Names of Old Banks in Nigeria (1894 Till Date – 2023)

We will be discussing the names of old banks in Nigeria. Our country has a rich history, and part of that history includes the evolution of our banking sector. In this article, I will take you on a trip down memory lane and share with you the names of some old banks in Nigeria that have played significant roles in our financial landscape. So, let’s dive in!

Nigeria’s banking sector has come a long way since its inception. Over the years, several banks have emerged, some of which are now known as ‘old banks’ due to their long-standing presence in the industry. These banks have witnessed the growth and transformation of our nation and have played integral roles in the development of our economy.

Names of Old Banks in Nigeria

Here’s a list of the names of old banks in Nigeria and how they got started.

  1. First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FBN)

    • Year Established: 1894
    • Brief History: First Bank of Nigeria, often referred to as FirstBank, is widely regarded as the oldest bank in Nigeria. It was founded in 1894 as the Bank of British West Africa. Over the years, it has played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s financial history, providing financial stability and support to individuals and businesses.
  2. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc

    • Year Established: 1917
    • Brief History: Union Bank, previously known as Colonial Bank, has a history dating back to 1917. In 1925 the bank became known as Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas). Today, it is part of Union Bank of Nigeria, contributing to the bank’s rich history. It has been a prominent financial institution in Nigeria, offering banking services and contributing to the nation’s economic development.
  3. Wema Bank Plc

    • Year Established: 1945
    • Brief History: Wema Bank, formerly known as Agbonmagbe Bank, was established in 1945. It has a rich history of providing financial services to Nigerians and supporting economic growth.
  4. United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA)

    • Year Established: 1949
    • Brief History: UBA was founded in 1949 as the British and French Bank. It has evolved over the years to become one of Nigeria’s leading banks, offering a wide range of financial services.
  5. Zenith Bank Plc

    • Year Established: 1990
    • Brief History: Zenith Bank, though relatively newer compared to some others on this list, was established in 1990. It has rapidly risen to prominence in the Nigerian banking sector and is known for its innovative services and commitment to customer satisfaction.
  6. African Banking Corporation (ABC)

    • Year Established: 1892
    • Brief History: The African Banking Corporation was founded in 1892 and played a significant role in providing banking services during the colonial era and post-independence Nigeria.
  7. National Bank of Nigeria

    • Year Established: 1933
    • Brief History: The National Bank of Nigeria, established in 1933, operated as a commercial bank and contributed to the growth of Nigeria’s economy during a significant part of its history.
  8. African Continental Bank (ACB)

    • Year Established: 1947
    • Brief History: The African Continental Bank was founded in 1947 and served as a prominent financial institution, offering banking services to Nigerians.
  9. Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria

    • Year Established: 1969
    • Brief History: Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria has been operating since 1969, providing a wide range of banking and financial services to individuals and businesses.
  10. Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank)

    • Year Established: 1990
    • Brief History: Guaranty Trust Bank, often known as GTBank, was established in 1990 and has quickly risen to become one of Nigeria’s leading banks, known for its innovative banking solutions.
  11. Access Bank Plc

    • Year Established: 1989
    • Brief History: Access Bank Plc was founded in 1989 and has grown to be one of Nigeria’s largest banks, offering a broad spectrum of financial services.
  12. Sterling Bank Plc

    • Year Established: 1960
    • Brief History: Sterling Bank, formerly known as NAL Bank, was established in 1960. It has a history of providing financial services and supporting various economic sectors.
  13. Fidelity Bank Plc

    • Year Established: 1988
    • Brief History: Fidelity Bank Plc was founded in 1988 and has since become a prominent financial institution in Nigeria.
  14. Ecobank Nigeria

    • Year Established: 1986
    • Brief History: Ecobank Nigeria, established in 1986, is part of the Ecobank Group and provides a wide range of banking and financial services.
  15. Stanbic IBTC Bank

    • Year Established: 1989
    • Brief History: Stanbic IBTC Bank, established in 1989, has grown to be a significant player in the Nigerian banking sector, offering a diverse range of financial products and services.


These are the names of old banks in Nigeria and their year of establishment. They are arranged in no particular order. These institutions collectively and collaboratively form the backbone of the nation’s financial sector, providing various banking and financial services to the Nigerian populace. These old banks have been pillars of support for various economic activities in Nigeria. They’ve provided financial stability, fostered growth in different sectors, and have played vital roles in facilitating trade and investment.


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