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Access Corporation Launches Roadmap to Continental Dominance


Nigeria’s largest financial services institution by assets base, Access Corporation, on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, launched its fifth 5-year corporate strategic plan covering 2023-2027.

The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Herbert Wigwe, with a team of top executives, engaged the audience in a granular presentation of the holco’s roadmap towards playing in the league of topmost African financial services institution.

The presentation which spanned about two hours with stakeholders, industry experts and financial journalists in attendance, began with a review of the just concluded corporate strategy cycle: 2018-2022,

“We achieved all we set out to achieve and even beyond; we met and exceeded our targets for each planning cycle,” Wigwe said while punctuating his statements with facts drawn from the firm’s performance results.

“In two decades, Access Bank, (a subsidiary of Access Corporation, also called Access Holdings Plc), has emerged as a leading tier-one financial institution in Nigeria, in line with its disciplined execution of rolling 5-year corporate plans”, the presentation showed, with the following numbers:

The bank moved from 65th to 9th in the 2003-2007 strategic cycle. The strategic cycle of 2008-2012 pushed the bank to top 5, while it emerged top 3 in the 2013 -2017 strategic cycle. It emerged No. 1 in the strategic cycle of 2018-2022.

Access Bank is set to move into the new strategic cycle with the following records: over 52 million customers which is more than the population of 85 percent (50) of African countries. Superior service through four SBUs, across 17 countries including, the UAE, UK, and 3 rep offices in China, India and Lebanon. There is 18.5 million unique mobile app and internet banking users, in addition to over 54,440 Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.

There is consistent financial performance as seen in the N906.9 billion gross earnings and N148.7 billion profit before tax as at nine months of 2022. Its professional staff stood at 6,000 and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) comfortably sitting at 22.6 percent.

“Our score sheet is robust and we are launching into the next strategic cycle with the greatest optimism that we will achieve and surpass our targets,” Wigwe said.

Wigwe said, in launching into the continental space, the focus is to become a global player with African heritage while exploring the huge opportunities with the aid of technology.

The bank stated that, across Africa, there is an opportunity for Access to extend financial services to the unbanked and deepen its financial services offerings to banked customers. This is targeted at about 370 million Africans who do not have access to financial services, with Nigeria accounting for up to 60 million. “…additionally, banked customers are demanding deepening of financial services including loans, payments, insurance.”

Access Corporation identified addressable market pool through which international trade flows and growth opportunities in potentially untapped retail insurance markets. This is on the heels of Africa’s insurance penetration being generally lower than global average. It said AfCFTA will connect large swathes of the countries into a virtual trading zone.

Specifically, the Corporation says it sees opportunities in over $24 billion revenues for African electronic payments industry growing at 30 per cent yearly. It also sees opportunities for over $3.6 billion in value of regulated consumer lending business in Nigeria, $950 billion total trade volume in sub-Saharan Africa, $100 billion in formal remittances and cross-border payments flows. Others are over 400 companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more.

The Group said 150 companies corporates that operate out of its subsidiary countries is a huge strength, adding that its footprint will grow significantly in the next strategic period.

“We will capitalise on our strong M&A capability and ability to build organically to create value with each expansion, prioritising countries with better sovereign rating and complementary business landscape,” the holco stated.

During the strategic plan period, Hydrogen will be focused on. Two main customer groups — financial institutions (including Access bank, Tier-2 Banks, and Fintechs) and Merchants/SMEs will be on focus. Hydrogen will offer products across three main business lines.

“By 2027, we expect the Nigeria Bank to be contributing c.52% of revenues compared to c.82% (9M’22). The new verticals will also be contributing c.12% of total revenues, as revenues from African Subsidiaries is expected to double over the next 5 years.

“PBT contributions from Nigeria Bank is expected to reduce from c.63% (9M’22) to c.33%, while the new verticals are expected to contribute c.19% of the profitability by 2027, while African Subsidiaries will contribute c.20%.

“By the end of 2027, we expect to be in at least 26 countries and in at least 3 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries supporting trade (United Kingdom, France & United States of America).

“The customer acquisition drive to hit 100mn for the Retail Business by 2027 will continue, as we migrate majority of customers to digital platforms by 2027 across all touch-points.

“Our primary focus on trade is to leverage established presence across trade and financial hubs across the world to continue driving trade outputs.”

Access Bank’s presence in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Beijing, Mumbai and extensive footprint across the continent will be achieved.

According to the Group CEO, the Corporation’s ambitions will be supported by 7 key enablers. These enablers will ensure Access executes seamlessly, becoming a top 5 financial services institution in the continent by the end of the strategic cycle in terms of revenues, asset base and on a balanced scorecard.

The holco said it will create a high-performance organisation with a strong bench of talent who are the best African leaders with capabilities to deliver the corporation’s future aspirations

According to Wigwe, Access has positioned itself to be at the centre of financial flows on the continent –trade, expanding and deepening financial services and serving corporates with excellence –creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.