About First Bank of Nigeria, who are usually called FirstBank, is among the influential financial institution in Nigeria. They have their headquarter located in Lagos Nigeria.


First Bank Nigeria PLC

First bank operates a network of more than 751 business locations across the United Kingdom, Africa and has their representative offices in Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg with the intention of capturing trade-related business. First bank has the largest retail client base in Nigeria.

Nigerian banking business sector works nationally, with more than 10 million active customer base, and over 7k staffs. There are four Strategic Business Units that FirstBank operate along and that is, the Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, public and Commercial banking sector. They are currently operating as a non-operating Holding Company structure(Started 2011/2012).

Features Of This Article

1). First Bank Overview.

2). Subsidiaries Of First Bank Nigeria.

3). FBN Holdings.

4). FirstBank History.

  • FBN Pre-independence era
  • FBN Post-independence era

5). FirstBank Key milestones.

6). About First Bank Leadership structure.

READ ALSO: First Bank customer care Phone Number, Live Chat & Email

FirstBank Overview

First Bank Nigeria is Nigeria’s oldest bank, founded in 1894. In December 2015 it had already acquired a total asset of NGN3.9 trillion, which is equivalent to $12.2B using 2017 exchange rate.

FBN profit before tax as of 31 December 2015 was roughly NGN10.2 billion. The bank also has diversified ownership, with over 1.3 million shareholders. FBN became listed on Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1971 after they became converted to a public company in 1970. However, in 2014 they became delisted from the NSE and changed with FBN Holdings Plc, which is part of the non-operating holding company structure implementation.

FirstBank was christened “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” during the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards in 2014. FNB was also tagged as “The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” consecutively for five years (2011 – 2015).

Subsidiaries Of First Bank

The following are the subsidiaries of First Bank:

  • Banque International de Credit (BIC) currently FBN Bank (DRC) – Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo – (Shareholding 75%) subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Limited until September 2014 called BIC and founded in April 1994.
  • FBN Mortgages Limited
  • First Pension Custodian Limited
  • FBN Bank (Ghana) – Accra – 100% shareholding.
  • FBN Bank (Senegal) – Dakar – 100% shareholding.
  • FBN Bank (China) – Beijing – representative office.
  • FBN Bank (Guinea) – Conakry – Shareholding 100%
  • FBN Bank (Sierra Leone) – Freetown –  shareholding 100%
  • FBN Bank (South Africa) – Johannesburg – representative office.
  • FBN Bank (UK/Paris) – France, Paris – a branch of the subsidiary in the UK
  • FBN Bank (UAE) – United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi – representative office
  • FBN Bank (UK) – London – shareholding 100% – savings products are sold under FirstSave brand

First Bank Nigeria Holdings

Central Bank of Nigeria in 2010, changed the rules guiding the scope of banking activities in Nigeria Banks. Nigerian banks were asked to divest from non-core banking businesses or start using a holding company structure, as the universal banking model was discontinued. This was what gave rise to the formation of FirstBank becoming a holding company ( FBN Holdings Plc.) in other to utilize the combined effort of their already existing established banking and non-banking businesses, which resulted in a stronger platform.

The Executive Director (Retail, North) of FirstBank, Bello Maccido became the CEO of the new parent company. Meanwhile, he retired on the 31 December 2015 and former Executive Director, South of FirstBank, Urum Kalu Eke Mfr succeeded him. The business groups of FBNHoldings are:

1). Commercial Banking – includes First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and its commercial banking subsidiaries:

  • FBNBank (UK) Ltd with a branch in Paris, France,
  • FBNBank DRC,
  • FBNBank Ghana,
  • FBNBank Gambia,
  • FBNBank Guinea,
  • FBNBank Sierra-Leone,
  • FBNBank Senegal,
  • First Pension Custodian Limited,
  • FBN Mortgages Limited.

2). FBNQuest – This is the brand name of the Asset Management businesses and Merchant Banking of FBN Holdings Plc, which is made up of:

  • FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited,
  • FBNQuest Capital Limited,
  • FBNQuest Securities Limited,
  • FBNQuest Capital Asset Management Limited,
  • FBNQuest Trustees Limited,
  • FBNQuest Funds Limited,
  • FBN Capital Partners Limited.

