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Strategic Plan Boosts Access Bank’s Profit by 72% in Two Years
By Goddy Egene
Access Bank Plc grew its profit by 72 per cent between 2013 and 2014 following effectively execution of its five-year strategic plan  from 2013 to  2017. Speaking at the Access Bank Investor Day in Lagos yesterday, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said: “We have delivered strong and consistent results, which reflects our resolve to effectively execute our strategy and consistently deliver on our promise.”
According to him, the bank grew its profit before tax from N43.5 billion in 2013 to N75 billion in 2015,  while customer deposits improved by 26 per cent to N1.68 trillion, from N1.33 trillion in 2013. Loans and advances improved by 74 per cent to N1.41 trillion, from N811 billion in 2013, while total assets rose by 41 per cent from N1.84 trillion to N2.59 trillion.
Wigwe disclosed that since 2013, Access Bank has driven its bold strategy through increased focus on the transformation of its operating model, noting that “our goal is to rank in the top three position in our chosen markets and across key financial metrics by 2017.”
He said  the bank adopted a proactive risk management culture with moderate risk appetite, risk-based performance measurement / reward through risk-adjusted return on capital methods, which led to  stable asset quality,  sustainable and global best risk practice.
He added that the bank ensured disciplined capital plan in alignment with its five-year rolling strategic plan, and  optimised capital structure to provide adequate headroom to support the growth of the business
“This led capital buffers above regulatory thresholds and economic capital requirement as defined by Internal Capital Adequacy Process (ICAAP), robust capital structure to optimise our operations and wealth creation,” he said.
He added that Access Bank has been leveraging technological innovation to provide pioneering service initiatives, driving the adoption and utilisation of digital banking channels.
“This has improved service touch points,  increasing retail footprint and market share, improved cost of funds, sustainable growth in e-channel income,” he said.
The Access Bank boss  noted that as part of strategy to de-risk its business, the bank avoided seemingly risky exposures to the power and downstream oil and gas sectors and controlled loan growth within set guidance.
Looking ahead, Wigwe  said the key areas of focus in 2017 will be achieve controlled loan growth within approved guidance, effective foreign exchange liquidity management and effective execution of strategic cost reduction programme.
He  said the bank is targeting a return on equity of 22 per cent at the end of 2017, up from 14.8 per cent in 2013 and 18.8 per cent as at September 30, 2016.