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‘Why Access Bank opted for holding company structure’

ACCESS Bank Nigeria Plc adopted holding company structure because of the opportunity to diversify and grow earnings for improved returns to shareholders and better services to customers.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, who spoke during a virtual 2021 Investor Engagement Forum entitled: Realigning for growth in Lagos, said the bank has started the process that would enable it to transit to a holding company (HoldCo) structure.

He said the new structure would enable the bank diversify its earnings, build stronger payment platforms and significant Return on Investment (RoI) for shareholders.

He said the bank will equally do more on the consumer banking segment and also pursue bankassurance model.

He said the bank approves over one million loans monthly, and will continue to take steps to sustain its leadership position in Nigeria, and Africa’s banking space.

The Access Bank boss said the lender will continue to work with Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) co-investing with it to expand its African operations.

He said the bank has identified eight African countries for a potential expansion as it seeks to benefit from the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The bank operates in 12 countries following acquisitions spanning Kenya to its home market.

The markets of interest are Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia, according to an online presentation emailed by the Lagos-based lender.

It will also use its London-based unit as an “anchor for growth” to expand representative offices in countries such as India, Lebanon and China, the CEO said

The African trade pact aims to bolster intra-regional commerce by lowering or eliminating cross-border tariffs, facilitating the movement of capital and people, promoting investment and paving the way for the establishment of a continental-wide customs union.

Access Bank plans to eventually expand into 22 African countries to cushion challenges in some markets, diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in the region.

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