Letshego Holdings Limited, the financial inclusion focused group with consumer, micro lending and deposit-taking subsidiaries across Southern and East Africa, has acquired a 100% shareholding in FBN Microfinance Bank (FBN MFB) from its parent, FBN Holdings plc. FBN Holdings plc is the oldest banking group in Nigeria, having been established in 1894, and is listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.
The acquisition of FBN MFB marks Letshego’s entry into West Africa, having successfully built a footprint in East and Southern Africa with 265,000 customers across nine countries. This development brings Letshego’s footprint to 10 countries, with a customer base of over 385,000; Nigeria, in particular, has been a key target market in Letshego’s diversification plans.
FBN MFB was established in 2009 and is one of only six microfinance banks in Nigeria to have been awarded a national microfinance banking licence. Currently, FBN MFB has 28 branches and over 300 team members. Its core business is lending, savings and transactional financial services to micro and small enterprises (MSEs). With over 80,000 depositors and over 10,000 MSE borrowing customers, the bank’s operations are directly aligned to Letshego’s financial inclusion agenda. Letshego brings its expertise in payroll deduction lending in the public and private sector, as well as lending to micro and small enterprises, with a focus on agriculture, education and health sectors. FBN MFB will rebrand to Letshego MFB in due course.
“As the leading indigenous BSE-company by market capitalisation and profitability, it is an exciting time for us at Letshego,” said Group Managing Director, Chris Low. “This opportunity to enter the Nigerian market coincides with the expansion of our range of financially inclusive products and services. We believe Nigeria’s growth prospects in our targeted low-and-middle income, and MSE, customer segments have significant upside potential, and that, by bringing our skills to this market we can further financial inclusion and improve lives across Nigeria. We look forward to being able to further improve lives across the continent through this development.”