AfCFTA: Access Bank Targets Becoming Largest Financial Services Aggregator In Africa


Wednesday, January 20, 2021 / 5:33 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: OnoBello

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Access Bank Plc a leading financial services group in Sub-Saharan Africa is focused on becoming the key financial services aggregator in the region. This comes as the continent braces up for the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).


The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Mr. Herbert Wigwe disclosed at a 2021 virtual investor relations forum, where he gave updates on the operations of the bank and the group's outlook for the year.


He informed investors and other stakeholders that Access Bank was planning to transit to a full Holdco structure, that covers payment solutions, consumer lending, agency banking, and insurance brokerage (Bancassurance).


Wigwe said the Financial Services Group would continue to drive disciplined growth, as a digitally mature enterprise, and ensure capital protection and accumulation.


Speaking further on the opportunities in the AfCFTA era, the Group Managing Director said the approach and strategy would be to enhance its product offerings, strengthen its settlements infrastructure, as it supports continental financial flows (the intra-Africa trade potential could rise by +54%).


"Africa with the AfCFTA has the prospects of experiencing $2.5trn growth at the regional level. Access Bank is taking advantage of this growth story to expand its presence in countries that connect the dots in the continent" he said.

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Looking at the 2021 operations of the group Wigwe noted that the business would engage in infrastructure expansion to lift service quality to its 42m customers. He said "Top priority will be given to our digital processes to enhance efficiency that leads to profitability in the group. This will include boosting retail expansion, consumer lending and improving the payment infrastructure".


Other areas that would be of importance to Access Bank Group from GMD's presentation include lowering the cost of onboarding customers.


Access Bank currently has 42m customers, 46m accounts, 2.6m digital customers, 9m USSD users, and a savings account of over N1.2trn.


The banking group plans to invest in assets that would improve its customer experience, digitize operations and ensure cybersecurity.

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