FirstBank is one of Nigeria’s strongest banking franchises with almost 128 years of unbroken banking operations. As Nigeria’s foremost financial institution, it has continued to innovate and transform itself with revolutionary efforts in the deployment of digital technology to the delight of its diverse customers and other stakeholders which cut across all segments and sectors of the Nigerian economy.
First Bank under the leadership of Adesola Adeduntan, has ensured the lender keeps the trust of Nigerians gained over many years of its enduring legacy of safety and security.
Recent findings show that the bank’s customer accounts have grown from about 10 million in 2015 to over 36 million (including digital wallets), last year.
The bank’s digital services is adjudged to be the second-largest issuer of cards in Africa with over 11.8 million issued cards, and onboard over 18.6 million active customers.
First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc proposed the payment of 50 Kobo as dividends to shareholders of the company for the 2022 fiscal year. Well this is one of the benefits of banking with FBN, Africa’s oldest financial institution.
Infact, the Top 100 African Bank Rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine from the stables of Financial Times shows FirstBank leading the Nigerian table in four areas, the highest achieved by any Nigerian bank.
The rankings, based on the end of year 31 December 2021 audited financials of all banks in the Top 100, reveal FirstBank’s ranking as number one in Nigeria in terms of: Overall Performance; Profitability; Efficiency and Return on Risk.
The bank has also evolved into a sustained growth phase, delivering performance in line with the size of its business and capabilities of its management. The bank significantly boasts undiluted focus on customers’ needs and on improving the competitiveness of its offerings; leveraging the opportunities which its large scale provides.
First Bank has lived up to its name, taking first place in the Nation, and in Africa, as a financial institution. The bank has continued to make good progress in transforming the enterprise despite the uncertain and complex operating environment in the Nation. It has leveraged on the execution capabilities of top talents across the Group to generate sustainable value for all our stakeholders.
The group’s gross earnings grew by 6.3 percent to N805.1 billion in full-year 2022, a development that was by 49.6 percent growth in interest income to N551.9 billion.
Not surprisingly, its 128 years of dependable services to its customers, investors, host communities, employees and other stakeholders affirm its indisputable leadership of the financial services industry in Nigeria.
FBN’s current financial performance is driven by the competent and experienced Board and management leveraging the sustainable change towards improving governance practices. With FirstBank, under Adesola Adeduntan, the safety of customers and the security of their transactions come first. The Bank keeps the trust of Nigerians gained over the many years of its enduring legacy of safety and security.
The increase in interest income benefited primarily from 31 percent growth in loans to customers. This was further supported by the higher interest rate environment, which positively impacted yields.
The group’s total assets grew by 18.4 percent to N10.6 trillion. This was driven by a 31.5 percent increase in net customer loans and 18.6 percent increase in investment securities.
First Bank, under Adeduntan has demonstrated improved earning asset position, cash and balances with central Banks, loans to banks & customers and investment securities constitute now 88.9 percent of total assets versus 87.2 percent in the prior year.
The group’s transformed risk management architecture continues to support the sustainable improvement in overall earnings.
This has been demonstrated by the continuously improving asset quality metrics, despite the peculiar challenges across different markets.
The strengthened balance sheet provides a solid platform for resilient and sustainable earnings generation to support capital. On the back of this, FBN banking subsidiaries continue to maintain a disciplined approach to capital management supported by improving coverage ratios.
The FBNQuest group also recorded 42.2 percent growth in profit-before-tax to close at a four-year high of N13.9 billion.
First Bank of Nigeria Ltd announced a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N53.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 57 percent increase from the N34.1 billion in the corresponding period in 2022.
According to Adesola Adeduntan, First Bank’s chief executive officer, “The FirstBank Group delivered an impressive performance in Q1 2023, with significant growth across key metrics.”
Data gleaned from the financial statement filed with the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited showed the growth in PBT was driven by a 50.9 percent year-on-year growth in net interest income from N72.9 billion to N110 billion in Q1 2023.
Net interest income saw a remarkable surge of 50.9 percent year-on-year on the back of optimal asset pricing and effective management of interest-earning assets.
Further findings showed the bank posted gross earnings of N245.7 billion in Q1 2023, a 44.2 percent growth against N170.4 billion it earned in the corresponding period of 2022.
Gross earnings recorded a substantial increase of 44.2 percent year-on-year, demonstrating the bank’s ability to generate substantial revenue from core operations.
First Bank’s non-interest income stood at N67.8 billion, a 10.6 percent increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
“Increasing penetration of digital and transaction banking offerings supported our Q1 performance in non-interest income by 15.3 percent growth,” Adeduntan noted.
The bank stated that its operating expenses of N107.6 billion in Q1 2023, was up by 21 percent from the N88.9 billion level in the corresponding period of 2022 while total assets increased by 5.1 percent to N10.6 trillion in Q1 2023.
“The growth in our performance metrics underlies the strength in the core fundamentals underpinning our business strategy and sustainability of our business model,” Adeduntan said.
He added, “This year marks our 129th anniversary and these results clearly demonstrate the resilience of our business model and proven ability to transform ourselves to meet the demands of changing times and seasons.”
“Our transformative and purpose-driven strategy, alongside our strong value propositions, enable us to continue supporting our customers across our chosen markets. We are optimistic about the rest of FY 2023 and these results are a sign of better things to come,” Adeduntan said.
The bank was recognised with the Best Bank in Nigeria 2022 award for its leadership role in promoting financial inclusion in Nigeria which has been integral to improving lives and stimulating businesses of individuals across the country.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper