MD, Access Bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede
By Obinna Chima
Access Bank Plc, one of Africa’s largest financial services groups, has declared its intention of becoming the “most respected bank in Africa”.
A statement from the bank at the weekend said that its vision of becoming a formidable financial institution in the continent is clearly re-articulated by its board as it moves to the next level in its evolution.
It said: “Prior to its present position in Nigeria and the African financial landscape, the management of the Bank had sought to transform Access Bank into a world-class financial services provider. This was the vision that propelled Access Bank Plc from a low industry ranking in 2002 to its current position of significance in Nigeria and on the African continent.”
Access is among the top five banks by capitalisation on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
It recently concluded its business combination with Intercontinental Bank which it acquired last year.
At the end of the business integration, Access Bank’s assets base grew to N2.018 trillion, while its customer base rose to 5.7 million.
Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said: “It has become necessary for us to revise our vision in line with current realities and aspirations within the context of the global economy. We intend to drive profitable, ethical economic growth that is also environmentally responsible and socially relevant.
“We will lead the way in Africa by consistently applying international best practice, and where we need to; having the courage to pioneer new standards.”
Aig-Imoukhuede also revealed plans by the management of Access Bank to strengthen the retail banking segment of the new entity, so as to give stakeholders more value for their money.
Commenting on the recently released results, Aig-Imoukhuede stated: “We are further strengthening our vision, mission and values to reflect a Bank that is focused on creating a sustainable future.
“Sustainability gives us a noble purpose for being and will ensure that we maintain the necessary emotional connection with our customers, employees and host communities; Sustainability, we believe, will lead us to our goal of being Africa’s most respected Bank.”
Reputable international financial advisory company, Renaissance Capital (RenCap), in a report on Access Bank’s latest results, said: “This was generally a performance that exceeded our expectation on the back of the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank. We also acknowledge Access Bank’s quick move to rationalise branches and staff, as well as integrate the IT systems of both banks.
“We think management’s plan to focus on driving through the operational integration fully and reinvigorating the potential of its acquired platform this year could help mitigate this risk over time.”
The bank’s branch network, after the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, increased significantly to a total of 309, just as its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) now stands at 18.55 per cent, far above the industry average of 10 per cent.
Access Bank Plc recently released an impressive full year 2011 results which showed gross earnings of N138.949 billion, up from N91.142 billion recorded in 2010.
Its profit after tax rose also by 50 per cent from N11.068 billion in 2010 to N16.708 billion in 2011.
The directors of the bank also proposed a final dividend of 30 kobo for the end of year and an interim dividend of 20 kobo, which was earlier declared in the half year 2011.