Nigeria’s premier financial Institution and most valuable bank brand, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is targeting to grow its customer base by over 10 million new customers in the next three years. The expansion is in sync with the Bank’s financial inclusion initiative.
Managing Director and CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday, said First Bank currently has over 10 million customers, adding that its new management is working towards growing this to over 20 million by 2019 through a phased deployment of agency banking. Adeduntan unfolded the key strategic focus of the Bank to Editors and online publishers at a parley which had other members of the new management, including the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Gbenga Shobo and other members of the executive management in attendance.
Describing the FirstBank as a ‘strategically important Bank’ to the Nigerian economy, Adeduntan said the objectives of the new management which assumed office in January 2016, includes to retain the spot as the number one bank in the country and sub-region; and to continue to be fully embedded in the nation’s economy whilst delivering value to all its stakeholders. Going by its recent financial results, Adeduntan said FirstBank ranks above its peers in terms of earnings generation and remains the biggest and the largest bank in Nigeria, with over 500billion in gross earnings – the largest in the industry, adding that its liquidity ratio and capital adequacy ratio are well above regulatory required benchmarks.
Acknowledging that the Bank has some challenged loans in its portfolios, Adeduntan assured that a number of those loans are being remediated, while the management is pro-actively taking steps to recover others whilst the Bank’s entire credit management process is being reviewed in sync with the new wave of risk management framework initiatives.
Adeduntan concluded by asserting that despite the challenging environment, ‘FirstBank’s fundamentals remain very strong and upside, affirming that an institution can hardly have an outlook beyond that of its operating environment a truism which rating agencies postures attest to “We are optimistic of improved stakeholders’ return as the resilience of our heritage has prepared the Bank for a time like this,” Adeduntan added.