Access Bank announces five-year growth plan

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Access Bank Plc has announced a five-year growth plan that would reposition it to become the No. 1 Nigerian Bank by 2022, with a strong global franchise and a dominant universal payment gateway across every segment in Africa.

Under the strategy, the bank plans to focus on deepening its retail offering with much emphasis on the use of digitals and increased collaborations within the country and to a lesser extent other African countries.

Speaking on how to deliver the strategy, in Lagos yesterday, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, explained that the bank will adopt a new organisational structure where the retail banking will become customer based, driven by strong digital and payments solutions.

The corporate banking is expected to leverage on deep sector expertise and deploy global relationship managers.

According to him, the subsidiaries will be organised around strategic clusters, with strong collaboration between them to secure trade finance and correspondent banking.

He added that the bank’s transformation programme will be underpinned by robust risk management with high levels of automation to enhance the compliance and risk functions and drive customer insights.

Furthermore, he explained that the global collaborations would centered on key gateway market to enable the bank provide correspondent banking to customers and remain a dominant player in intra African payment segment.

To support the payment framework, Wigwe pointed out that the bank would further create a universal payment gateway, which will be sustained by strong technological platform.

“There are some key enablers; technology is critical, the need for a credit machine is important to support all of these particularly for the SMEs. One of the pillars is international expansion. We have chosen to break it into three critical presence, and what is important is not just the global presence but the local collaborations, our international expansion will be deliberate and structured but we will focus more on collaborations.

“We have global gateway market and this gateway markets typically are within the U.S., the Hong Kong, London and Japan. By being presence and creating the arrangement in this market, what it means is that you are able to support corresponding banking across Africa easily.

“So we are going to build this relationship particularly in the United States and Hong Kong because we already have strong presence in the U.K., which is supporting us today, but we need to expand our global collaboration to reach out and support other African countries.

We use big data and data analytics to drive customer insight and support huge customer acquisition across the entire continent. We will be the dominant bank as far as Nigerian corporates is concerned and I think our history as wholesale commercial bank is one that everyone knows and we will continue to play a significant role as far as that sector is concerned, we will dominate that market again over the next five years.”

The Bank’s Deputy Group Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna, said: “Our strategy will mean that by 2022, millions of people will have access to banking services for the first time. Customers will make payments and transfers when and how they need to. Businesses will be able to trade in new markets and invest in new technology.

“We recognize that we have a vital role to play in growing Nigeria, our largest market. Our global footprint is also changing and growing. As a result of our strategy, we will be in the Africa corridor trade hubs and the global gateway markets within five years.”

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