By Mosa Mojonothoane


Thanks to the major brand refreshments, new digital interfaces and a new approach to integrated advice, First National Bank (FNB) has captured the international banking personnel.

FNB has been named the Strongest Banking Brand in the world in the Brand Finance Banking 500 2023 report.

This was revealed by FNB Lesotho in a press release on Friday.

It noted that FNB emerged as a leader among the world’s 500 largest banks with an impressive Brand Strength Index score of 93 out of 100, an AAA+ rating and a brand value of $1, 540 000 000.00 billion ( estimated to M26 318 600 000.00).

This new status means that FNB has managed to break the record for brand valuation which is informed by brand investment in products, service and innovation, brand equity which include functional and emotional drivers, and financial performance data, that is, current revenue and price premium.

The presser noted thus; “In the 2023 rankings FNB improved across several metrics including positive brand sentiment and various financial performance measures (incl. improved forecasted growth rates).  Additionally, a strong banking brand should be able to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. This is certainly true for FNB, which has been at the forefront of introducing new technologies and platforms that make financial and lifestyle services more convenient and accessible for customers. It was the first bank in Africa to introduce a mobile banking app and online banking, allowing customers to manage their money from anywhere at any time.”

Congratulating the bank, Brand Finance Managing Director Jeremy Sampson noted; “We’re pleased to once again see that brands on the African continent continue to make their presence felt across the world. Our survey comes at a crucial time when brands are facing global uncertainty, and our models can, to a degree, become a yardstick for brands that are focused on building a sustainable future and businesses. The Strongest Brand accolade is highly contested, which means any brand that emerges at the top can be proud of its efforts.”

FNB Lesotho has specifically transformed into a women lead franchise having appointed Mazvivanba Maharasoa as its first local and female and Chairperson of the Board earlier this year, after joining the bank in 2020. She follows the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Delekazi Mokebe who was appointed in June 2020.

Quoted in the presser, Mokebe said FNB Lesotho is proud to be part of the FirstRand Group which constantly looks at ways to provide help through innovation.

“Our ability to provide helpful, easy and safe solutions that benefit clients across our range of solutions is key to the continued brand success. This accolade inspires us to continue with our commitment to great shared prosperity, and it comes at the right time after we have refreshed our iconic brand, interface and value proposition, which further reiterates our commitment to providing help,” says Mokebe in a presser.

According to IT News Africa, FNB is no stranger to global acclaim after its eBucks Rewards programme was ranked first in the world for its use of technology in 2022, while at the global MVNO (Mobile virtual network operator) Awards, FNB Connect was named Digital MVNO of the Year in the same year. Some years back, FNB was also recognized as the Most Innovative Bank in the World.

On their website, The Balance Money reveals that bank credit ratings are just one tool that consumers and investors can use to judge financial institutions, but they are not absolute measures of a financial institution’s reliability.

“They can impact customers differently, depending on what type of business they do with the bank. People who hold large, open-ended loans could be affected if a bank’s creditworthiness goes into “junk” territory or even slumps for a while.

“These include business lines of credit and home equity loans.  A bank has to improve its liquidity by preserving capital when it’s troubled. It may therefore have to pull in its credit lines, so you could lose borrowing power. Sometimes, troubled banks also will begin to close branches and lay off employees. Such moves wouldn’t affect the safety of your deposits, but they could strain your relationship with your bank if it were to close your local branch,” it informs.

The Balance Money, however, rectifies that unpredictable economic changes or poor business practices can cause even a highly-rated bank to go into default. “A lower rating doesn’t guarantee that a bank will experience financial distress. The one bank rating that consumers should always pay attention to is a “junk” grade, which usually means that a bank is in a great deal of distress.”