First National Bank Ghana is a subsidiary of South Africa’s FirstRand Group which is the largest bank in Africa by market capitalisation listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange –
FNB’s advice-led approach to financial services earns global recognition
Months after its major brand refresh, new digital interfaces and a new approach to integrated advice, First National Bank (FNB) has been named the Strongest Banking Brand in the World in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2023 report. FNB emerged as the leader among the world’s 500 largest banks, with an impressive Brand Strength Index score of 93 (out of 100), a AAA+ rating, and a brand value of $1,540 billion.
Africa’s largest bourse. First National Bank is leveraging off the experience and financial muscle of its parent company to excel in Ghana.
Today, we are the second largest bank based in Pennsylvania by assets and are recognized as a leader in innovation across our growing seven-state footprint.
While there have been many changes since our humble beginnings, our focus on doing what’s right for our customers and communities continues to define us today as it did at our very beginning. Here’s a brief timeline of FNB’s journey from our roots as a largely rural institution to become one of the 50 largest bank holding companies based in the U.S. by total assets.
- 1864: First National Bank is founded in Greenville, Pennsylvania, as The First National Bank of West Greenville. The Bank operates out of the house of the first Bank President Samuel P. Johnston.
- 1884: Re-chartered as The First National Bank of Greenville, the bank will remain a fixture in Mercer County through World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
- 1946: Assets grow to approximately $2 million.
- 1974: F.N.B. Corporation is established as a financial services holding company for a growing family of business entities that today includes:
- The Bank
- First National Insurance Agency, established in 1998
- F.N.B. Wealth Management, established in 1998
- 1992: The Bank becomes First National Bank of Pennsylvania following a successful merger in northwestern Pennsylvania.
- 2003: F.N.B. Corporation, with assets of $4.6 billion and more than 125 locations, begins trading common shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FNB.”
- 2005: Current Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vincent J. Delie, Jr., joins FNB as President of the Pittsburgh Region. Delie was named CEO in 2012.
- 2005-2016: FNB completes 14 acquisitions and achieves top retail deposit share in three major metropolitan statistical areas: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio; and Baltimore, Maryland.
- 2014: FNB officially moves its corporate headquarters to Pittsburgh from Hermitage, Pennsylvania.
- 2016: FNB exceeds a milestone $20 billion in assets, making it the second largest bank based in Pittsburgh and across the state of Pennsylvania by assets.
- 2017: FNB begins serving customers in the Southeastern U.S as it expands into North Carolina and South Carolina through a merger with Yadkin Financial Corporation.
- 2020: FNB expands its physical branch network to include Washington, D.C. and Virginia, adding to its existing retail and commercial banking presence in the region.
- 2021: FNB breaks ground on FNB Financial Center, its new headquarters, located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA.
- 2022: FNB completes mergers with Howard Bancorp, Inc. and UB Bancorp, strengthening its presence in the Mid-Atlantic and North Carolina.
The Strongest Banking Brand acknowledgement is determined through an independent brand valuation where scores for independent measures are informed by brand investment (including products, service and innovation), brand equity (functional and emotional drivers), and financial performance data (incl. current revenue, price premium). In the 2023 rankings FNB improved across several metrics including positive brand sentiment and various financial performance measures (incl. improved forecasted growth rates). Additionally, a strong banking brand should be able to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. This is certainly true for FNB, which has been at the forefront of introducing new technologies and platforms that make financial and lifestyle services more convenient and accessible for customers. It was the first bank in Africa to introduce a mobile banking app and online banking, allowing customers to manage their money from anywhere at any time.
FNB CEO, Jacques Celliers says, one of the key reasons for their continued success is their commitment to platform innovation and advice-led financial services. “Our advice-led approach to financial services offers customers the full benefits of personalised help across our range of solutions. This helps customers make more informed decisions about their finances, such as identifying potential financial risks and opportunities. Overall, our aim is to help customers achieve their goals and aspirations by improving their financial well-being. Our success over the 185 years of our brand’s existence is also due to the high levels of trust and loyalty shown by our customers, and this is something we deeply cherish.”
FNB Chief Marketing Officer, Faye Mfikwe, adds that “our recent efforts to refresh our iconic brand, interfaces and value propositions was not only designed to help customers with their needs, but to equally broaden our brand’s appeal and transcend geographical limitations. This accolade gives us impetus to continue making a difference in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve. Furthermore, we believe that a one-of-a-kind global recognition such as this one can be instrumental in inspiring hope to people on our continent about the limitless possibilities when we all strive to be #changeables at heart.”
FNB’s commitment to partner in building sustainable communities has also contributed to its strong brand. The bank has implemented various initiatives to support sustainable development, with an emphasis on environmental and social responsibility. Over the years, FNB has increased its efforts to broaden financial inclusion across the African continent, investing in local markets to open purpose-built branches and other points of presence. Similarly, there have been strong partnerships with local businesses through agile business models that enable communities and the bank to derive shared value.
Jeremy Sampson from Brand Finance says, “we’re pleased to once again see that brands on the African continent continue to make their presence felt across the world. Our survey comes at a crucial time when brands are facing global uncertainty, and our models can, to a degree, become a yardstick for brands that are focused on building a sustainable future and businesses. The Strongest Brand accolade is highly contested, which means any brand that emerges at the top can be proud of its efforts.”
FNB is no stranger to global acclaim after its eBucks Rewards programme was ranked first in the world for its use of technology 2022, while at the global MVNO Awards, FNB Connect was named Digital MVNO of the Year in the same year. Some years back, FNB was also recognised as the Most Innovative Bank in the World.