First Bank of Nigeria Limited, West Africa’s premier financial institution and leading financial inclusion services provider, announced its recognition as the Best Private Bank in Nigeria and Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investment in Africa at the Global Finance ninth annual World’s Best Private Banks Awards for 2024 held at the Harvard Club of New York on March 21, 2024.

According to Global Finance, its Private Bank Awards honour banks that best serve the specialized needs of high-net-worth individuals as they seek to enhance, preserve, and pass on their wealth.

FirstBank Private Banking business model was revamped in January 2023 on the back of a stellar performance in 2022, to consolidate its position and maintain its pride of place as the leading Private Bank in Nigeria with distinct product offerings covering investment advisory, wealth management, asset management and lifestyle solutions.

The Bank has remained consistent in reinventing itself, enabling success through the years of its existence for the last 130 years, responding to the changes in the private wealth space and the opportunities presented by certain factors like borderless technology, renewed interest in mineral wealth, migration opportunities, concerns for wealth preservation amongst many others.

Receiving the awards, Idowu Thompson, the Group Executive, Private Banking and Wealth Management, FirstBank said; ‘we are greatly honoured to be recipients of the awards Best Private Bank in Nigeria and Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investment in Africa, both testaments to our enduring commitment to continuously creating value by strengthening financial awareness and driving inclusiveness in  our customers journeys from wealth creation, growth, preservation and its orderly transfer.”

“We are delighted with the impact we have made in putting our customers first as this has played a very vital role in enabling their successes and contributing to national development. These awards are dedicated to our esteemed customers. We reaffirm our continued dedication to continuing to improve and delivering excellence in banking”.

Firstbank Emerges As The Best Private Bank In Nigeria And Best Private Bank For Sustainable Investment In Africa At Global Finance Awards 1

Joseph Giarraputo, Founder and Editorial Director of Global Finance said: “Private banking is an art as well as a science in which knowledge of economic and financial trends are paired with a deep understanding of client needs. Global Finance’s Private Bank Awards highlight institutions that deliver both.”

Amongst other awards, FirstBank recently added to its awards kitty are Best Private Bank in Nigeria 2024 by Global Banking and Finance; Best CSR Bank in Nigeria 2024 by Global Banking and Finance; Most Innovative Digital Bank, 2024- Nigeria by Digital Banker Africa ; the Most Innovative Banking Brand in Nigeria 2023 by Global Brands Awards; Financial Institution of the Year 2023 by Afrexim Bank; and Best Corporate Bank in Nigeria 2023 by Euromoney Awards for Excellence.

Firstbank Emerges As The Best Private Bank In Nigeria And Best Private Bank For Sustainable Investment In Africa At Global Finance Awards

Amidst a rapidly evolving global landscape, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has demonstrated exceptional leadership in integrating sustainable practices into its banking operations. Through strategic investments, innovative solutions, and a steadfast dedication to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, FirstBank has remained a trailblazer in sustainable finance for its customers, irrespective of where they may be across the globe.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited “FirstBank”, established in 1894, is the premier bank in West Africa, one of the leading financial inclusion service providers in Africa, and a digital banking giant.

FirstBank’s international footprints cut across three continents- Africa, Europe and Asia, with FirstBank UK Limited in London and Paris; FirstBank in The Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone; FBNBank in Ghana and Senegal; and a FirstBank Representative Office in Beijing, China. All the subsidiary banks are fully registered by their respective Central Banks to provide full banking services.

Besides providing domestic banking services, the subsidiaries also engage in international cross-border transactions with FirstBank’s Non-Nigerian Subsidiaries and the representative offices in Paris and China facilitate trade flows from Asia and Europe into Nigeria and other African countries.

For 130 years, FirstBank has built an outstanding reputation for solid relationships, good corporate governance, and a strong liquidity position, and has been at the forefront of promoting digital payment in the country with over 13 million cards issued to customers (the first bank to achieve such a milestone in Nigeria). FirstBank has continued to make significant investments in technology, innovation and transformation, and its cashless transaction drive has been steadily accentuated with almost 23 million active FirstBank customers signed up on digital channels including the USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code.

