Cape Town - First National Bank on Tuesday won the Most Innovative Bank of the Year Award at a prestigious award ceremony in Washington DC honouring the most innovative banks in the world.The 2012 BAI - Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards is a joint programme between BAI and Finacle Infosys. It recognises and supports breakthrough innovation in the global retail banking industry which positively impacts banks and their customers.FNB, a division of FirstRand [JSE:FSR], received the award for its culture of innovation and advancement of retail banking."As part of their innovative culture, the bank holds an internal competition, called 'Innovators', that formally encourages and supports the process of innovation and related competencies."Business units within FNB are empowered to innovate through leadership buy-in and advocacy," said BAI in a statement posted on equities.com.FNB was also a finalist in the Product and Service Innovation Award for its eWallet. OCBC Bank of Singapore, however, scooped the award for FRANK, "a radical approach to addressing Generation Y's different style of connecting and engaging with financial institutions".UBank of Australia was the other finalist in the section, which recognises banks that have substantially improved an existing product or service or developed and introduced a new product or service that has engaged customers, unleashed new revenue opportunities and/or improved the bank’s competitiveness. FNB was chosen among more than 150 entries from over 30 countries. The award winners were selected by the Innovation Circle Judging Panel, an objective, third-party board composed of prominent industry thought-leaders, academics and retail banking professionals.Turkey's DenizBank won the award for Channel Innovation for introducing the "Globally First Ever" banking platform on Facebook. With full online banking functionality, the platform enables Facebook users to check their bank account, see a total picture of assets and liabilities, send money to anyone, anytime, purchase/enrol in consumer loans and credit cards, and invite Facebook friends to use the platform, among other capabilities.Alior Bank of Poland received the Disruptive Innovation in Banking Award for changing the banking services market in its country. Alior Sync is a progressive, virtual bank that offers full-service banking via a virtual platform with a contemporary means of communication for its target segment, customers between the ages of 20 to 35.Debbie Bianucci, president and CEO of BAI, said the the award winners serve as a model of what can be achieved through innovation when it comes to enhancing the customer experience and transforming the financial services industry.Haragopal Mangipudi, global head of Finacle, Infosys, commended the award winners for their ability to drive consumer engagement through innovation. "Their original thinking is the key to accelerating growth and increasing customer loyalty," he said.* Follow Fin24 on Twitter and Facebook.