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History

First Investment Bank:
Dates and Facts

1993

  • First Investment Bank was established on 8 October 1993 in Sofia. It was granted a full banking licence for carrying out operations in Bulgaria and abroad.
1994 - 1995
  • The Bank developed and specialised in servicing corporate clients.
1996
  • Fibank was the first in Bulgaria to offer services enabling banking from home or from the office.
  • Fibank was the first bank to receive a 5-year loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for financing small and medium-sized enterprises in Bulgaria.
1997
  • The Bank started issuing Cirrus/Maestro debit cards, Eurocard/Mastercard credit cards and the American Express card. Fibank was the first Bulgarian bank to offer debit cards with international access.
  • Thompson Bankwatch awarded Fibank its first credit rating.
  • The Bank opened its first branch abroad, in Cyprus.
1998
  • Fibank obtained its first syndicated loan from foreign banks. The Bank negotiated financing for the import of investment goods from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, guaranteed by export insurance agencies.
1999
  • The Bank concluded a syndicated loan arranged by EBRD for the total amount of EUR 12.5 million.
  • First Investment Bank received medium-term loan of EUR 6.6 million from a German government organization for funding Bulgarian companies.
  • The Bank established a foreign branch in Tirana, Albania that offers banking services to Albanian companies and individuals.
2000
  • First Investment Bank started developing its business in the field of retail banking. Deposits from private individuals grew 2.3 times.
2001
  • First Investment Bank launched the first virtual bank branch in Bulgaria allowing customers to bank via the Internet.
  • The Bank was awarded the prize "Bank of the Year" by "Pari" ("Money") daily.
  • Maya Georgieva, Executive Director of Fibank, received the prize "Banker of the Year" from "The Banker" weekly.
2002
  • Fibank was named "Bank of the Client" in the annual rating of "Pari" daily.
2003
  • Products and services to individuals became the focus of the Bank's activities. Loans to individuals increased over five times during the year.
  • Fibank was named "Bank of the Client" for the second time in the annual rating of "Pari" daily.
2004
  • The Bank expanded its infrastructure. The branch network expanded by 27 new branches and offices, the ATM network more than doubled.
  • The Bank was awarded the prize "Financial Product of the Year" for its Mortgage Overdraft product.
2005
  • Fibank acquired 80% of the capital of Diners Club Bulgaria AD.
  • The Bank issued Eurobonds at the amount of EUR 200 million on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Fibank was also the first Bulgarian bank to issue perpetual subordinated bonds.
  • Matthew Mateev, Deputy Chief Executive Director of Fibank, was awarded the prize "Banker of the Year" by "The Banker" weekly.
2006
  • Fibank negotiated financing for SMEs, at the amount of USD 10 million for a 5-year term, covered by OPIC.
  • Share capital was increased from BGN 10 million to BGN 20 million through the issuance of 1 million shares.
  • Fibank received a syndicated loan, at the amount of EUR 185 million, organised by Bayerische Landesbank in which 33 banks participated.
  • Fibank's share capital was increased from BGN 20 million to BGN 100 million through transforming retained profits in 8 million new shares with a nominal value of BGN 10 each.
  • For the third time Fibank won the prize "Bank of the Client" in the annual ranking of Pari Newspaper.
2007
  • Fibank realized the biggest banking initial public offering of shares in Bulgaria. The Bank became a public company and increased its issued share capital from BGN 100 million to BGN 110 million.
  • "Fibank Mobile" - the first banking mobile portal created by Fibank with useful financial information for its customers, started functioning.
  • Fibank was one of the first banks in Bulgaria to implement the new chip technology when issuing debit and credit cards. The processing of card transactions was transferred to the new authorization centre in Macedonia - CaSys International.
  • The Albanian Central Bank issued a full banking licence to First Investment Bank - Albania Sh.a.
  • Fibank became the official representative of the New Zealand Mint for Bulgaria and the Balkans.
