The bank was incorporated in Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Matters Act as a private limited liability company on April 20, 1982. It was licensed on August 11, 1983 to carry on the business of merchant banking and commenced business in 1983. The bank was converted into a Public Limited Liability Company and its shares listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on December 10, 2004. The principal activity of the group is the provision of comprehensive banking and financial services to its corporate and individual customers. Such services include granting of loans and advances, corporate finance, money market activities and foreign exchange operations.