FCMB and Sustainability

Our vision at FCMB Group Plc (the Group) is ‘to be the premier financial services group of African origin’.

Achieving this vision is dependent on the long-term success of our stakeholders and the environment in which we do business. This is why we are committed to ensuring effective corporate governance, sustainable value creation and application of effective risk management principles in our operations.

Today, we have over 2500 employees and daily operations in 220 branches, cash and (Flexx Hub) centres across Nigeria. This makes FCMB one of the country’s foremost financial institutions and a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic development. For us, building a successful and sustainable business goes beyond financial performance, which is why our emphasis is not just on what we achieve as an organisation but how we achieve it.

Our business activities and operations are designed to ensure that we lend responsibly, promote financial inclusion, encourage diversity, adhere to health and safety standards, and reduce (or totally avoid where possible) negative impact on the environment, while continuing to grow a profitable and sustainable business.

The Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs)

At FCMB, Sustainability is embedded in our Core Values and Risk Principles. Our sustainability agenda is underpinned by the nine pillars of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) developed and adopted by the Bankers’ Committee in 2012. The NSBPs encourage banks to promote economic growth and business opportunities, and enhance innovation and competitiveness, whilst protecting communities and the environment in the normal course of duty.

Our business decisions take into cognisance, factors that could negatively impact the environment, society and hinder long-term growth prospects.

Social and environmental due diligence remains a crucial part of our credit screening and has been embedded in our risk management framework and transaction cycle.

As a responsible lender, we actively manage environmental and social risks. In addition, we support business opportunities that align with sustainability principles.


Principle 1 – Our Business Activities: Environmental and Social Risk Management

Sustainability is embedded in our core values and Risk Principles. As a responsible lender, we actively manage environmental and social risks, support business opportunities and reduce the impact of our operations. This goal is enforced through the development of robust policies and procedures aimed at integrating Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS) initiatives into our lending process.

Our SEMS policy is to ensure that environmental and social commitment forms an integral part of our operations and processes. We manage processes to identify risks associated with borrower’s activities and projects by:

Providing guidelines to conduct business in a manner that will promote and protect the health and safety of employees, customers and the general public.

Devising action plans to avoid, minimize or mitigate social and environmental challenges

Post disbursement monitoring, reporting and compliance with the Nigerian Sustainability Banking Principles and other applicable environmental legislations as well as internal policies and guidelines.


Principle 2 – Our Business Operations: Environmental and Social Footprint

Environmental Footprint

FCMB has identified the key areas where our business impacts the environment as follows: energy consumption and efficiency, waste production and management, paper usage and transportation and water consumption. We are committed to reducing our overall environmental footprint and are actively taking steps to achieve this. The steps are:

  • Evening shut-down policy (7pm for branches, 8pm for head office) to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions
  • Annual participation in Earth Hour
  • Pilot programme introduced for proper disposal of waste paper
  • Tracking of printing costs and paper usage
  • E-products that help to reduce paper usage
  • Use of online documents for meetings to reduce print requirements
  • Investment in teleconferencing to reduce travel to meetings
  • Deployment of E-learning Platform to achieve seamless access to online trainings, bridging knowledge gaps.
  • Introduction of buses used for mass commuting of staff, and possible introduction of running buses on compressed natural gas instead of petrol/diesel within next two years
  • Dual-flush of toilets at Head Office to help save water, with potential installation across our offices if successful.
  • Corporate recycling to cultivate the habit of collection and re-use of recyclable items.
  • In addition, Knowledge improvement programs (KIP) are held continually to sensitize the bank staff on the importance of SEMS; thereby promoting a culture of personal adherence to SEMS principles. An E-learning course on SEMS has also been employed.


Social Footprint 

Our Employees

We are committed to improving the livelihood of our employees through effective engagements, health programmes, training and adequate compensation. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to providing a safe and conducive work environment for all our employees, including the physically challenged, to enable them carry out their duties in line with the Group’s strategic objectives whilst developing their careers. The Group currently has a number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce. These include visually impaired staff and employees with prosthetic limbs, all of whom carry out their duties professionally.