2008
  • Repaid on maturity EUR 200 million of principal and EUR 15 million of interest on a long-term bond, issued by First Investment Finance B.V.
  • Fibank successfully completed the first stage of the new centralized and integrated core banking information system FlexCube, suitable for retail banking as well as for corporate banking, with a module for Internet banking and a module for work processes management.
  • FIBank was named “Bank of the Client” for the fourth time in the annual rating of "Pari" daily.
  • Fibank received a syndicated loan at the amount of EUR 65 million from 11 leading banks all over the world.
  • Fibank became the first bank in Bulgaria with own corporate blog–an Internet platform where clients, employees and fans of FIBank can exchange ideas, share impressions of the Bank in general, its products and services, its initiatives and values.
  • Fibank received the prestigious card business award OSCARDS of Publi-News in the Europe region for innovation in the card business.
2009
  • Fibank became the first and only bank in Bulgaria, which started offering the sale and redemption of investment diamonds.
  • Fibank offers a new on-line service "My Fibank" - part of the Bank's Eco-program, which provides customers with electronic statements on their current and deposit accounts and credit cards.
  • Two syndicated loans are obtained from leading international banks have been repaid.
  • First Investment Bank launched a new service for cardholders cash back, providing an opportunity for cash withdrawal at POS terminals in the country.
  • The corporate website of Fibank (www.fibank.bg) became BG Site of 2009 in the category "Banks and Finance" at the tenth anniversary edition of the competition "BG Site", organized by the Bulgarian Web Association.
  • Part of the Headquarters of Fibank moved to a new modern building at 81G Bulgaria Blvd. in Sofia in order to improve business processes and optimize the cost of operation and maintenance.
  • Fibank has been awarded with the prize "Bank of the customer".
  • Fibank signed a partnership agreement with Eximbank (China).
2010
  • Fibank celebrates its one millionth customer.
  • Fibank signed an agreement with IFC (International Finance Corporation) for cooperation in the area of business financing.
  • Fibank is the first bank in the country to offer contactless payments with PayPass technology - an innovative service with a new generation of bank cards.
  • Fibank loyalty program YES launched with a new credit card and bonus points loyalty program.
  • Fibank took the prize for market share at the annual awards of the Association "Bank of the Year" by achieving the largest scale for a unit of share capital and has attracted the most deposits from households and companies in the country, and returned most of this money into the Bulgarian economy.
  • Fibank has four new subsidiaries - Debita Ltd., Realtor Ltd., Insurance Health Fund FiHealth AD, Framas Enterprises Limited.
2011
  • Fibank was announced for "Best Bank in Bulgaria" for 2011 by the financial magazine Euromoney, which has introduced the most innovative marketing solutions and products and has demonstrated strong growth and sustainable performance indicators and profit.
  • The Bank acquired 100% of the capital of "Balkan Financial Services" - a company that provides consulting services for implementation of financial information systems and software development.
  • Fibank issued new hybrid debt for EUR 20 million by placing perpetual subordinated bonds under private placement conditions, which is included in Tier I capital of the Bank.
  • Fibank has been announced for the second time "Bank of the Year" and awarded with the prize for market share at the annual awards of the Association "Bank of the Year".
  • Fibank launched a new service - telephone banking, allowing to perform active banking operations (transfers) and passive banking (receiving reference banking information) by the phone.
  • A new mobile version of Virtual Bank Branch (e-fibank) has been developed.
  • Fibank developed services for financing and managing European programs projects, including by providing customers with full administrative and financial support at each stage of the project cycle.
  • Maya Georgieva (Executive Director of First Investment Bank) received the award "Banker of Year 2011" by Banker Newspaper for achieved market stability and gained customer confidence.
  • The Bank, ahead of the local market, completed the development of its policies for internal corporate governance in accordance with the latest guidelines of the European Banking Authority.
  • New Executive Directors of the Bank were elected - Dimitar Kostov, Vasil Hristov and Svetoslav Moldovanski.
