Before its acquisition by the Western Nigeria Marketing Board, the bank flourished under the leadership of its founder

Old Agbonmagbe Bank

Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks, is celebrating its 79th banking anniversary. Its humble beginnings led to its rise to the top of the Nigerian banking industry.

Agbonmagbe Bank Limited was established by Late Chief Mathew Adekoya Okupe as a private limited liability company. Initially, it had branches in Ebute-Metta, Sagamu, Abeokuta, and Ijebu-Igbo.

However, it has now expanded its operations and has a much larger presence across major cities in the country and beyond. This expansion is a stark contrast to its humble beginnings.

Even under the leadership of its founder, the bank flourished before it was later acquired by the Western Nigeria Marketing Board.


After 42 years from its establishment, the old walls of Agbonmagbe underwent a transformation and became what is now known as Wema Bank. This marked the beginning of a new era in the bank’s journey towards prominence. In the same year, Wema Bank was granted a commercial banking license and commenced operations.

In 1987, the bank became a public limited liability company, and its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1990 under the symbol WEMABANK followed.

While the bank sticks to its early promise, the major shift to its operations did not come until February 2001 when the Central Bank of Nigeria granted it a Universal Banking Licence. Since then, it has continued to grow, expanding its base in the financial landscape.

In 2015, the bank was elevated from a regional banking licence to a national licence.

Wema Bank PLC’s growth over the years is worth celebrating. From a modest establishment, its products across the 150 business offices and digital platforms now provide retail, SME, trade, treasury, business advisory, and corporate banking services to millions of Nigerians and foreigners.

According to the MD/CEO of Wema Bank, Mr. Moruf Oseni, the bank’s evolution has been a true story of resilience and transformation.

For Oseni, while the past 79 years have been remarkable, the future will be even more inspiring.

“As we mark our 79th year today, we reaffirm our commitment to empowering lives through innovation and exceeding our customers’ expectations with unparalleled banking experiences tailored to their needs.

“We pledge to stand by our customers through every stage of life, offering enabling platforms to accelerate their growth and propel them to extraordinary heights,” he said.