The word fraud refers to the irregularities involving the use of criminal deception to obtain an unjust or illegal advantage. It send a wave of doubts, curiosity, anxiety and concern to people as regards the safety of be it financial or otherwise. It exists in different sectors of our nations economy, education, agriculture, mining, production, banking etc.
However, First Bank of Nigeria Plc was founded in 1894, by a shipping magnate from Liverpool, Sir Alfred Jones, the Bank commenced as a small operation in the office of Elder Dumpster & company in Lagos.
The Bank was incorporated as a limited liability company on March 31, 1894 with Head office in Liverpool. It started business under the corporate name of the Bank for British West Africa (BBWA) with a paid – up capital of 12,000pounds sterling, after absorbing its predecessor, the African Banking Corporation, which was established earlier in 1892. This signaled the pre – eminent position which the Bank was to establish in the banking industry in West Africa. In the early years of operations, the Bank recorded an impressive growth and worked closely with the colonial government in performing the traditional functions of a central bank, such as issue of specie in the West African sub region
To justify its West Africa coverage, a branch was opened I Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1896 and another in Freetown, Sierre Leone in 1898. These marked the genesis of the Bank’s international banking operations. The second branch of the Bank in Nigeria was in the old Calabar in 1900 and two years later services were extended to Northern Nigeria.
Currently with 339 branches spread throughout the federation, the Bank maintains the largest branch network in the industry. The Bank became the first financial institution in Nigeria to establish a subsidiary bank in the United Kingdom.
Over the years, the Bank has experienced phenomenal growth. With a share capital of N55.6 million in 1980, the Bank share capital grew to N1.270 billion as at March 2003. the bank’s total asset base was N320.58 billion while its deposit base stood at N193.955 billion as at March 2003. Also the Bank’s market capitalization stood at N66.05 billion i.e. N26.00k per share as at 31st March 2003.
To reposition and to take advantage of opportunities in the changing environment, the Bank embarked on several restructuring initiatives. In 1957, it changed its name from Bank of British West Africa to Bank of West Africa in 1969, the Bank was incorporated locally as the standard Bank of Nigeria Limited in line with the companies Decree of 1968.
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