Coronavirus: First Bank closes physical branches

A n empty First Bank banking hall [Photo: FBN PLC]
A n empty First Bank banking hall [Photo: FBN PLC]

First Bank of Nigeria on Friday announced the closure of its physical branches in the light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resultant lockdown in different states of the federation.

The bank made the announcement in a letter to its depositors on Friday entitled: ‘Physical branches closed, virtual branches open’.

“In light of COVID-19 and the lockdown being experienced in different states, be informed that we have made arrangements to ensure the availability of ATM services at our branches across the country.

“We, however, urge you to make use of our alternative channels for all transactions during these period.

“All our alternative channels will be available for you daily,” the bank said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank had recently announced measures it took to control the spread of the COVID–19.

In a statement, the bank’s Group Head, Folake Ani-Mumuney, assured stakeholders of business continuity management.

“Embedded in our corporate strategy is business continuity management that ensures delivery of products, services and initiatives to our stakeholders and enabling the economy in the long-term with minimal impact.

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“Therefore, we have employed necessary measures to keep our employees, customers and the general public safe-guarded and sensitised on preventive steps to flatten the curve at the fastest possible rate.

“These include the deployment of temperature measuring tools, hand sanitisers and face masks and adopting social distancing including utilising virtual meetings,” she said.

She added that the bank had cancelled owned and partnered planned events in the interim, suspended staff travels and put measures in place to identify and communicate to staff arriving from affected countries to self-quarantine, following the established protocols by the World Health Organisation and the federal government.

“We implore all our customers to embrace cashless transactions across our self-service platforms such as *894# USSD banking services, FirstMobile, WhatsApp Banking.

“Others are First Online for needs such as fund transfer, bill payment, credit and internet data recharge and much more.

“In need of quick loans, these self-service platforms are also designed to meet immediate needs through our FirstAdvance service,” she said.

Mrs Ani-Mumuney said the bank was committed to protecting the health and safety of all its staff, customers and host communities.

She expressed optimism that, with collective efforts, Nigeria would soon win the fight against coronavirus.


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