First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand and the number 1 SME Bank is supporting and participating in the LEAP Africa 10th CEO Forum in line with the Bank’s corporate responsibility and sustainability programme. The forum is a platform for interaction, knowledge sharing and partnerships between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and leading private and public sector organizations who offer cutting-edge solutions that aid growth, development and sustainability of businesses in Nigeria. This year’s conference is scheduled for June 9, 2015 and is themed “Staying Ahead: Maximizing Profits and Mitigating Risks”.
The Bank’s sponsorship of the LEAP Africa CEO forum is another intervention to boost capacity and foster the growth and development of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria. The Forum would expose business owners to the importance of succession planning, instituting effective systems, structures and ethical leadership within their organizations to ensure long term sustainability.
As part of its commitment to nation building and economic development, FirstBank launched the SMEConnect engagement programme in 2013 geared towards building the capacity of SMEs to deliver business goals and contribute more significantly to national development. The Bank’s SME Seminar Series, themed “We can help with that” is part of this engagement, with focus on providing practical help on relevant challenges faced by small businesses such as capacity building, business plan writing, marketing products and services, as well as accessing bank loans and documentation, amongst other curriculum.
According to the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, SMEs are a critical aspect of the nation’s economy and holds the key to sustainable development and our long term survival as a nation. “FirstBank is committed to nation building, and the SME market is one of our strategic platforms to stimulate economic development”, she stated.
Other activities that mirror FirstBank’s commitment to SMEs include African Start-Up, the sponsored TV documentary on CNN showcasing SME success stories across Africa; Ignite (an afterschool graduate employability and enterprise training initiative); and constant social media engagement. The Bank also has a dedicated website for SMEs atwww.firstbanknigeria.com/smeconnect which is at the heart of all FirstBank’s SME activities.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, is Nigeria’s leading financial services institution by total assets and gross earnings and one of the largest corporate and retail banking financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Since its establishment in 1894, the Bank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, risk management and strong capitalization.
FirstBank operates an extensive distribution network with over 750 business locations (623 branches, 61 quick service points and 69 cash centers/agencies), over 2,464 ATM’s and over 9 million customer accounts. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial services and has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank DR Congo, FBNBank Ghana, International Commercial Bank (ICB) The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal as well as its Representative Offices in Johannesburg, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.
FirstBank is the recipient of many awards. The Bank has been named “The Best Bank Brand in Nigeria” four times in a row – 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 – by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group. FirstBank’s brand purpose is to always put its stakeholders, customers and partners at the heart of its business, even as it is poised to standardize customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across Sub Saharan Africa, in consonance with its brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. The brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on the FirstBank’s inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position its customers first in every respect.
For three consecutive years, 2012, 2013 and 2014, FirstBank was named the “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards. Other recent awards include the “Best Bank in Nigeria” in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence, “Best Bank in West Africa” and “Most Innovative Bank in Africa” in the African Banker Awards, “Best Bank in Nigeria” in the EMEA Finance African Banking Awards for the fourth time, “Best Foreign Exchange Services in Africa” in the EMEA Finance Treasury Services Awards, “Best Banking Group in Nigeria” by World Finance Banking Awards, and “Best Financial Reporting Company” by Africa Investor.
Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications