Our History


Launch its Human Resource Solution in the Cloud

FirstBank is first indigenous organisation in Nigeria to launch its Human Resource Solution in the Cloud.

Most Valuable Banking Brand Award

FirstBank was awarded ‘Most Valuable Banking Brand’ for the 6th consecutive time in 2017 by The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group.

Launch of FirstGem, FirstBank Retail Products

Launch of FirstGem, FirstBank Retail Products, a women centric lifestyle product designed for women of all ages across different segment in October 23, 2017.

FirstBank money wallet user hit 4,035,307

FirstBank total number of Firstmonie, FirstBank money wallet user hit 4,035,307, March 2017.

20 years of partnership with Western Union Money Transfer

FirstBank celebrated 20 years of partnership with Western Union Money Transfer in July 2016.

Launch of FirstLounge

Launch of FirstLounge, the first Landside Lounge at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in February 28, 2016.

FirstBank launched the First@art initiative

FirstBank launched the First@art initiative to consolidate its numerous partnerships in promoting the performing arts and other entertainment projects.

First Financial Institution to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment

FirstBank was recognised by Interswitch as the first financial institution in the country to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment, in December 2015 and again in May 2016.

Most Valuable Bank Brand


FirstBank has been named ‘The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria’ for six times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the globally recognised The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group. The Bank has achieved this feat in recognition of its steady transformation, increased brand value and excellent service delivery through the years.


Best Retail Bank in Nigeria


FirstBank was reaffirmed ‘Best Retail Bank in Nigeria’ for the sixth consecutive year by the Asian Banker. This award was earned based on the Bank’s robust portfolio and exceptional performance in Nigeria’s retail market.


Launch of FBN Holdings Plc Group Corporate Identity/Brand Refresh

Launch of FBN Holdings Plc Group Corporate Identity/Brand Refresh

FirstBank turned 120 years

FirstBank turned 120 years

FBN Life was the first insurance company in Nigeria to launch mobile insurance

FBN Life was the first insurance company in Nigeria to launch mobile insurance in partnership with the telecommunications platform through airtime purchase – (Padi4Life launched in partnership with Airtel in July 2013)

FBN Micro Finance Bank Limited converted from state to national licensed microfinance bank

FBN Micro Finance Bank Limited converted from state to national licensed microfinance bank, increased business outlets to 23 from 3 since inception and mobilised over N1.2B through daily savings.

FBN Capital became the first financial institution to achieve loan signing

FBN Capital became the first financial institution to achieve loan signing on the recently concluded PHCN (Power sector privatization) initiative and its leading role paved the way and set a template for a range of other power deals that were subsequently closed by other institutions.

Pan-African Expansion

FirstBank Announced the successful completion of the acquisition of ICB assets in Guinea, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Ghana in November 2013 as part of an on-going pan-African expansion programme.

First Purchasing Managers' Index

FBN Capital launched Nigeria's first Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which was done in collaboration with NOI Polls Limited. The PMI adds Nigeria to the list of countries which make use of this economic indicator and therefore gauges the temperature of the sector at monthly intervals.

FBN Life launched its Bancassurance products in partnership with FirstBank

FBN Life launched its Bancassurance products in partnership with FirstBank in April 2013 and introduced variants of its Bancassurance products to a wider segment of FirstBank’s customer base in September 2013.

FBN Life Assurance Limited was the youngest insurance company in Nigeria

FBN Life Assurance Limited was the youngest insurance company in Nigeria (by Gross Premium Income) ever listed in the Top 10 speciality life insurance industry within 2 years of operation.

Launched the FirstBank Impact Series

Launched the FirstBank Impact Series on thought leadership, influencing policy and promoting financial inclusion

First Cash Deposit ATM

FirstBank launches first Cash Deposit ATM in Nigeria

First Biometric ATM

FirstBank launches first Biometric ATM in Nigeria, consistent with our Bank’s tradition of pioneering far-reaching innovations in the financial services industry.

