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Showcasing FirstAdvance, FirstBank PLAS on Workers’ Day

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Penultimate week, First Bank of Nigeria Limited joined workers across the countries to celebrate International workers Day. AMAKA IFEAKANDU looks at the bank’s efforts in supporting workers across the country through its products- FirstAdvance and FirstBank PLAS.

Globally, Workers’ Day is celebrated to honour workers and recognise their contribution to the growth of the economy. The Day is set aside to commemorate the achievements of labour movement.

Although in the past, workers were not always celebrated, but it took the efforts of several brave men and women that fought the battle to achieve workers’ recognition across the world.

The day is a special day for working people to have some rest from their usual labour. It is an opportunity to campaign for workers’ rights, show solidarity with other working people and to celebrate the achievements of workers all over the world. To many, Workers’ Day stands for freedom, consideration and humanity.

Why International workers day introduced

Available data showed that the May Day which popularly known as International Workers’ Day, started 1860s when working conditions were harsh and people work for 10 to 16 hour a day in hazardous and unsafe conditions in some industries. Thousands of men, women and children were losing their lives every year in the workplace due to hazardous working conditions and the employers seemed unbothered. Life expectancy was as low as early twenties in some of these industries.

Out of desperation, some of the workers tried to shorten the workday to 8 hours without a pay cut. The situation attracted nationwide protest May 1, 1886 in demonstration of support for the 8-hour workday. In Nigeria, May Day as a holiday was first declared by the People Redemption Party (PRP) Government of Kano State in 1980. It became a national holiday on May 1, 1981.

FirstBank celebrates

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s most valuable banking brand, joined other countries across the globe to celebrate International Workers’ Day May 1, 2022 to appreciate workers’ contribution to the society and country at large.

The Bank in its own context see workers day as “a day to put up your feet and relax and a day to get away from usual daily hustle.”

With the believe that hard work is a key to success, the bank encourages workers, saying “with all your hard work, you have truly earned it. We put you first every day. As you take that well deserved rest today, we would like you to know that our alternative channels are still working for you.”

First Bank Products to support workers

Apart from celebrating workers on the international workers day, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has special products designed specifically to ensure that workers and customers meet their urgent needs. The Bank has developed different products that will enable people access quick loan to meet their respective problems in times of financial needs. These products helped to ease customers pressure in meeting their immediate and medium term goals.

With support from the bank salary account holders can gain more than just receiving their monthly pay. Some of these accounts have inherent wealth that can be unlocked to help the customer achieve dreams that will make him/ her fulfilled on the job and be on top of situations at home and at work. The bank loan products include , First Bank’s FirstAdvance, Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS)

First Bank’s FirstAdvance

FirstAdvance is a digital lending solution designed to offer convenient and easy access to cash for payroll customers awaiting payment of their salaries. The product is designed for salary earners whose accounts are domiciled with FirstBank and have received regular salaries in the last six months or more. Maximum amount to be accessed by customer is N500,000 subject to 50 per cent of net average three months salary, whichever is lower while the eligible amount will be calculated after deducting all other loan obligations to the Bank. This product can be accessed through First Bank digital channels: FirstMobile and USSD.

How to access FirstAdvance loan

Giving further explanation on the product, the bank said First Bank shall grant a salary advance called FirstAdvance to interested and eligible customers of the bank whose salaries accounts have domiciled with First Bank for a minimum of two months or salary earners willing to move their salary account to the bank. To access the fund, customers must have salary account with FirstBank, loan amount up to 50 per cent of net monthly income will be received with 30 days tenor or next pay day. The customers are to pay interest rate of 2.5 per cent flat which are collected upfront and maximum single obligor limit of N500,000 required. The customer also expected to pay Management fee of 1.0 per cent flat and Credit Life Insurance of 0.50 per cent. According to the First Bank the loan can be accessed up to three times a day subject to maximum eligible amount while the Risk Acceptance Criteria for FirstAdvance is automated.

Loan repayment

On the repayment, the bank says the loan is taken immediately salary is received, while a lien is placed on unfunded account, adding that all fees, including Interest rate are collected upfront upon disbursement of the loan. The bank says the facility shall be secured with the irrevocable Domiciliation of Salary and Credit life insurance covering the risk of death/disability, and retrenchment of the Borrower within the tenor of the loan. Employer’s undertaking to domicile salaries and any other allowances, emoluments, entitlements and terminal benefits of employees to the Bank.

Benefits

One of the things that make the product unique among others was that FirstAdvance loan is easy to access while disbursement of the loan takes place within a minute. The product is very competitive and does not require documentation. The product has self-liquidation option at no cost to customers by only dialing x849*11# and follow prompt. FirstAdvance is available on FirstBank LIT App, inclusive of the First Mobile App. New features to the product include pre and post loan maturity SME to borrowing customer’s already mature and overdue loan.

Performance

FirstAdvance has continued to record good performance in terms of increase in the number of users, volume and value of transactions on the platform. The product recorded 1,790, 735 transactions valued at N40, 043,490,535 in 2021. According to data from the bank, a total volume of 580,363 valued at N13,786,739,426 traded from January till date on its platform. The accessibility of the products by customers went to 215376 in 2021 while from January 2022 till date the number of customers requested for the product stands at 180,133.

Survey

The recent survey conducted by the bank on FirstAdvance performance shows the bank customers encourages the management to continue with the product. Some of their reactions read in parts:”Keep the good work going because you have saved people’s lives in one way or the other.” Others see it as a fantastic idea, the best product with an excellent service and urge the bank to keep the good work.

First Bank Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS)

FirstBank’s Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS) is a loan package created by First Bank of Nigeria to help salary earners access funds to solve their various problems and meet their obligations. The product also creates opportunities for salary accounts holders to unlock the wealth in their accounts. The product provides opportunity for salary account holders to access fund that will help them pursue capital projects, carry out renovation works on their properties, acquire assets, give their children the best education and other fulfilling accomplishments. The scheme offers options to top-up and refinance existing loans at competitive rates. These flexible options were created to offer convenience and reward customer as we stay true to our brand promise of ‘YOU First’.”

Product performance

FirstBank’s PLAS has remained workers best choice in terms of accessing loans to meet their various needs. The product in 2021 alone recorded 51,202 transactions valued at N68,065,734,178.00.. Available data from the bank showed that the bank transacted 13,236 worth N22,119,997,034 from January 2022 till date. The number of customers that have access to to the product stood at 50987 in 2021 while 13224 customers admitted in the platform between January till date. The top 3 ups on the product was that the PLAS has very competitive pricing, loan repayment tenor up to 72 months while the worker will access loan amounting up to N70 million.

Benefits

FirstBank PLAS will also help customers to meet rent obligations, vacation trips to choice destinations and pay for professional examinations to take their career to the next level. With the Personal Loan Against Salary (PLAS), Nigerian salary earners need to be assured of a funding partner in FirstBank to fulfill their dreams. PLAS is available to employees whose salary accounts are domiciled with FirstBank.