FirstBank Plc has been announced as winner of the “Bank of the Year in Nigeria 2012” Award by The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London. The award ceremony, now in its 13th edition, celebrates the success and major achievements of the world’s leading financial institutions.
The Banker Magazine award is regarded as the industry’s standard for banking excellence and nominees are judged by their ability to deliver shareholder returns and gain strategic advantage in terms of market visibility and positioning.
According to the award committee, FirstBank Plc led the sector largely due to its sustained top flight performance over the years across several indices.
“Its balance sheet, which at the end of September this year stood just shy of $20 billion, grew 23 per cent in 2011. Its net profits rose a particularly impressive 95 per cent to N66 billion ($410 million). This year looks even better, based on interim results.”
The award was received by FirstBank’s Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney.
The committee also noted that FirstBank has in the past couple of years, begun to focus more on costs and efficiency. “Plenty of emphasis has been placed on cross-selling to generate non-interest revenues, which grew 36 per cent in 2011 to N75 billion. During the same year, it halved its average cost of funds from 3.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent by attracting more low-cost deposits,” it added.