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FIRSTBANK LINKS GROWTH TO INNOVATIONS, SERVICE DELIVERY

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By NAN (Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma)

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has attributed its success story to innovations and reinvention of products and services aimed at satisfying customers’ needs and aspirations.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Bank’s Managing Director, stated this on the sidelines of the second anniversary of FirstGem, a female focused product in Lagos. “At FirstBank, our purpose is to put our customers and stakeholders at the heart of our business. For over 124 years of our existence, we have focused on providing excellent financial services to meet the needs of our esteemed customers. We continue to improve on our products and also create new ones that suit their specific financial needs. The reason why we have been successful is our ability to invent and reinvent ourselves. You can only be successful like that when you put your customer at the centre piece of all your actions. That is the secret of our success.

“In designing our FirstGem product, we are very clear on the space we want to occupy,” he said.

Adeduntan further said that FirstGem had been designed on the path of what was discovered two, three years ago to fill the gap in ensuring women achieve active participation in economic development. He noted that FirstGem is not just a product but a complete lifestyle support designed solely for women.

Also speaking, Dr. Doyin Salami, Lagos Business School, urged investors in the Nigerian stock market not to panic about the forthcoming elections, assuring them the market would rebound after the general elections.

Salami said that Nigerians should stop dwelling on uncertainties surrounding 2019 elections, noting that election would come and go.

Speaking on the topic “New frontiers for businesses in 2019”: Salami said that Nigerians should tap into sectors with huge activities instead of dwelling on 2019 elections.

“Election is coming and it comes with uncertainties, there are over a 150 million Nigerians and I’m sure that their lives will continue after the election.

“I’m optimistic of where we are, election will come and go and we hope we don’t fight aftermath of the election. Whoever wins will manage the economy,”
Salami said. He further opined that the stock market which had gone down presently by about 15 percent would rebound after the elections. Salami added that Treasury Bills would offer higher returns next year, noting that people with risk averse could invest in it. Salami said that Nigerians should look inwards and tap into opportunities provided by the fast moving sectors with huge activities. According to him, the sectors are agriculture, manufacturing, telecommunications and ICT, healthcare and oil and gas.

Salami said that experience and knowledge would help entrepreneurs to identity new frontiers for business in 2019. He noted that many businesses collapsed because of lack of understanding and wrong pricing.

Also speaking, Ms Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer, identified Nigeria’s greatest challenge as extreme poverty, inequality, climate change, anti globalisation and high population, among others.

Oteh said that Nigeria would not achieve sustainable growth without tackling these challenges with strong sense of urgency. She said that one way to tackle these problems was to broaden economic participation by closing the gender gap.

Oteh said that globally, countries were losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men. She said that “this amounts to an average of $23,620 for each person in the 141 countries studied by the World Bank Group”. Oteh noted that women were important for economic development and were the economic power house for society today. (NAN)

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UBA Makes 20 more customers Millionaires, Doles Out N30m in 3rd Draw of UBA Wise Savers Promo

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has again rewarded another 20 customers who have emerged winners in the third quarterly draw of the UBA Wise Savers Promo winning N1.5 million each, bringing the total amount won so far by 60 customers to N90 million.

The electronic raffle draw, which was held at the UBA Head Office in Lagos on Wednesday, July 31st, was witnessed by the relevant regulatory bodies including the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Council.

Lucky customers who emerged winners in the latest draw cut across all regions of the country. They are Yusuf Muhammed; Adebakin Anuoluwapo Elizabeth; Babatunde Temidayo Ruth; Christian Emetole; Nwabuife Ikeagu; Omoye Amiengheme; Ogechukwukanma Okoh; Akinyemi Abidemi Betty; Okoro Chukwuma and Chukwu, Patricia Nnenna.

Others are Adejoke Olarinoye; Fatoki Hassan; Nwokocha Ikechukwu Emmanuel; Owolanke kole Emmanuel; Ferreira Adesola Afolatomi; Emmanuel Omoigui; Uzoigwe Anthonia; Elesin Titilayo Oluwabunmi; James Suleiman Umar and Lawan David Nahinokan.

The ongoing promo, which commenced in September last year, is expected to run till September 30, 2019 and will see a final 20 customers from across Nigeria become millionaires, winning N30 million in the last quarter of this year.

At the end of the fourth promo, a total of N120 million will have been won by 80 customers.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Head, Consumer & Retail Banking, Mr. Jude Anele, said that since the promo began late last year, the bank has been impressed at the level of response by its customers and the general public across the country, adding that the purpose of the campaign is to reward loyal customers while encouraging the savings culture.

He noted that there has been a remarkable increase in the number of participants in this edition compared to the previous one, adding that the bank’s objective of helping customers’ save for the rainy day is being achieved.

He said: “It is very easy to spend money but to save is a habit all must imbibe. Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support our customers and to encourage them to save as well.”

Anele urged other customers to take advantage of the subsequent opportunities the last quarterly draw will offer.

The Group Head, Transaction and Electronic Banking, Sampson Aneke, who also spoke at the event said,  “There is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise our customers as we always do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason why another 20 customers have been made millionaires today.

Aneke noted that the promo is consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers, and said it was necessitated by the invaluable belief the Bank has in its customers.

“We will continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and will continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively,” he explained.

The criteria for qualifying for the draw is to save at least N30,000 in a UBA savings account or in instalments of N10,000 each for a period of three months. Those yet to be UBA customers can open a savings account on any of the numerous bank channels, including Magic Banking (*919*20#) and LEO, or in any of the UBA branches across the country, and start saving to stand a chance of winning.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank which was awarded the Best Digital Bank in Africa by the Euromoney awards in 2018, provides services to over 17 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.

