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Reinventing FIRSTBANK Through Creativity and Innovation

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By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

For a financial institution of FirsBank’s pedigree, it is not uncommon for its top managers to be creative and constantly innovative.

Indeed, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, attributes the Bank’s consistent growth in the past 125 years to innovation and reinvention of its products and services aimed at satisfying customers’ needs and aspirations.

An elated Adeduntan recently said the Bank was driven by the desire to put its customers and stakeholders at the heart of its business.

“For over 125 years of our existence, we have focused on providing excellent financial services to meet the needs of our esteemed customers.

“We continue to improve on our products and also create new ones that suit their specific financial needs.

“The reason why we have been successful is our ability to invent and reinvent ourselves. You can only be successful like that when you put your customer at the centre piece of all your actions. That is the secret of our success,” said Adeduntan.

According to him, the Bank leverages Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to improve overall service delivery levels across all key infrastructure parameters: speed, performance, availability, security and scalability.

“This will enable us to deliver great customer experiences, take advantage of new digital technologies to reduce costs, improve quality, ensure transparency, and create value. We are building the next-generation digital bank.

“It is in our DNA to continuously transform and project for the future by reinventing ourselves, re-engineering and creating value for our customers by rethinking next generation solutions ahead of our peers in the industry.

“We are positioned to always put our customers’ current and future needs at the core of our business,” Adeduntan stated emphatically.

He noted that the Bank was also transforming the way it communicated and executed its corporate strategy through rethinking the approach to implementing projects, collaborating, measuring the outcomes and realising value from all of its transformation investments.

“The transformation programme is ongoing, and a lot of employees are already fully involved at various levels, leading and contributing to these transformation initiatives,” Adeduntan added.

He highlighted some of the laudable achievements of the Bank to include the first bank to launch the cash deposit ATM in Nigeria in 2011, the second bank in Africa and the first in Nigeria to issue 10 million cards.

Adeduntan said the Bank was also recognised by Interswitch as the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment in December 2015 and in May 2016, respectively.

He explained that the Bank, in line with its financial banking drive, instituted agent banking with over 27,000 agencies – so far achieved – across the country to reach the unbanked.

According to him, the Bank in 2008, was the first Nigerian bank and first quoted company in the country to hit two trillion naira market capitalisation.

Mr. Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said, during the Bank’s launch of Chat Banking on WhatsApp recently, FirstBank would continue to offer endearing services to its customers.

To him, creativity and innovation are not new to FirstBank, and the twin virtue has fueled the Bank’s foray abroad.

He said in furtherance with the Bank’s innovation drive, it acquired a new subsidiary, Banque International de Credit (BIC), one of the leading banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2011.

Similarly, in November 2013, it acquired ICB in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Guinea, and in 2014, the Bank added ICB in Senegal to its prized acquisitions.

The Bank, which changed its name from BBWA to Bank of West Africa (BWA) in 1957 also adopted the name, Standard Bank of West Africa in 1966, following its merger with Standard Bank, United Kingdom.

Incorporated in 1969 as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited, the first name change occurred in 1979 and again in 1991 to First Bank of Nigeria Limited and First Bank of Nigeria Plc, respectively.

In 2012, the Bank changed its name again to First Bank of Nigeria Limited as part of a restructuring resulting in FBN Holdings Plc, having detached its commercial business from other businesses in the FirstBank Group, in compliance with the new regulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

As the global operating environment evolves, FirstBank has kept pace, responding to the dynamic needs of its customers, investors, regulators, host communities, employees and other stakeholders.

Through a balanced approach to plan execution, FirstBank has consolidated its industry leadership by maintaining a trans-generational appeal.

Thus, the Bank has continuously boosted its customer base, which cuts across all segments in terms of size, structure and sectors.

Leveraging experience spanning over a century of dependable and appealing services, FirstBank has continued to build relationships and alliances with key sectors of the economy that have served as strategic building blocks for the well-being, growth and development of the country.

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Transact Without Borders With The Firstbank Verve Global Card

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has announced the launch of the Verve Global Card. In partnership with Verve International (Interswitch Group) and Discover Financial Services, the launch took place at Times Square New York City on Monday, 12 August 2019.

In attendance at the event were FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director, Gbenga Shobo; Group Executive, eBusiness & Retail Products, Chuma Ezirim; Head, Card & Messaging Business, Folasade Femi-Lawal and Interswitch Group’s Founder/GMD, Mitchell Elegbe and Divisional CEO, Verve, Mike Ogbalu. Discover Financial Services’ Senior Vice President, Payment Services, Joseph Hurley and Executive Vice President, Payment Services, Diane Offereins, amongst others were also in attendance.

Founder/GMD, Interswitch Group, Mitchell Elegbe; Group Executive, eBusiness & Retail Products, FirstBank, Chuma Ezirim; Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank, Gbenga Shobo; Head, Card & Messaging Business, Folasade Femi-Lawal and Divisional CEO, Verve, Mike Ogbalu, at the Verve Global Card launch in New York last Monday
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has announced the launch of the Verve Global Card. In partnership with Verve International (Interswitch Group) and Discover Financial Services, the launch took place at Times Square New York City on Monday, 12 August 2019.