3). Insurance – This is an aspect of banking which covers our insurance-related subsidiaries (FBNInsurance, FBN General Insurance, and FBN Insurance Brokers). The business group offers insurance brokerage services as well as Life and General insurance services.
On the 31 December 2015, the Group were able to gather gross earnings of N505.2 billion, total assets worth N4.2 trillion and N578.8 billion in equity.

READ ALSO: Download First Bank Mobile App for Android and IOS Smartphones

First Bank History

First Bank During Pre-independence

FirstBank Nigeria officially began in 1894 in what was formerly known as the British colony of Nigeria. The bank was formally called the Bank of British West Africa. The bank was formally used for British trading and shipping agencies.

It was founded by Alfred Lewis Jones, who was a prominent shipping magnate and had an exclusive right on importing silver currency into West Africa, using his Elder Dempster shipping company. According to Alfred Lewis Jones, the absence of a bank make trade by barter and unsound practices inevitable.

Banks create a uniform medium of exchange while also serving as a secured home for deposit. FBN formally didn’t lend much to indigenous Nigerians, who weren’t able to offer enough collateral for loans.


But, thankfully after the independence of Nigeria in 1960, FirstBank started issuing more credits to indigenous Nigeria. And this singular art by FBN was able to buy the heart of many Nigerians and increase their patriotism.

Standard Bank was able to acquire the Bank of West Africa in which changed its name to Standard Bank of West Africa in 1965. Standard Bank of West Africa later changed its Nigerian operational name to Standard Bank of Nigeria in 1969. The bank later listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and was able to keep 13% of it with investors in Nigeria (1971).

Nigerian military government later made move to increase their control over the retail-banking sector, after the Nigerian civil war. Standard Chartered responded to that by reducing their stake in Standard Bank of Nigeria to 38% which lead them to lose major control. Standard Bank of Nigeria in 1979 had to change their name to  First Bank of Nigeria Limited. And at that time, the bank already had many Nigerian directors and was able to change their name again to First Bank of Nigeria Plc in  1991.

FirstBank had 1.3 million shareholders worldwide and in 2012 they changed their name to First Bank of Nigeria Limited which was part of the restructuring in FBN Holdings Plc (“FBNHoldings”). They detached their commercial business from other business in compliance with the requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

FirstBank reach another milestone in 1982 when they opened a branch in London that was later in 2012 changed into a subsidiary FBN Bank (UK). And another recorded recent expansion is the representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2004. They acquired FBN (Merchant Bankers) Ltd. in 2005, and also acquired MBC International Bank Ltd, which was founded by a group of Nigerian investors in 1982. MBC International Bank Ltd was later converted from a Merchant bank to a commercial bank in 2002.

Stephen Olabisi Onasanya became the Group Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director in June 2009, taking the position of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was the former Governor of CBN. Before assuming the office of a Managing Director, Onasanya was previously the Executive Director of Banking Operations & Services. His retirement was effective on 31 December 2015 while Dr. Adesola Adeduntan took over the position of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and Subsidiaries, which was effective from 1 January 2016, while Gbenga Shobo assumed the office of the Deputy Managing Director.

READ ALSO: First Bank Money Transfer Code ~ Send Money, Airtime Recharge & Check Balance.

First Bank Key milestones

  • 1894  formation and headquartered in Marina, Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa’s commercial nerve center (There till date).
  • 1912  King Jaja of Opobo opened Calabar branch, which was the second branch in Nigeria; Zaria branch was also opened (first branch in northern Nigeria).
  • 1955  Began a partnership with the government to expand the railway lines.
  • 1971  Got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
  • 1991  Introduced the First Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at 35 Marina.
  • 2002  Opened an FBN brank in the UK regulated by the FSA, which was actually the first Nigerian Bank to fully own a bank in the UK.
  • 2007  The first bank in Africa to Introduced and pioneer the innovative Finnone credit administration software and service.
  • 2011  Launched the first cash deposit ATM and biometric ATM in Nigeria.
  • 2012  Became a subsidiary FBN Holdings Plc group.
  • 2013  Finalized the acquisition of ICB asset in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Gambia ( Pan African expansion program).

First Bank Leadership

  • Chairman – Ibukun Awosika.
  • Managing Director/CEO – Adesola Adeduntan.
  • Deputy Managing Director – Olugbenga Francis Shobo.
  • Executive Director/Public Sector Group – Abdullahi Ibrahim.
  • Executive Director, Corporate Banking – Remi Oni.

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