Work-Life Balance

FCMB is committed to a work-life balance for its employees. The Group accommodates flexible working hours and employees have the opportunity to be deployed or redeployed to branches and offices close to their homes. The Group pays particular attention to promoting and preserving quality time for its employees to spend with family and loved ones. A few initiatives include:

  • Our shutdown policy, which mandates branches to shut down at 7pm. It is to ensure that employees do not stay late in the office. 
  • Weekend assignments are not encouraged and where unavoidable, an employee is not supposed to work more than one Saturday per month. While we place great value on training our employees, weekend training sessions have been drastically reduced. We have invested in the use of technology, with our employees having the flexibility of continuous learning via online platforms. 


Training and Development  

At the centre of our businesses lies a talented workforce that delivers a comprehensive bouquet of financial services. We are committed to harnessing our employees’ potential through continuous training and development. To this end, we have created our own dedicated FCMB Training Academy, which designs and delivers a range of programmes to address our employees’ learning and development needs. Each employee is encouraged to undergo 60 hours of training and development annually, through a combination of classroom and online programmes. In 2016, the Group invested over N800 million in staff training and development.

Mentoring Schemes  

As part of the learning and career development plan for overall organizational Effectiveness, we have mentoring programs in place. The mentoring Program is targeted at employees who were recruited into the Bank through our six months Management Development Program as well as women in middle management level in the Bank. We also register members of our top management (Operational and Strategic leaders) for a structured, one-on-one executive coaching program, which spans for a period of 3–6 months. The Coaching and Mentoring Programs are being deployed by external consultants (Certified Coaches) and selected senior employees of the Bank respectively, in addition to other enhanced learning programs conducted during the year.


Career Development Opportunities

FCMB has the following initiatives in place to provide employees with improved career development opportunities:

  • A dedicated career management desk to address all employee career management and development activities within the organisation
  • A career management portal where employees can identify potential career opportunities and chart a career path trajectory within the organisation
  • The FCMB Management Development Programme (MDP) which offers talented and high-potential candidates the opportunity to join the exciting world of a specialised financial services organisation, is designed to identify and nurture dynamic leaders via a two-stage programme.


Annual Employees Awards          

The Annual Employees Awards were instituted to celebrate and encourage employees who achieve outstanding results in their primary job functions at the end of each business year. Awards are presented in several categories to ensure staff across an array of functions are recognised and rewarded.


Employee Surveys          

We are committed to making FCMB a Great Place to Work and our talent attrition target is less than 2% of total talent pool. Through the annual Employee Survey, an exercise initiated over three years ago, we have been able to measure employee engagement and loyalty. More importantly, it gives us bottom-up feedback to foster understanding of the issues that need to be addressed in order to make FCMB a Great Place to Work. For each employee category, results reveal what the Group is doing right and areas for improvement. Each employee’s evolution from one year to another is monitored and key performance indicators, within our core values of Professionalism, Sustainability, Excellence and Customer Focus, are attached to them.


Providing Access for our Customers with Disabilities

FCMB is committed to ensuring that possessing a disability is not a hindrance to accessing our services. Consequently, 25 of the Bank’s branches have wheelchair ramps and there is a plan in place to install these at more branches. This aligns with our promise to be a helpful institution. We also have friendly, courteous and professional staff who go the extra mile to create a convenient environment and experience for customers, including those with special requirements.


Principle 3 – Human Rights

FCMB has fair recruitment practices that are non-discriminatory. We also practice fair remuneration across similar skills and responsibility sets. The Group has embedded human rights principles into its governance policies across the board. The stand-alone Human Rights policy, which expresses FCMB’s commitment towards respecting and promoting human rights, is also being revised. In addition, as part of our Social and Environmental Management System, the Group’s site visitation team note human rights issues as part of the system’s checklist to ensure our clients are not violating human rights.


Principle 4 – Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Group has a non-discriminatory hiring policy. About 41.5 % of our employees are women, and we currently have nine women in upper management holding key roles in the Group, including the heads of Legal, Human Resources, Transaction Banking, Corporate Banking, Marketing, Investment banking, Risk Management, Regional Head – Lagos, and the Chief Financial Officer – posts which could collectively be referred to as the bedrock of banking itself. FCMB has a Women’s Network, which serves as a mentorship platform for young female employees within the Group. FCMB Women also unite to support less privileged communities and children through donations and active voluntary services. The Group supports women-owned businesses, automates the tracking of “women owned/managed business” and makes provisions that enable women to harness available business opportunities.


