred Lewis Jones, was a shipping magnate who originally had a monopoly on importing silver currency into west Africa through his Elder Dempster shipping company. According to its founder, without a bank, economies were reduced to using barter and a wide variety of mediums of exchange, leading to unsound practices. The bank primarily financed foreign trade, but did little lending to indigenous Nigerians, who had little to offer as collateral for loans.
In 1957, Bank of British West Africa changed its name to Bank of West Africa (BWA). After Nigeria's independence in 1960, the bank began to extend more credit to indigenous Nigerians. At the same time, citizens began to trust British banks since there was an 'independent' financial control mechanism and more citizens began to patronize the new Bank of West Africa.
In 1965, Standard Bank acquired Bank of West Africa and changed its acquisition's name to Standard Bank of West Africa. In 1969, Standard Bank of West Africa incorporated its Nigerian operations under the name Standard Bank of Nigeria. In 1971, Standard Bank of Nigeria listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and placed 13% of its share capital with Nigerian investors. After the end of the Nigerian civil war, Nigeria's military government sought to increase local control of the retail-banking sector. In response, now Standard Chartered Bank reduced its stake in Standard Bank Nigeria to 38%. Once it had lost majority control, Standard Chartered wished to signal that it was no longer responsible for the bank and the bank changed its name to First Bank of Nigeria in 1979. By then, the bank had re-organized and had more Nigerian directors than ever.
In 1982 First Bank opened a branch in London, that in 2002 it converted to a subsidiary, FBN Bank (UK). Its most recent international expansion was the opening in 2004 of a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2005 it acquired MBC International Bank Ltd. and FBN (Merchant Bankers) Ltd. Paribas and a group of Nigerian investors had founded MBC in 1982 as a merchant bank; it had become a commercial bank in 2002.
Career at First Bank
As one of the largest employers in Nigeria’s financial sector, First Bank strives to create one of the biggest programs of talent management in the country.
People are the soul of our organisation and we seek, identify and attract passionate, intelligent and energetic people who can fit seamlessly into our culture, be good leaders and put to work today what will bring tomorrow’s dreams to reality.
Our talent search spans from fresh graduates to top level executives who thrive within our structured grading system that fosters opportunities for performance driven career development throughout the organisation. Amongst our biggest departments are Strategic Business, Strategic Resource and Strategic Support Units.
The First Bank team has over 12,000 people in over 560 branches in Nigeria, 11 subsidiaries and representative offices all over the world to offer full-suite financial services as well as in involvement in sectors varying from investment banking and funds management to insurance brokerage and microfinance.