The Management of First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Monday expressed its appreciation to all the customers of the bank for their continued patronage during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, expressed the bank’s appreciation to its customers while welcoming them to various branches and locations from May 4.
Adeduntan also assured the customers that stringent measures had been implemented to ensure its branches and locations across the country operate in line with the health and safety guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
Adeduntan said the bank’s investment in technology over the years helped its staff to work remotely during the lockdown.
“We are glad that our investment in technology over the years has really borne fruit as many of our staff were able to work remotely during the lockdown with effective IT support to hand.
“We were, therefore, able to actively support our customers, their families and businesses through these challenging times.
“We ensured business continuity across eight countries – Nigeria, Ghana; Democratic Republic of Congo; Sierra-Leone; the Gambia, Guinea; Senegal and United Kingdom.
“We recognise that this has truly been a trying period and are poised to continue to provide as much support as we can to our customers and communities we operate in,” he said in a statement.
Adeduntan disclosed that during the period of lockdown, the bank reviewed products and services to support customers better.
He also expressed his appreciation to Nigerians for the whole hearted adoption and patronage of its electronic services, which demonstrated the trust the public reposed in the bank.
“It is for this reason; putting our customers first, that our bank working to regulatory, Federal and State Government directives worked assiduously to keep over 50 per cent of our branches open across all nooks and crannies of the country.
“At the same time, the call centre was re-staffed in the most efficient manner and retooled as we provided even more opportunities for our customers to reach us for their banking needs,” he added.
According to him, the bank recorded approximately 12.6 million withdrawals amounting to about N156 billion across its ATMs well placed across the country during the five-week lockdown.
“Nigerians with First Bank cards used them 105 million times to make payments or withdrawals worth about N1.18 trillion as they relied on us to settle their banking needs
“Our customers made transfers over 106 million times with a total value of about N8.18 Trillion across our digital channels.
“During this period, our 53, 000 plus agents have processed over N512 billion worth of transactions.
“We have also recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering our Firstmobile; USSD and First-Online platforms,” Adeduntan said.
On community impact, he said the bank partnered with other organisations in the private sector to collectively help those most impacted by this pandemic.
He noted that it had contributed N1billion and several volunteer staff towards the efforts of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
This, he said, was to meet the intervention objectives in the key areas of health; testing, provision of much needed health infrastructure, isolation units and raising public awareness and where needed providing food to the most vulnerable.
“As the lockdown is lifted nationwide, we will continue to provide seamless service to our customers ensuring the highest levels of support whilst operating as efficiently as possible, ensuring safety of all is paramount and empowering our staff to drive these goals.
“We will do these with three things in mind: ensuring you are staying safe; supporting your business; and safeguarding our future,” Adeduntan said.