The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.

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FBNHOLDINGS RECORDS N294.2BN GROSS EARNINGS FOR H1’19, REPORTS IMPROVED NPL AT 14.5% DOWN FROM 25.9%

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By Babajide Komolafe (VANGUARD)

 

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, yesterday, said it recorded gross earnings of N294.2 billion for the six months ending June 30, 2019 (H1’19).

 

This represents 0.3 percent growth when compared with the N293.3 billion recorded as gross earnings in the corresponding period of 2018 (H1’18). The company disclosed this in a statement announcing its financial results for the six months period ending June 2019. The results also showed that the company recorded profit before tax of N39.9 billion in H1’19, up by 2.6 percent from N38.9 billion in H1’18. Profit after tax however dropped by 5.4 percent to N31.7 billion in H1’19 from N33.5 billion in H1’18.

 

Commenting on the results, Group Managing Director, FBNHoldings, UK Eke said: “Despite the difficult operating environment, we remain resolute in delivering on our guidance across key metrics, including our commitment towards a single digit Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio by the end of year, as evidenced by the reduction in NPLs from the last quarter.

 

“Essentially, Atlantic Energy, our largest NPL, was written off, translating into a decline in the NPL ratio from 25.9 percent in December 2018 to 14.5 percent as at June 2019, a step that brings us closer to our full year 2019 target and create more headroom for quality asset growth.

ARNINGS FOR H1’19, REPORTS IMPROVED NPL AT 14.5% DOWN FROM 25.9%

By Babajide Komolafe (VANGUARD)

 

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, yesterday, said it recorded gross earnings of N294.2 billion for the six months ending June 30, 2019 (H1’19).

 

This represents 0.3 percent growth when compared with the N293.3 billion recorded as gross earnings in the corresponding period of 2018 (H1’18). The company disclosed this in a statement announcing its financial results for the six months period ending June 2019. The results also showed that the company recorded profit before tax of N39.9 billion in H1’19, up by 2.6 percent from N38.9 billion in H1’18. Profit after tax however dropped by 5.4 percent to N31.7 billion in H1’19 from N33.5 billion in H1’18.

 

Commenting on the results, Group Managing Director, FBNHoldings, UK Eke said: “Despite the difficult operating environment, we remain resolute in delivering on our guidance across key metrics, including our commitment towards a single digit Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio by the end of year, as evidenced by the reduction in NPLs from the last quarter.

 

“Essentially, Atlantic Energy, our largest NPL, was written off, translating into a decline in the NPL ratio from 25.9 percent in December 2018 to 14.5 percent as at June 2019, a step that brings us closer to our full year 2019 target and create more headroom for quality asset growth.

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FIRSTBANK: INSPIRING KINDNESS, EMPATHY WITH SPARK

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What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? Asked renowned philosopher, writer and composer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in one of his writings while highlighting the importance of the simple yet impactful act.

According to a health fact sheet produced by the Random Acts of Kindness Organisation, being altruistic increases one’s oxytocin, also called the ‘love hormone’, makes one happy, increases lifespan and stimulates the production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that heals one’s wounds, calms down, and makes one happy. The fact sheet further notes that being involved in acts of kindness decreases pain as it produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller, reduces anxiety, stress, depression and blood pressure.

Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, recently conducted a series of studies that observed how witnessing kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus. He concluded that “by emphasising empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.”

Another study conducted by Oxford University researchers and which found out that just seven days of small acts of kindness will make one happier, also attests to the scientific evidence that altruism is beneficial.

Nigeria’s oldest financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which is this year celebrating its 125th anniversary, has an initiative aimed at restoring the fading age-long culture of being one’s brother’s keeper called SPARK. An acronym for Start Promoting Acts of Random Kindness, the initiative is also to reawaken the spirit of showing kindness which soci0-economic circumstances have forced many people to neglect.

The initiative, which is an integral part of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CR&S) Week, saw its employees and external stakeholders supporting humanitarian causes through crowdfunding. The staff members and others were encouraged to make small contributions/donations in aid of people who were in critical needs.

With the belief that a small act of kindness goes a long way in changing the world, staffers and other well-meaning Nigerians warmly embraced the initiative promoting compassion and being charitable. Through the Bank’s CR&S week people’s lives are positively impacted. Senior management executives led their subordinates to distribute essential commodities to orphanages across the country while old people and people living with disabilities also benefitted.

Having earlier encouraged its employees who made donations to also participate in nominating those they thought were deserving of acts of random kindness nominations based on the criteria of community/individual’s emotive story and the significance of the individual/community need, 10 beneficiaries eventually emerged last year. Among these was Baby Ijeoma, who was in dire need of cardiac surgery to correct her congenital heart disease and forestall irreversible and life-threatening complication and who got over N1.5 million assistance.

Also, Mrs. Mary Pius, a widow with five children and fruits seller who was unable to send her children to school, received support while Lawal Seun, a boy and the third child of a blind woman in Ondo town whose husband abandoned with the four children some years ago, returned to secondary school courtesy the SPARK initiative.

As previously done, FirstBank is activating SPARK again this year with more activities added to bolster the impact of the CR&S week and to serve as a platform to implore Nigerians about the long-cherished value of showing empathy and compassion on the four main areas: Education and Scholarship Fund; Welfare Fund for Mothers; Welfare Fund for the Old and Disabled, and Orphanage Support Fund.

 

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