Wednesday, December 14, 2016 02.15 AM / News
Access Bank Plc. has emerged as Nigeria’s bank of the year at the The Banker’s seventeenth (17th) annual Bank of the Year awards held at the Hilton London Bankside on December 07, 2016.
Commenting on Access Bank’s impressive achievement, the judges gave the following citation:
Access Bank wins Bank of the Year Award, Nigeria
Over the past two years, Nigeria’s economy has suffered like few other markets on the African continent. A foreign currency liquidity crunch has been particularly crippling for the private sector.
But the banking sector, on the whole, remains in good health even if most lenders have taken a hit to their profitability during this period. Few lenders, though, have performed to the same degree as Access Bank, Nigeria’s fourth largest bank by total assets.
“The operating environment in the past year was underlined by significant macroeconomic headwinds, which impacted asset growth and operational efficiency. Tasked with achieving sustainable growth in a muted environment, we successfully adapted to the challenging operating landscape by effectively executing our strategy and implementing a robust risk management framework,” says Herbert Wigwe, chief executive of Access Bank.
In local currency terms, net profits jumped by 53% in 2015 while total assets and Tier 1 capital grew by 23% and 30%, respectively. More impressively, between 2013 and 2015 Access Bank’s return on equity grew from 14.8% to 20.4%, while its cost-to-income ratio fell from 73% to 62%. And at a time when non-performing loans (NPLs) across the sector are rising, particularly as a result of troubles in the oil and gas sector, Access Bank’s NPL ratio dropped to just 1.7% in 2015, down from 2.2% in 2014.
“Against the macroeconomic backdrop, the bank was resilient in its performance, attaining a top three position in the Nigerian banking industry in terms of profitability. We grew and maintained a robust balance sheet, while prudently managing asset quality. Furthermore, we created a digital bank that reinforced the bank’s leadership position and enabled market share growth in the retail space,” says Mr Wigwe.
About The Banker's Bank of The Year Awards 2016
The Banker is a monthly international financial affairs publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd. and edited in London. The magazine was first published in January 1926. Since its founding, the magazine has claimed a dedication to the international perspective through features, interviews, multi-media applications and events. The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance resource, read in over 180 countries and is the key source of data and analysis for the industry. It combines in-depth regional and country coverage with reports on global financial markets, regulation and policy, cash management and securities services, commodities and carbon finance, infrastructure and project finance, trading and technology, clearing and settlement, and management and governance issues.
The Banker is read most widely in banks, financial institutions, multilateral corporations, central banks and finance ministries around the world. Approximately 60% of its readers are CEO/President and CFO/Treasurers of their organizations.
Entrants for the 2016 awards were asked to provide comprehensive data on their earnings, asset and Tier 1 capital growth, and returns on equity. But good figures, while essential, were not enough. The editorial team looked for evidence of banks setting new standards for their local industries, whether it was by using new technology or coming up with innovative, cost-efficient ways of expanding their businesses.
Those banks which were able to articulate the strategy that drove their financial performance and how they overcame regulatory, competitive and economic hurdles were most like to impress the judges in this year's Bank of the Year awards. This year, The Banker made awards in 149 countries; continuing to set the benchmark for the industry.
About Access Bank Plc
Access Bank Plc, listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) since 1998, is a full service commercial Bank operating through a network of 371 branches and service outlets located in major centres across Nigeria, Sub Saharan Africa, and the United Kingdom with representative offices in China, Lebanon and the UAE.
The Bank serves its various markets through four business segments: Personal, Business, Commercial and Corporate & Investment Banking. The Bank has over 830,000 shareholders including several Nigerian and International Institutional Investors and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa's most successful banking growth trajectory in the last twelve years ranking amongst Africa's top 20 banks by total assets and capital in 2015.
As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant.