Africa country category winners 2023: Best corporate bank in Nigeria: First Bank of Nigeria
First Bank of Nigeria is the country's third-largest bank, accounting for 10.4% of banking system assets at the end of 2022. Despite tackling a sizeable legacy book of impaired lending, it has built a decent corporate banking business that, by the end of 2022, had an annual turnover of more than N5 billion ($6.4 million).
The banks in each market that have excelled across a range of core banking activities over the past 12 months.
Its lending activities are concentrated in the energy and mining sectors – oil and gas exposure accounted for 31% of net loans at the end of 2022.
Recent transactions have included a $120 million funding for the development of offshore hydrocarbon reserves by a western African sovereign, funding for a group of large steel and aluminium manufacturers through $100 million and $107 million loan facilities for factory expansion and leading the $116 million financing for the development of a deep-sea port by an infrastructure sector player in Nigeria.
The largely US dollar-denominated nature of its lending to the oil and gas sectors means that it has, however, been heavily impacted by the naira devaluation.
The bank has invested in its cash, trade and supply-chain systems, with two million transactions now recorded on the platform. It has also set up an export desk to provide corporate clients with guidance on documentation and risk mitigation tools.