The oldest Nigerian financial institution, First Bank Plc, on Monday listed its existing shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) under a new name – First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc (FBN) – in what top officials said was a way of reorganising the group along business lines and to make it more efficient.
It is also to make it achieve greater specialization and deepen market focus across the group.
“We at First Bank Group had evaluated our strategy and had come to the conclusion that there was need for us to restructure ourselves along business lines with the commercial banking group standing on its own and investment banking and assets management also another business segment. The Insurance segment is the third and then you have other financial services,” FBN Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bello Maccido, told journalists shortly after giving the facts behind the company’s listing at the floor of the Stock Exchange.
The move was in line with the 2010 directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the nation’s Banks to separate commercial banking from non-core commercial banking.
Maccido said as far back as 2009, the bank had evaluated the sector and had come to the conclusion that there was need for it to restructure along business lines and to adopt the grouping structure.
This is the first time the bank is adopting the new structure since it listed its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971.
Maccido said he believed it was the structure that would make it achieve its goals of being a leading financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.
“So by organising ourselves across business segments we are doing so in a way that we can increase our specialization, knowledge of the individual markets. And by knowing the market better, you create products that serve the customers.
“So for every one share you hold in First Bank, you are now given one share in FBN Holdings,” he said.