FBN Holdings Plc history, profile and corporate video

 First Bank Holdings Plc provides commercial banking and financial services. The company provides services to corporate entities, small and medium enterprises and manufacturing companies. Its services include trade finance/remittances, cash management, loans, e-business products, transaction tracking and advisory services. The company operates in five business units: Retail and Corporate Banking, Investment and Capital Market Operation, Asset Management and Trusteeship, Mortgage Banking and Others. The Retail and Corporate Banking business unit offers a range of retail, personal, commercial and corporate banking services and products to individuals, small business customers, and corporate, medium and large business customers. The Investment and Capital Market Operation business unit provides investment and capital market services to both individual and institutional investors. It also provides registrar services to both listed and private companies. The Asset Management and Trusteeship business unit provides individuals and financial institution with assets management and advisory services. The Mortgage Banking business unit offers mortgage and home ownership banking services to individuals and corporate institutions. The Others business unit includes insurance brokerage functions, private equity and venture capital functions. First Bank of Nigeria was founded by Alfred Lewis Jones on March 31, 1984 and is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.”

“FBN Holdings History


The 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. A bank could provide a secure home for deposits and also a uniform medium of exchange. 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.

In June 2009, Stephen Olabisi Onasanya was appointed Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who had been appointed governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Onasanya was formerly Executive Director of Banking Operations & Services.

Corporate Identity Refresh

2014 saw FirstBank mark 120 years from when it was founded, as the Bank for British West Africa. 2014 also saw the bank refresh its corporate identity, 10 years after the previous refresh. The brand, synonymous with the colour blue and iconic elephant, kept the elephant, but with a few noticeable changes.

The elephant’s head has been lifted, the tusk is larger, the forehead wider, the ear’s less pointy, the trunk longer and the eyes, looking upwards.

More noticeable is the absence of the hind legs of the elephant which has instead been replaced by the company name.

According to the bank, the raised head of the elephant in the refreshed identity is a promises to all customers that with the bank in their corner, they can face challenges with their head held high. The new deep blue colour, on the other hand, represents momentum, innovation and evolution.

The raised foot of the elephant is a promise to always put their best foot forward for their customers and the adoption of complimentary colours platinum and gold, precious metals identified with value, serves as a reminder of the inherent value and durability of the 120 year old brand.

The bank revealed the rational for the refresh as part of a wider strategic plan to ensure that as a group, FBN Holdings was delivering more efficient services that were closer in line with the needs of their customers.

The refreshed identity was revealed on January 27, 2014 in Lagos at two separate events for staff, partners, suppliers and friends.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “ WebTV NG


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