2012
  • Fibank issued new hybrid debt for EUR 20 million in the form of second tranche of perpetual subordinated bonds under private placement conditions, included in Tier I capital of the Bank.
  • The members of the Management Board and Executive Directors - Evgeni Lukanov, Maya Georgieva and Jordan Skorchev were transferred to the Supervisory Board of the Bank.
  • Three committees were formed - General Committee, Risk Committee and Remuneration Committee to support the work of the Supervisory Board of the Bank.
  • The Bank started offering a new service - buying bullions and coins of investment gold and silver.
  • Fibank began issuing contactless cards Visa payWave.
  • A new service was offered for cardholders - registration for 3D Security of cards under the programs Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.
2013
  • First Investment Bank AD acquired 100% of shares of MKB Unionbank EAD and became the sole owner of the capital of the company. The transaction has been successfully completed after approvals received from the competent authorities. Between the two companies has been signed a contract for transformation through infusion of Unionbank EAD to First Investment Bank AD.
  • Fibank offers investment and working capital loans at lower interest rates denominated in Euro for small and medium enterprises under JEREMIE initiative.
  • Maya Oyfalosh was elected Executive Director of the First Investment Bank AD.
  • First Investment Bank celebrates the 20th anniversary of its foundation.
  • Fibank started offering a new card Debit MasterCard with innovative functionality for contactless payments and no fees for withdrawals from ATM terminal in the country.
  • Fibank received three awards at the annual awards of Bank of the Year Association – for "Client’s Bank 2012", for "Market share" and for "Mystery Shopper".
  • Fibank issued new hybrid debt (bond issue) under the terms of private offering with a total amount of 40 million EUR (two tranches), which is included in Tier I capital.
  • Cooperation was signed between Fibank and German partners for offering deposit accounts through the Internet platform WeltSparen (SavingGlobal) to raise deposits from the German market under conditions for providing financial services at a distance.
  • Fibank was approved for financing by the European Investment Fund under guarantee scheme "Risk Sharing Tool", aimed at innovative small and medium enterprises with the guarantee portfolio of 15 million EUR.
  • Customers have the opportunity for online sale of products from investment gold and other precious metals.
 2014
  • Fibank successfully finalized the merger of MKB Unionbank EAD. The procedure for IT and technological merger and merger for the accounting purposes of the two banks was also completed.
  • The Bank signed a new agreement with the National Guarantee Fund for a guarantee scheme to provide financing for SME in Bulgaria under risk sharing mechanism.
 2015
  • Fibank signed an agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, aimed to strengthen the bank's corporate governance and risk management in accordance with the best practices. The two institutions have a long-term cooperation dated from 2010.
  • Fibank's rating from Fitch Ratings is as follows: Long-term IDR 'B-' with a stable outlook ; Short-term IDR 'B‘; Viability Rating 'b-‘; Support Rating '5'; Support Rating Floor 'No Floor' ‘.
  • A new independent member of the Supervisory Board was elected: Mr. Jyrki Koskelo, an accomplished professional with extensive experience in the IFC.
  • Fibank repaid a perpetual debt instrument with an original principal amount of EUR 27 million after approval from the BNB and EC.
  • A new organizational structure of the Bank was adopted, further elaborating the control functions and introducing new positions, including those of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.
  • In an effort to maintain an open line of communication with investors and enhance dialogue with minority shareholders, a Club of investors was created.
  • For a second consecutive year, First Investment Bank was distinguished as the favorite brand among financial institutions in Bulgaria by the global organization Superbrands.
 2016
  • Fibank signed a new BGN 20 million agreement with the National Guarantee Fund for a portfolio guarantee scheme to provide financing for the Bulgarian SMEs.
  • In accordance with the Plan approved by the European Commission, Fibank (First Investment Bank) has repaid the state aid of BGN 1.2 billion received in June 2014. 
  • The international rating agency Fitch has affirmed the Bank's ratings with Stable outlook.
  • Fibank has successfully passed the Asset Quality Review and the Stress Test.
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