Principle 5 – Financial Inclusion

FCMB’s operating companies have innovative products and services to cater for the under-banked, unbanked and disadvantaged individuals in society. We have also simplified our processes to enable more people have access to financial services. Such products include our Nairawise Account, FlashmeCash and Agent Banking, which are all in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion agenda.

  • Nairawise Account: A savings account that can be opened with only one passport photograph. No other means of identification or initial deposit is required. The aim of this account is to encourage the unbanked (who often consider the account opening process tedious and cumbersome)cultivate the habit of saving. 
  • FlashmeCash: A mobile payment solution targeted at rural dwellers who do not have access to banks in their immediate environment. The platform currently enables the transfer of money, purchase of airtime, bills payment, payment for goods and services and sending of bulk text messages via mobile phones and the internet. 
  • E-Savings: An electronic savings account through which a customer completes the account opening process without filling out physical form(s) or visiting the bank. This process was introduced in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s “Know Your Customer” requirements.
  • Fcmb Flexx: An account type targeted at the youth within the bracket age of 16-25 years.    


The bank granted over 200,000 loans in 2014, with the agricultural sector taking about 7% of the total portfolio. The bank has instituted a micro-finance model in which small-scale loans of N 100,000 each or less are made available to a large number of micro enterprises to support and grow their businesses.


Principle 6 – Environmental and Social Governance.

FCMB’s Sustainability Team was created in 2012 to co-ordinate the overall implementation of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles across business activities and operations. To further support the activities of the team, we have appointed sustainability champions within operations, administration, human resources and credit risk management. A Social and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) officer ensures effective oversight of E&S risk management, especially as it relates to the Group’s business activities. The corporate social responsibility and sustainability teams ensure that the Group’s sustainability agenda is promoted through the business operations. Also, the bank has instituted a Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) for effective implementation of the bank’s commitments towards sustainability. The SSC’s main purpose is to foster a culture of sustainability at FCMB through planning and managing the integration of the bank’s sustainability strategy as approved by Executive Management.


Principle 7 – Capacity Building

Social and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) principles have been institutionalized to promote ownership. This includes regular training of staff via e-learning, the in-house Knowledge Improvement Program-“KIP” and train-the-trainer initiatives. This is now a requirement for all staff and has significant weighting in the appraisal system.

About 1,970 officers (including senior management) completed the Managing Environmental and Social Performance and the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) sustainability training on FCMB’s e-learning programme (STEP), comprising 13 modules.

Our engagement with other players in the industry and major multilateral agencies, like the IFC and FMO (the Dutch development bank), also provides crucial support and knowledge transfer. The Group also supports capacity building for the media to enhance their reporting skills – In October 2016, FCMB organised a capacity building programme/media parley for 40 journalists. This is hinged on sustainability since its inception in September 2014. 

In addition, FCMB signed up for training on Financial Analyses for Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency and related matters through Winrock International/USAID Nigeria Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project Capacity Building Programme. Some staff have also undergone training on Sustainable Energy Finance anchored by IFC staff.


Principle 8 – Collaborative Partnership

In the second quarter of 2014, FCMB participated in a Knowledge Sharing Teleconference, facilitated by the Dutch FMO, between FCMB and Banpro of Nicaragua in the area of green lending. The Group also participated in various industry training programmes organised by sectorial partners, namely the Risk Managers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), the Dutch FMO, the Africa Finance Development Bank (AfDB) and the NSBP Steering Committee, to ensure exposure that will boost sectorial development. FCMB works with reputable organisations to achieve mutually beneficial objectives and to carry out its initiatives. These organisations  include House of Tara, Doreo Partners, Jakin NGO, Kinabuti Fashion Initiative, etc.

In 2016, FCMB became a member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, the foremost environmental NGO to promote sustainable use of natural resources to benefit the future and minimise pollution and utilization of renewable resources.

FCMB is about to kick off the IFC/FCMB SEF project 


Principle 9- Reporting

To ensure real integration of sustainability into its strategy and processes, FCMB has instituted internal quarterly reporting on sustainability which enables the Group to monitor its progress and address issues in an independent manner. FCMB complies with the CBN’s one-off and semi-annual reports in line with the NSBPs (Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles).FCMB submits periodic reports to the International Finance Corporation on Social and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS). Also, SEMS has been included as a reportable event under the Bank’s whistle blowing policy.