Our History

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers, focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimized risk management, and leadership. FirstBank is reputed for its heritage, dependability and strong corporate governance. It operates an extensive distribution network with over 800 business locations, over 2,500 ATMs and 39 million customer accounts. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial services and has international presence through its subsidiaries, FirstBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FirstBank DRC, FirstBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Ghana, FirstBank Gambia, FirstBank Guinea and FBNBank Senegal as well as a representative office in China.


The Bank was founded by Sir Alfred Jones, a shipping magnate from Liverpool, England. With its head office originally in Liverpool, the Bank commenced business on a modest scale in Lagos, Nigeria under the name, Bank of British West Africa (BBWA).By 1912, the Bank acquired its first competitor, the Bank of Nigeria (previously called Anglo-African Bank) which was established in 1899 by the Royal Niger Company. In 1957, the Bank changed its name from Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) to Bank of West Africa (BWA).Following its merger with Standard Bank, UK in 1966, the Bank adopted the name Standard Bank of West Africa Limited. By 1969 the Bank was incorporated locally as the Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited in line with the Companies Decree of 1968. In 1979 the Bank changed to First Bank of Nigeria Limited. In 1991 the Bank changed First Bank of Nigeria Plc. By 2012, the Bank had changed its name once more to First Bank of Nigeria Limited as a result of a reorganization that saw FBN Holdings Plc separate its commercial operations from those of the other FirstBank Group companies.

Awards Won By FirstBank

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. For two consecutive years 2022-2023 the Bank was named the “Best Corporate Bank and Best CSR Bank in West Africa” by the distinguished Global Banking and Finance Awards. Other recent awards include the “Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2022” by the Global Finance and African Bank of the Year 2022 from African Leadership Magazine.

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