By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos, Jan. 19, 2021 Access Bank Plc said on Tuesday that its transition to Holding Company (Holdco) would offer continent-wide opportunities and support international expansion drive.
The bank’s Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said this at its investor engagement forum, held virtually in Lagos.
Wigwe said that the company would realign for growth through transitioning to a HoldCo to capture continent-wide opportuinites and support the international expansion.
He disclosed that the HoldCo would consist of four subsidiaries namely Access Bank Group, payment business, consumer lending and agency banking as well as insurance brokerage.
He said that Access Bank was in partnership with Coronation Insurance to offer insurance products to the bank’s customers.
According to him, Access Bank-Coronation Insurance bancassurance is already available in Nigeria and Ghana.
Wigwe said that the insurance subsidiary would adopt a dynamic and creative approach to deliver value-added services focused to meet customer insurance needs.
He added that the bank planned to open subsidiaries in consumer lending and agency banking to enhance revenue.
Wigwe noted that the bank’s Africa strategy was supported by its presence in key international markets.
He explained that the strategy would enable the bank diversify earnings away from the volatile operating environments in Africa and orchestrate operations as a global payments gateway.
Wigwe added that it would the company to manage its risk and exposures to soft currencies and enhance profitability without excess risk.
He said that the bank had identified eight African countries for a potential expansion with the kick-off of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Wigwe said that the eight countries were Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Ethiopia and Namibia.
He said that the bank had the largest customer base in Africa, with significant share (44 per cent) digitally active.
Wigwe said that the bank’s number of customers as of third quarter of 2020 stood at 42 million, with 46 million accounts.
The bank chief said the bank had 633 branches and a very strong digital footprint with 53,440 POS, nine million USSD users, 9.5million on mobile applications and about 3,000 ATMs, among others.
He said that despite challenges, the bank had continued to return strong financial performance.