First Bank growing strength and global influence

ABUJA: The mention of First Bank of Nigeria Plc and two other Nigerian banks in the World Banking Brands Ranking, released by the Banker Magazine of the Financial Times of London group and Brand Finance, is a signal of the strength of Nigerian banks and stability in the Nigerian banking sector in the global financial community.

In the recent ranking released, three Nigerian banks appeared in the top 500 ranking, with a combined brand value of $574 million (N90.7 billion), out of the total global banking brand value of $860.7 billion.

First Bank growing strength and global influenceFirst Bank leads the pack in Nigeria with a brand value of $201 million while the totality of the value of the three Nigerian banks that made the Top 500 World Banking Brands is $574 million and they collectively do the country proud as the country is among the World’s Top 50 by Total Brand Value.

To this end, First Bank is the number one banking brand in Nigeria and 414th in the world, with a brand value of $201 million, followed by Guaranty Trust Bank number ranked 415 whereas Zenith Bank is ranked 454.

Key factors that accounted for First Bank’s ranking is its compelling reputation for stability and growth over its 118-year history coupled with balance sheet strength, strong liquidity/cash position, wide and strategic branch network, robust retail market share puts the bank on a sound footing among competitors.

The bank is one of the market leaders and it has preserved its heritage by guaranteeing superior and sustainable returns to its shareholders, instilling continuous confidence in its customers, supporting growth of its operating communities and keeping to the corporate governance rules.

First Bank is also the first banking institution in Nigeria to achieve the ISO 27001:2005 Information Security Management certification and the BS25999 Business Continuity Management Certification. The ISO 27001:2005 confirms the bank’s ability to safeguard and protect its assets, staff well-being and customers’ investments while the BS25999 confirms the bank’s ability to favourably respond to incidents and business disruption and also assures our customers of FirstBank’s commitment to ensure business continuity at all times.
First Bank financial services as provided in eleven subsidiaries of the bank span across Commercial Banking, Investment Banking & Asset Management, Insurance, Pension Funds, Trusteeship and Private Equity.

As a full spectrum financial services provider, the bank’s product mix has been designed to cater for the needs of its diverse client base and currently, the bank is a key investor in the evolving mobile money market in the country.

The bank, had a couple of months ago, signed agreements with three major telecommunication companies to enable present and potential customers have access to a wide range of financial services through their mobile phones.

First Bank’s Information Technology, IT, infrastructure is also well positioned to drive its portfolio of e-business products notably with the launch of its custom-made VISA Card products, makeover of internet banking portal and the growing usage of the cash deposit Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, and mobile banking facility.

In e-business, the bank has innovated a bio-only card to protect senior citizens and the uneducated from fraudulent use of their cards while promoting financial inclusion.

The Bank recently launched FirstInstant Account targeted at low income customers in its quest to deepen financial inclusion across Nigeria.

First Bank in 2011 became the first banking institution in Nigeria to achieve the BS25999 Business Continuity Management Certification. This global certification points to the bank’s ability to favourably respond to incidents and business disruption and also assures its customers of FirstBank’s commitment to ensure business continuity at all times.

In 2011, First Bank extended the scope of its ISO 27001:2005 Certification to cover all processes in the Head Office, Document Management Unit, Centralized Processing Centre and Disaster Recovery Centre.

This certification represents one of the largest scopes covered by any ISO 27001 certified organization and it complements our position as the first organization to be awarded the Information Security Management Systems ISO/IEC 27001 Certification. This award attests to our belief in the safety and protection of Bank’s assets, staff well-being and customers’ investments.

In February 28, 2012, First Bank launched the FirstAcademy, an affiliate of Global Association of Corporate Universities & Academics (G – ACUA), and the World Institute of Action Learning (WIAL), to support learning culture among staff and attract the best minds within the industry.

This learning institution, part of our enterprise transformation initiative represents a strategic platform for competence development, knowledge management and workplace culture change. The Bank is also committed to strengthening its operational processes to comply with international best practices and is presently migrating its operational processes to the world class Finacle 10 banking software.

In the recently released World Banking Brands Ranking, three Nigerian banks appeared in the top 500 ranking, with a combined brand value of $574 million (N90.7 billion), out of the total global banking brand value of $860.7 billion.

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