Abu Dhabi

Establishes FirstBank Representative Office in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

BIC Acquisition

Acquires a new subsidiary, Bank International de Credit (BIC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), extending the Bank’s international expansion to the central African region in line with the bank’s strategic focus to serve markets with significant potential

FBN Life Assurance Limited Established


International Standardization Certificate

FirstBank becomes the first organization in Nigeria to be granted notable international standardization certifications: The prestigious Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) - ISO/IEC27001:2005 certification, which is the world’s highest accreditation forinformation protection and security and the BS25999 Business Continuity Management System Certification, both from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), following rigorous certification processes by the British Standards Institution (BSI), a leading organization in the field of auditing management systems and processes.

The First Microfinance Bank in Nigeria to issue Debit Cards

FBN Micro Finance Bank Limited became the first microfinance bank in Nigeria to issue debit cards which can be used on all ATMs and make online purchases. The bank was also the first microfinance bank to implement use of biometrics POS terminals for transactions. The transactions are online and real time.


FirstBank Microfinance Bank established.

Notable Transformation Projects

Launch of notable corporate transformation projects including FirstContact, the 24/7 multi-lingual integrated and interactive customer service contact centre, a key component of FirstBank’s service delivery transformation, which revolutionized customer feedback processes; and FirstServe, the Centralised Processing Centre, a dedicated back-end processing centre, drastically minimising transaction times and standardising service delivery.

FirstBank in Beijing

Establishes FirstBank Representative Office in Beijing, China.

₦2 Trillion Market Capitalisation

The first Nigerian Bank and indeed the first quoted company in the country to hit the ₦2 Trillion market capitalisation.

25th Anniversary

25th anniversary celebration of FirstBank operations in the UK, reinforcing the commitment to delivering superior service to our esteemed customers in Europe and Africa.

Paris Branch

Paris Branch of FBN Bank (UK) was set up to serve as a marketing base to service francophone West Africa.

Global Business

Establishes a global custody business, emerging as the first Nigerian owned bank to offer such services.

The Big One

Floats first-ever hybrid capital offering out of Africa (₦100bn hybrid offer), fondly called “The Big One”.

Pioneer Innovative Software

Introduces the innovative Finnone credit administration software, being the first bank in Africa to pioneer the service.

FBN Bureau de Change Limited established


Establishment of FBN Capital Ltd.


Strategic Marketing: U-FIRST

Commenced strategic segmented approach to marketing as far back as 2006 with the launch of the U-First, a comprehensive and easily accessible suite of retail and consumer products.

Increased Capitalization to 25 Billion


First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited Established


CEO's Annual Merit Award

Maiden CEO's Annual Merit Award, a concerted and clear effort to identify merit as a key corporate value and performance as a key measurement indicator for recognition and reward.

Acquires Two Banks

MBC International Bank Ltd. and FBN Merchant Bankers Ltd were acquired by FirstBank

FBN Mortgages

FBN Morgages Limited was established

Celebrating an Icon

Public presentation of a documentary in honour of Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu, OFR, to commemorate fifty years of successful business relationship with First Bank of Nigeria Plc (1952-2002); a great testimony to the legendary entrepreneurial abilities and resourcefulness of this Nigerian icon, and a testimony to the century-old commitment of FirstBank to adopting and promoting articulate enterprises to create wealth for the individual and the nation at large. Significantly, this event took place in 2004, the 110th anniversary of FirstBank.

Representative Office in Johannesburg, South Africa

FirstBank established a Representative Office in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Nigerian Stock Exchange Annual President's Merit Award

FirstBank is awarded The Nigeria Stock Exhange Annual President's Merit Award for the 2003 Financial Year

Launch of a new Brand Identity

Launch of a new brand identity, introducing substantial changes to the entire look and feel of the FirstBank brand, transforming FirstBank’s corporate identity to reflect its rejuvenated focus and strategically positioning the Bank at the industry’s competitive edge.

Introduction of Quiz Competition

Instituted the Annual Senior Secondary School Quiz Competition, to promote academic excellence and healthy competition among senior secondary school students in Nigeria and in furtherance of our resolve to actively promote youth development.

Wholly-Owned Full Fledged UK Bank

Establishes FBN Bank (UK), regulated by the FSA, the first Nigerian bank to own a wholly own a full-fledged bank in the UK. Established first international subsidiary of a Nigerian-owned bank in the UK in 2002.

