Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s repeal of the Universal Banking Guidelines, Access Bank Plc has received the Central Bank’s approval for its compliance plan to bring its operations in conformity with the provisions of CBN’s Regulations on the Scope of Banking Activities.
The Bank has indicated that it will divest fully from its 2 non-banking subsidiaries namely United Securities Ltd and Access Securities and Investment Ltd and integrate the operations of its Mortgage Banking Subsidiary Access Homes and Mortgages into its Retail Banking Division. The decision to exit its non-banking subsidiaries was taken following a rigorous evaluation of the impact of the divestment on its long term performance objectives.
Speaking on the issue, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD/CEO, Access Bank, said “By opting to divest from our non-banking subsidiaries, we have chosen to focus on our core commercial banking operations which account for over 98% of our earnings”. He added, saying “In arriving at this decision, we took into consideration the growing global and local concerns regarding the regulation of Universal Banks and found it prudent to be insulated from the regulatory challenges which Universal Banks will face in future”.
In view of the measures of best practice that Access Bank has undertaken in the past, the Bank is confident that its transition to operating under an international banking licence will be smooth and seamless. For example, the Bank’s shareholders fund of N179 billion (audited) is significantly in excess of the N50 billion International banking license requirement. Also, the requirement for the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) has been met by Access Bank well in advance of the January 2012 regulatory deadline.
Readers will recall that Access Bank Plc was one of the first to successfully comply with the Central Bank of Nigeria's banking consolidation policy through the acquisition of two quality Nigerian banks: Capital Bank International Plc (Formerly Commercial Bank Credit Lyonnaise Ltd) and Marina International Bank Ltd. The three banks were fully integrated operationally in a record time of 60 days.
The Bank’s management further emphasised that Access Bank’s history of early compliance with regulatory reform initiatives underlines its commitment to leading by example.
ABOUT ACCESS BANK PLC
Access Bank Plc is a socially responsible organization; with clearly developed strategy for facilitating societal development and wellbeing. The Bank is one of Africa’s pre-eminent financial services groups, and has a full banking subsidiary in the UK and all monetary zones across sub-Sahara Africa. The Bank is ranked 12th in Africa and amongst the top 500 banks in the world by tier 1 capital as at March 31, 2010.
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Fafore Olusegun Michael
Access Bank PR and Media unit,