 

 
In attendance at the event were FirstBank’s Deputy Managing Director, Gbenga Shobo; Group Executive, eBusiness & Retail Products, Chuma Ezirim; Head, Card & Messaging Business, Folasade Femi-Lawal and Interswitch Group’s Founder/GMD, Mitchell Elegbe and Divisional CEO, Verve, Mike Ogbalu. Discover Financial Services’ Senior Vice President, Payment Services, Joseph Hurley and Executive Vice President, Payment Services, Diane Offereins, amongst others were also in attendance.


 
The Verve Global Card, an introduction by Verve International to FirstBank, is a new entry to the array of card products offered by FirstBank to its customers. The FirstBank Verve Global Card is an enhancement to the existing Verve Debit card with exclusive capacity for domestic and cross border transactions across all channels. The card can be linked to Savings & Current accounts, with a “Safetoken” extra protection for web-based transactions.


 
Speaking on the launch, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Gbenga Shobo said, “in partnership with Verve International, we are pleased to launch the Verve Global Card as it reinforces our commitment to putting our customers first with innovative and state of the art financial products and services that promote seamless transactions regardless of where they are across the globe.”


 
“I enjoin every FirstBank customer and the general public to visit the nearest FirstBank branch and request for the card to enjoy seamless cashless transactions” he concluded.


 
The first transaction of the Verve Global Card was carried-out by the Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank, Gbenga Shobo at Swarovski Shop located on Times Square.

The Verve Global Card, an introduction by Verve International to FirstBank, is a new entry to the array of card products offered by FirstBank to its customers. The FirstBank Verve Global Card is an enhancement to the existing Verve Debit card with exclusive capacity for domestic and cross border transactions across all channels. The card can be linked to Savings & Current accounts, with a “Safetoken” extra protection for web-based transactions.

Speaking on the launch, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Gbenga Shobo said, “in partnership with Verve International, we are pleased to launch the Verve Global Card as it reinforces our commitment to putting our customers first with innovative and state of the art financial products and services that promote seamless transactions regardless of where they are across the globe.”

“I enjoin every FirstBank customer and the general public to visit the nearest FirstBank branch and request for the card to enjoy seamless cashless transactions” he concluded.

The first transaction of the Verve Global Card was carried-out by the Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank, Gbenga Shobo at Swarovski Shop located on Times Square.

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Mark Angel Gets His Own Mouka Flora Mattress

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Mark Angel best known for the Mark Angel Comedy series, often featuring his child comedian niece, Emmanuella, just received the new Mouka Flora mattress.

In the viral comedy skit called MANCHELOR Part 2, Mark Angel falls in love with the new Mouka Flora mattress while Emmaneulla and his neighbours urge him to get married “Now that Emmanuella has bought you mattress, Oya go and marry. Have you not old? You have passed menopause, very soon you will reach menostop”.

The new Mouka Flora mattress is redesigned to offer exceptional comfort and provide consumers with quality sleep. According to Mouka’s Senior Brand and Innovation Manager, Jide Odelola says “Nigerians can now enjoy superior comfort and durability of the new Mouka Flora mattress to ensure they wake up feeling energized the next morning.”

Mouka is reputed in the industry for its world class manufacturing technology. Other brands within Mouka’s portfolio include: Mondeo Spring mattress, Dreamtime water resistant children mattress, Regal Orthopaedic mattress, Regina semi-orthopaedic mattress and Mouka Mozzi range of insect repellent products. 

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GTBank Releases 2019 Half Year Audited Results, Reports Profit before Tax of N115.8Billion

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has released its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2019 to the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges. 

The half year result shows positive growth across key financial metrics and reflects GTBank’s leading position as one of the best managed financial institutions in Africa. The Bank reported a Profit before Tax of ?115.8billion, representing a growth of 5.6% over ?109.6billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. The Bank’s loan book grew by 1.0% from ?1.262trillion recorded as at December 2018 to ?1.274trillion in June 2019 and customer deposits increased by 6.3% to ?2.418trillion from ?2.274trillion in December 2018.

The Bank closed the half year ended June 2019 with Total Assets of ?3.598trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ?603.0Billion. In terms of Asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk improved to 6.8% and 0.2% in June 2019 from 7.3% and 0.3% in December 2018 respectively. Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 84.7%, while Capital remains strong with CAR of 23.5%. On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 33.7% and 5.8% respectively. The Bank is proposing an interim dividend of 30kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.

Commenting on the financial results, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said; “We have delivered a good result inspite of a challenging market, characterized by varying degrees of uncertainty and a rapidly changing competitive landscape. Our strong financial performance is underpinned by our unwavering focus on delivering value for our shareholders and reimagining the role we play in our customers’ lives.”

He further stated that “In a rapidly changing world and increasingly unpredictable environment, we are committed to building a long-term business that is both nimble and focused on flawless execution. The progress that we have made over the past six months demonstrates that we have the right strategy and the dedicated team to deliver for all our stakeholders, even in difficult conditions.”

The Bank has continued to report the best financial ratios for a Financial Institution in the industry with a return on equity (ROE) of 33.7% and a cost to income ratio of 37.6% evidencing the efficient management of the banks’ assets. These ratios are a testament to the competent and experienced management and work-force, efficient balance sheet structure and operational efficiency of the Bank. In recognition of the Bank’s bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery and innovation, GTBank has been a recipient of numerous awards over the years. Some of these include Africa’s Best Bank and Best Bank in Nigeria from Euromoney Magazine, and Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank by World Finance Magazine.

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