Revalidating Century II

Revalidates business transformation project code-named “Century II: The New Frontier”, to revolutionise the Bank’s operations in line with the dynamics of the operating environment, strengthen the bank’s brand, leverage and heighten the customers’ experience, and project FirstBank as sophisticated and dynamic.

Former FirstBank MD Appointed as CBN Governor

Mr. Joseph Oladele Sanusi was appointed by the Federal Government as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.

Century II

Commenced business transformation project code-named “Century II”, to strategically position for FirstBank's next century of operations.

Launch a university endowment programme

With a rich tradition of giving back, 1994 saw FirstBank Launch a university endowment programme, another first and we have retained commitment to this programme which today has Professorial Chairs in 10 Nigerian Universities.

Centenary Celebration

The Bank is a hundred years old, a feat for any brand even today. Birth of the popular and legendary “FirstBank o una well done o, una do well o” (centenary corporate campaign) URL to jingle and celebrated newspaper article on the centenary.

Introduction of the First ATM (Automated Teller Machine)

First ATM introduced in 35 Marina as part of ease of convenience, round the clock banking.

Public Limited Company Name Change

Changes name to First Bank of Nigeria Plc, following the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Decree (BOFID). Alongside side currency reforms and other initiatives to enhance the payment structure

FBN Goes to London

London Branch established to foster international banking relationships for Nigerian and foreign businesses alike.

First Rebranding - Change of Name to First Bank of Nigeria

Changes name to First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Commenced the Bank's Essay Competition to foster intellectual development and hone writing skills in Nigerian Secondary Schools. A winner of the Essay competition rose to become an executive Director in the Bank, while some are still in the service.

First Listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

First listing on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Allows Nigerians to buy/own a part of the FirstBank heritage. into the huge potential of the financial services powerhouse.

Standard Bank Incorporation in Nigeria

Incorporates locally as Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited, in line with the Companies Decree of 1968

Merger with Standard Bank, UK

Adoption of the name Standard Bank of West Africa, following a merger with Standard Bank, United Kingdom

Unrivalled Network

Operates 114 branches across West Africa. When Nigeria became a Republic. Partly because of desire for service; commitment to financial inclusion with over 100 branches as far back as 1963.

Nigeria's independence

At Nigeria’s Independence, advances the first ever loans to the citizens of the independent Nigeria. Birth of true retail banking.

Reflecting Regional Identity

Changes name from BBWA to Bank of West Africa (BWA) to truly reflect the regional identity of the bank.

Partners with the Government to Expand Railway Lines

Partners with the Government to expand the railway lines

The First Long Term Loan

Advances the first long-term loan to the then colonial government. A demonstration of our long term commitment to national development.

Amalgamation of North and South

1914 saw the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates - FirstBank had branches in what would today be Kano, Zaria, Calabar, Lagos and Ibadan.

Acquired Anglo-African Bank

The bank has shown business leadership since its inception, having acquired Anglo-African Bank in 1912, its competitor in the very first M&A recorded in this region.

Opened Calabar Branch

Calabar branch was opened by King Jaja of Opobo the second branch opened in today’s Nigeria and the Zaria Branch was also opened in the same year as the first bank branch in what is today’s northern Nigeria

Freetown Gets a Branch

Opened second branch in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1898; today we are back in Sierra Leone.

First international branch opened in Accra

First international branch opened in Accra in 1896.  FirstBank took its firsts steps towards expansion and early globalisation; today we are back in Ghana

Behold the BBWA Building

Bank of British West Africa building at Lagos Marina, the first branch of the Bank in West Africa. It was demolished in 1904  

Acquired African Banking Corporation

Acquired African Banking Corporation (Founded 1892) in 1894.

Incorporated in 1894

Incorporated in 1894 and head quartered in Marina, the heart of Lagos, where we are still have our head quarters to date.

From Liverpool to Marina

Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, KCMG, a shipping magnate opened the Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) in Marina, Lagos-Nigeria, the first of its kind in West Africa with a paid-up capital of £12,000

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