With over 42 million customer accounts (including digital wallets) spread across Nigeria, UK and sub-Saharan Africa, the Bank provides a comprehensive range of retail and wholesale financial services through more than 800 business offices and over 233,500 agent locations spread across 772 out of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

In addition to banking solutions and services, FirstBank provides pension fund custody services in Nigeria through First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited and nominee and associated services through First Nominees Nigeria Limited.

FirstBank’s commitment to Diversity is shown in its policies, partnerships and initiatives such as its employees’ ratio of female to male (about 39%:61%; and 32% women in management) as well as the FirstBank Women Network, an initiative that seeks to address the gender gap and increase the participation of women at all levels within the organisation.  In addition, the Bank’s membership of the UN Women is an affirmation of a deliberate policy that is consistent with UN Women’s Women Empowerment’s Principles (WEPs) – Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Nondiscrimination.

For six consecutive years (2011 – 2016), FirstBank was named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” eight times in a row, 2011 – 2018, by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards.

Notably, in 2022, the Bank took a long stride on its growth trajectory with the Bank’s Viability and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings upgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘ (with Outlooks Stable) by Fitch, a leading global rating agency. This is an indication of the Bank’s strong internal capital generation and corresponding recession of its risks to capitalisation. Fitch also upgraded the Bank’s National Long-Term Ratings to ‘A (nga)’ from ‘BBB (nga)’, to reflect its improved creditworthiness relative to that of other issuers in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Top 100 African Bank rankings 2022 released by The Banker Magazine revealed FirstBank’s ranking as number one in Nigeria in terms of Overall Performance, Profitability, Efficiency and Return on Risk.

Other laudable feats in 2022 include FirstBank’s international recognitions on major indices by Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers where FirstBank was crowned:

  • Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
  • Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
  • Highly Regarded: in Corporate Banking and Digital Solutions,
  • Notable: in SME Banking.


Also, in 2022 International Finance Magazine named the Bank “Most Innovative Banking Product in Nigeria” and “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria”. FirstBank was also awarded “Best Corporate Banking Western Africa, 2022” and “Best CSR Bank Western Africa, 2022’’ by Global Banking and Finance Magazine. Other notable awards in FirstBank coffers include: “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance magazine – fifteen times in a row; “Best Private Bank in Nigeria-2021” awarded by Global Finance magazine; “Best Internet Banking Nigeria” and ‘’Best CSR Bank Africa’’ by International Business Magazine.

In 2023, FirstBank has received notable awards including “Best Private Bank for Sustainable Investing in Africa 2023” by Global Finance Awards; “Best Sustainable Bank in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Bespoke Banking Services in Nigeria 2023” by International Investors Awards; “Best Financial Inclusion Service Provider in Nigeria 2023” by Digital Banker Africa; and “African Bank of the Year” by African Leadership Magazine; ’’Best Corporate Bank in Nigeria 2023’’ by Euromoney Awards and ‘’Most Innovative Banking Brand – Nigeria 2023’’ by Global Brands Award.

Other laudable feats in 2023 include FirstBank’s international recognitions on major indices by Euromoney Market Leaders, an independent global assessment of the leading financial service providers where FirstBank was crowned:

  • Market Leader: (tier-1 recognition) in Corporate Banking,
  • Market Leader: (tier -1 recognition) in Digital Solutions,
  • Highly Regarded: Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR),
  • Highly Regarded: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG),
  • Notable: in SME Banking.

Significantly, FirstBank’s Global Credit Rating was A+ with a positive outlook while ratings by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s were A (nga) and ngBBB+ respectively both with Stable outlooks as at September 2023. FirstBank maintained the same level of international credit ratings with the sovereign; a milestone that was achieved in 2022 for the first time since 2015.

Our vision is ‘To be Africa’s Bank of first choice’ and our mission is ‘To remain true to our name by providing the best financial services possible. This commitment is anchored on our core values of EPIC – Entrepreneurship, Professionalism, Innovation and Customer-Centricity. Our strategic ambition is ‘To deliver accelerated growth in profitability through customer-led innovation and disciplined execution and our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence to position You First in every respect.

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