FBN Holdings rallies for consolidation

FBN Holdings rallies for consolidation

Bisi-OnasanyaBy Nat Amogu…….


First Bank’s consistent good performance, quality financial products/services, leadership status and contribution to the growth and development of the banking sub-sector in the West African sub-region have earned it the Best Bank in West Africa.

At the recently concluded African Bankers Awards in Marachech, Morocco, the bank was adjudged the best financial institution in the sub-region.

Publisher of the African Banker, Omar Ben Yedder, who presented the award said: ”given its consistently strong performance in the region’s financial markets, FBN is indeed a deserving winner of this prestigious and well deserved recognition. The bank’s pedigree, indeed, continues to soar not just in Nigeria, but indeed the sub-region   .

“First Bank has been the recipient of several awards, including the ‘Best Bank Brand in Nigeria (The Banker magazine); Best Retail Bank in Nigeria (Asian Banker) and Best Bank in Nigeria (Global Finance), as it continues to drive innovation and financial solutions that speak to the needs of various customer segments”, Yedder said.

Commenting on the award, Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya said:” it is indeed a great honour for First Bank tom be recognized as the best financial institution in West Africa as we continue to pursue our passion for service excellence”..

First Bank is the largest banking group by assets in the Sub-Saharan Africa, (excluding South Africa) offering banking services tom a rich network of both individual customers and businesses. The bank represents the main legal entity and previously played an operating holding company function before the implementation of Holdco. However, with the recently formed holding company structure, Onasanya said: ”we are on the next stage of our transformation journey. Our group is focused on generating ling-term value by exploiting opportunities and efficiencies created by our new structure. We intend to drive value across our subsidiaries through synergies in our commercial banking, investment banking and asset management, insurance and other financial services business group, said the chief Executive of FBN Holdings PLC, Bello Maccido, adding that successfully exploiting synergies would enable the group to build stronger business under the holding company structure.

“With growth projected to remain elevated in Sub-Saharan Africa, we look forward to consolidating our position in banking in Nigeria, expanding our non-bank financial services and our commercial banking internationally. Over the medium-term, this should provide our holding company with substantial growth opportunities”, he said.

The term ‘FBN holdings PLC’ or the ‘Group’ means FBN Holdings together with its subsidiaries. FBN Holdings PLC is a non-operating holding legal entity incorporated in Nigeria on October 14,2010 and the company was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) under the ‘Other Financial Services Sector on November 26, 2012 and has issued and finally paid-up share capital as 32,632,084, 345 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each (N16,316,042,172.50). FBN Holdings PLC is the parent company of all companies in the First Bank Group and is structured under four business groups, namely: Commercial Banking; Investment Banking and Asset Management, Insurance and Other Financial Services.

FBN Holdings’ principal bank subsidiary is First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a commercial bank with operations in seven countries. There is also the FBN Capital, a leading investment banking and asset management company, FBN Life Assurance, a life assurance business and FBN Microfinance Bank, which offers microfinance services.

In Nigeria however, the operations of the group’s flagship, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, were helped by a more stable operating environment, as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) tighter policy posture yielded positive results, Rising yields on government securities were a major positive, as indeed were the strong inflows of foreign portfolio investments and the effects of these on the naira exchange rate.

Prior to establishing FBN Holdings PLC, the Group’s portfolio of businesses had rapidly developed, especially in the preceding decade. A revised structure was developed to provide a stronger platform to support the Group’s future growth ambitions domestically and internationally.

However, during the operating year, the group hit a key milestone on the journey it embarked on three years ago to restructure its business model to create a stronger platform for growth. The objective in the near term was to consolidate its leadership position in Nigeria, including an optimization of its operating structure. FBN Holdings, which is now the listed entity, brings it closer to its aspiration of creating one multi-geographical financial services group.

The Group, no doubt posted commendable results in 2012 with year-on-year aggregate earnings increasing from N274 billion in 2011 to N360.3 billion, representing a growth of N87 billion or 32 per cent. The growth in earnings was made up of N287.3 billion in interest income, up from N213 billion the previous year, driven primarily by increased revenue momentum from Treasury Bills, loans and  advances and bonds and N73 billion in non-interest income with 82 per cent in less and commission income. Although operating expenses grew by 32 per cent from the N146 billion recorded in 2011 to N192 billion in 2012, the Group’s profit tax increased from N36 billion in 2011 to N93 billion in 2012, representing an increase of over 158 per cent. This performance, according to the chairman of the Group, Oba Otudeko, was in part due to the group’s renewed focus on underlying businesses,  enhanced creativity in the service offerings and emphasis on cautious growth while reducing asset impairments.

“While we see progressive improvements in the global macro economy, Nigeria is on a sound  footing to increase its standing within the African macro-economic  environment. The First Bank Group has taken the decisive step of transitioning to a holding company structure and is only one of a handful of institutions to do so, recognizing the strong value  within markets like ours in participating in highly complementary businesses that serve fundamentally the same market”. Ot