First Bank to shut down operations Thursday, reopens Monday

By The Citizen

Customers of First Bank Limited have been advised to make use of alternative channels to carry out some banking transactions from Thursday to Monday due to the bank's decision to shut down its branches nationwide during the period.

The shutdown, according to the bank, is to enable it upgrade its core banking application from Finacle 7 to Finacle 10, which will ensure easier and faster customer services and experience.

Apart from all the branches being shut, Point of Sale transactions and transaction alerts by Short Message Service will not be possible during the period. In addition, all card services, except Visa prepaid card, will not be available via Quick Teller and the Web.

First Bank said in an explanatory note, 'All transactions that will impact on the banking platform e.g. settlements, inter bank (RTGS, NEFT, FIP) inflows, will not be available.'

However, the bank said skeletal services would be available on its ATMs throughout the migration period until 5pm on Sunday, and would be restored at 6am on Monday.

Online banking services, according to the bank, will also be available until 5pm on Sunday and be restored at 6am on Monday, while its mobile money services will be available throughout the migration period.

The bank had notified its customers through SMS and email of the development and apologised for inconveniences that they might suffer as a result of the platform upgrade.

The Group Managing Director, First Bank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, said in an open letter to the customers, 'I write to thank you for your continuous patronage and inform you of our plan to upgrade our core banking application as part of the ongoing transformation of the bank.

'I am particularly excited at the prospect of this milestone as it represents the opportunity to significantly transform our service delivery to you in many respects, while also supporting our plans for the introduction of new and innovative products as we anticipate your every banking need.

'This is a major project and on account of the technical requirements, we regret that there will be some disruptions to our services for about three days, while the upgrade is ongoing.'

Onasanya said only intra-bank transactions would be available on the alternative channels while the upgrade was going on, adding that the clearing of customers' might also be slightly delayed but that all investments due on any transaction within the period would only be terminated when all services were restored without affecting the value dates or the value of accrued interests on such investments.