First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s best banking brand and one of West Africa’s largest lenders, has confirmed its pledge to transform its Ghanaian subsidiary, the International Commercial Bank (ICB Bank), into the bank of choice for Ghanaians with the inauguration of a seven-member Board of Directors.
Chaired by the Honourable Joseph Yieleh Chireh, a pharmacist, and a Member of Parliament representing Wa West, the new Board has Mrs. Subu Giwa-Amu, who was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in January and six non-executive directors. The other members of the Board are Mr. Abdul Suleiman Kofarsauri, Mrs. Hannah Brenda Amoateng, Abiodun Tajudeen Odubola, Mr. John Paul Kumi and Mr. Olusanu Abiodun Otudeko.
The CEO, Mrs. Giwa-Amu is a proven professional with a track record of performance spanning over 25 years of diversified banking and real estate investment financing experience and is expected to bring to bear this wealth of experience in positioning the Bank as a leading force in the Ghanaian Financial Industry.
She is known in the industry as a very results-focused banker, her strengths having been abundantly demonstrated in Corporate Transformation, Business Development, Turnaround Management, Profitability Improvement, Treasury & Funds Management as well as Strategic Planning.
Mrs. Giwa-Amu joined FirstBank in June 2001, as Head of Private Banking & Asset Management where she successfully built a portfolio size of ₦1billion (i.e. US$6,077,180 or Ghc 15,177,757) within a year of operation. She rose through the ranks and in January 2010 was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Mortgages Limited (FBN Mortgages Limited). She performed excellently and is credited with delivering the highest ever profit-before-tax in the history of FBN Mortgages Limited. She achieved a balance sheet growth of over 100% within two years and delivered 12 projects within 36 months. Mrs. Giwa-Amu holds Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Warwick in England.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited is Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, established over 119 years ago with an enviable and consistent history of success. The bank currently has the largest and indeed the strongest, balance sheets of any bank in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) and currently operates an extensive distribution network with over 750 business locations (623 branches, 61 quick service points, 69 cash centres and agencies over 2,397 ATMs and well over 9 million customer accounts.
On November 11 last year, First Bank of Nigeria, itself a subsidiary of FBN Holdings PLC, completed the acquisition of 100% of equity interest in the West Africa operations of ICB Bank which includes operations in Ghana, the Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
As a result of this acquisition, FirstBank not only consolidates its position as the largest corporate and retail banking financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa but also delivers against the bank’s ambition of winning significant market share, expanding its pan-African footprints and diversifying earnings while it delivers true value to its shareholders.
ICB Bank Ghana will accordingly be merged into its parent bank – First Bank of Nigeria – and integration is expected to be done in a smooth, gradual and systematic fashion so as to minimize the impact on the bank’s local customers. In that vein, ICB Bank has assured its customers, the public and all stakeholders of a seamless continuation of banking services.
At the inauguration of the new board the CEO, Mrs. Subu Giwa-Amu said:
“The acquisition of ICBGFH assets in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone fulfils the first stage of our ambitions to steadily build a broader and more diverse footprint across Africa. We are committed to developing a multi-local business model that broadens our geographic revenue base while providing enhanced service delivery to our new customers and we are very delighted to be here in Ghana, a growing force in Africa and increasingly an emerging hub of African trade and investments.”
The Chairman, Hon. Joseph Yieleh Chireh, commended FirstBank and said:
“We are very pleased to have FirstBank, one of Africa’s largest banks invest in Ghana and we want to salute the courage and belief the board and management have in the Ghanaian economy; I want to congratulate Ghanaians for this opportunity and implore everyone to support and welcome FirstBank’s family in the very warm Ghanaian tradition.”
Ghanaian financial market watchers and industry analysts have been overly excited about the arrival of Nigeria’s biggest bank in Ghana and although most have wondered why it took FirstBank so long to start business here, many contend that by the time the bank settles into the market, banking will never be the same again in Ghana.
By: Evans Effah/citifmonline.com/Ghana