FirstBank enters back-to-school mode, unveils educational products
By Ada Anioji
As schools across Nigeria re-open and with an eye to maximally tapping the economic possibilities of the institutions and personnel that service about 35million young people that are enrolled in schools all across the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, which recently unveiled a new leadership to pilot its affairs from the turn of the year 2016, has announced that it is set to support schools and educational Institutions with their educational requirements to enhance preparations for the new school year.
A statement from the bank and signed by Folake Folake Ani-Mumuney, its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications outlines that ‘the Bank’s support for educational development of the child and the institution is an offshoot of the Bank’s focus on entrepreneurship, financial empowerment and development as well as financial inclusion for the youth.’
She listed the educational product offerings on offer to include: ‘The FirstEdu Loan, Operational Vehicle Loan, Commercial Mortgage and Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) which enhances Parents/Guidance’s capacity to pay their wards’ school fees.’
The bank’s statement further explores the contents and features of the respective products on offer.
‘The FirstEdu loan is targeted at private Nursery, Secondary and A-Levels schools. The product offers opportunity for private schools to access flexible funding to meet urgent cash flow needs, replace old furniture and equipment, as well as refurbish dilapidated buildings and classroom blocks. With this product, school owners/proprietors can stay ahead of competition in providing educational services and support to the target population by maintaining acceptable standard infrastructure at all times. This product allows the customer access up to N10 million with no tangible collateral required apart from the domiciliation of school account with the Bank. This reduces the cost of borrowing to the customer and eliminates the challenges posed by the provision of additional demanding collaterals.
The Operational Vehicle Loan is targeted at registered businesses. It allows the entrepreneur to acquire brand new vehicles for the day to day operation of the business. Organisations can take advantage of this facility to purchase school buses in the case of school proprietors and even upscale their staff welfare schemes through provision of staff buses. The organisation can access up to N10 million, for a single transaction, with flexible repayment plan spread over 36 months. The minimum equity contribution is 30% and the purchased vehicle doubles as collateral for the loan.
The commercial mortgage facility offers flexible financing options for the acquisition of landed property for commercial purposes. Customers can now own their business premises and even earn rental income on acquired property. This product enhances wealth creation for customers given the capital appreciation on the property on the long run as well as the additional source of revenue from rentals. Again, the property financed is the only collateral required.
Personal Loan against Salary (PLAS) offers customers in paid employment access to cash to meet immediate financial needs such as payment of school fees, medical treatment, holiday expenses, etc. PLAS has a flexible repayment plan spread up to 48 months for our customers’ convenience. There is no equity contribution or collateral requirement. Only a salary account will qualify you to access PLAS if you work with any of FirstBank’s approved list of employers.’
Shedding more light on the facilities, Mrs. Adebimpe Ihekuna, Head of Consumer Banking Products at FirstBank, noted that the raison d’être was for the Bank to constantly serve as a sturdy financial platform to support the life styles of its customers. “In developing our products, we would continue to demonstrate an understanding of our customers’ modern lives, change in taste and behaviour to become their trusted partner”, she said.
A subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, the bank is Nigeria’s leading financial services institution by total assets and gross earnings and one of the largest corporate and retail banking financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 1894, the Bank operates an extensive distribution network with over 750 business locations (623 branches, 61 quick service points and 69 cash centers/agencies), over 2,464 ATM’s and over 10 million customer accounts.
It also provides a comprehensive range of financial services and has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank DR Congo, FBNBank Ghana, International Commercial Bank (ICB) The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal as well as its Representative Offices in Johannesburg, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.