The group managing director/ chief executive officer of Access Holdings Plc, Dr Herbert Wigwe, has revealed that about 370 million Africans and about 60 million Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
According to him, the numbers show that there still exist opportunities to deepen penetration of financial services in the continent.
This is just as the HoldCo last week at its corporate headquarters in Lagos unveiled a five-year strategic plan that will see the lender being among top 10 in Africa, World’s most respected African Bank that has strong franchise outside of Africa, Nigeria’s number one bank with a capital strategy that is internally focused.
In two decades, Access Bank has emerged as a leading tier one financial institution in Nigeria, in line with its disciplined execution of rolling five-year corporate plans, registering successes across its ambition and vision.
Speaking to a large number of analysts, researchers, shareholder leaders and journalists at the launch of the corporation’s new plan (2023-2027), Wigwe noted that Access Holdings Plc would act as a nexus to drive transformation for the corporation, especially as it embarks on implementation of its plan.
According to him, Access Holdings will be in the eye of the storm, having transformed to become a leading financial and ecosystem player with its core business as the foundation.
“We want to be truly known as a global player in the market. I have no doubt that we are truly on our way to becoming a global bank with an African heritage.
“We will also make sure that our correspondent banking is made stronger at the end of the five-year plan due to the fact that our subsidiaries, especially the one in UK, are growing well. This is a well-structured strong organic growth and to ensure that we expand, we will need the right technology and skill to do so,” Wigwe said.
Adding that it would drive customer acquisition with digital solutions to migrate 100 million retail customers by 2027, Wigwe stated that the bank intends to deepen its retail banking services by evolving into a digital sales and service provider by 2027.
He said, the Holding Company initiative ‘Hydrogen’ will be focused on delivering integrated payments solutions, adding that, it will be focused on two main customer groups; financial institutions (including Access bank, tier-two banks, and Fintechs) and merchants/SMEs.
Also, ‘Oxygen’ an initiative primarily focused on digital loans to consumers and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), according to him, will expand micro loans.
He pointed out that the group pensions will provide affordable pension services by creating a comprehensive and digitally-enabled offering, saying, “by 2027, Access will be a top two pensions player across our markets, two acquisitions already completed with benefits already accruing to the Corporation.”
Wigwe said the group would expand its footprints in about 26 countries with at least three countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Pointing out that it would continue to support trade in France, United Kingdom and United States of America, Wigwe said the bank had experienced rapid growth from nineth position in 2017 to number one in 2022.
Similarly, the Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said the bank have consistently outperformed the market on the growth of key metrics since its strategic drive in 2017.
To him, growth has been extremely diversified due to the fact that the bank has focused on generating sustainable revenue across all income lines in the last five years beating the market average.
Ogbonna assured that the bank will improve on its operational efficiency to further drive profit before tax (PBT) and lower its cost income ratio (CIR).
“Access Corporation’s footprint will grow significantly in the next strategic period. We will capitalise on our strong M&A capability and ability to build organically to create value with each expansion, prioritising countries with better sovereign rating and complementary business landscape.
“Access will gain relevant scale across Africa, global monetary centers and beyond-banking verticals, diversifying its business,” Ogbonna stated.
He said Net Interest Margin (NIM) is expected to be at least six percent in 2027, and that the growth in NIM will be driven by increased lending within the core bank and by the growth in LendCo’s business which will typically have higher margins on average.
According to him, Healthy ROE returns are expected over the next five year as “we continue to maximise returns for shareholders. ROE along with ROA are expected to grow, as a result of improvements in CIR and an increase in footprint across higher efficiency locations,” said Ogbonna.
Access Bank, over the last 20 years, has built a strong financial institution through a disciplined approach to executing its strategy which has produced market beating results consistently and has been value accretive.
Access Corporation’s ambitions will be supported by sevenkey enablers that will ensure it executes seamlessly, becoming a top five financial services institution in the continent by the end of the strategic cycle in terms of revenues, asset base and on a balanced scorecard basis.
The lender, according to the two MDs, will attract and develop top talent, foster a highly attractive culture of excellence for talent and support the corporation’s succession planning.
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