Access Bank targets banking sector leadership with new 5-year strategy

Access Bank Plc plans to become Nigeria’s foremost bank in the next five years as the bank yesterday launched its new five-year strategic plan.

Presenting the new five-year strategy yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the bank was setting out a new and ambitious five-year strategy which will put it at the forefront of Africa’s changing financial landscape by creating a universal payments gateway to dominate international trade and inter-African payments.

According to him, the bank’s strategy will mean that by 2022, millions of people will have access to banking services for the first time with customers making payments and transfers when and how they need to while businesses will be able to trade in new markets and invest in new technology.

“We recognise 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,” Wigwe said.

He added that this next phase of the bank’s transformation journey will deliver its most ambitious goal yet – a bank that is digital, innovative and nimble.

“A bank underpinned by the highest standards of risk and compliance. A bank that serves Africa and the world. Our ambition is to become Africa’s gateway to the world,” Wigwe said.

He recalled that the bank had five years ago set the ambitious goal to attain top three positions in its chosen markets and by now, it has become a strong, diversified institution with a consolidated top tier position in its sector.

The new plan is the latest in a series of transformative strategies that have resulted in sustained growth. From 2013 to November 2017, Access Bank has increased its total assets at a CAGR of 18 per cent and delivered shareholder returns of 90 per cent. The bank has also grown its customer base from 90,000 in 2002 to over 8.0 million in 2017 and in the same period opened 351 new branches.

The new 5-year strategy is expected to accelerate this growth story to position Access Bank as the leading Nigerian bank by 2022.

The new strategy has six strategic levers including digitally led, retail banking growth and consolidation in wholesale markets, customer focused, analytics driven, with robust risk management, strong global collaboration in key gateway markets and the creation of a universal payments gateway.

To deliver the transformation, Access Bank will adopt a new organisational structure. The retail bank will have a customer segment focus, driven by digital and payments. The corporate bank will build deep sector expertise and deploy global relationship managers.

Also, Access Bank’s subsidiaries will be organised around strategic clusters, with strong collaboration between them to secure trade finance and correspondent banking. The bank’s transformation programme will be underpinned by robust risk management together with high levels of automation to enhance the compliance and risk functions and drive customer insights.

In next phase of its transformation programme, Access Bank will embark on a series of bold initiatives. At home, the goal is to be the ‘Number One Bank’ in Nigeria by growing the retail customer base, SME client base, and by dominating the top 100 Nigerian corporates.

Internationally, Access Bank will develop an integrated global franchise by strategically developing its presence in key African markets, enhancing collaboration in global financial gateways including London and New York, Asia and the Middle East, and strengthening its trade hubs in India, Dubai and China.

A strengthened presence in key African markets, and the creation of universal payments gateway combined with an integrated global franchise, ideally positions Access Bank to be Africa’s gateway to the world.

Source: The Nation, December 5, 2017