Access Bank Plc divests from Cote d’Ivoire subsidiary

By The Rainbow

Access Bank Plc has divested from its Cote d ‘Ívoire subsidiary through a direct sale to Afriland First Group SA, according to the bank's notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Access Bank said its entire equity in the subsidiary was sold to Afriland First Group, which is a full service financial services group based in the Republic of Cameroun with operations in Congo (DR), Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe and Zambia.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had in 2012 stipulated difficult measures for banks that maintain offshore operations, with many of them choosing to whittle down of their foreign operations.

With the divestment, Access Bank now has subsidiaries in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia.

According to the bank, all conditions for the completion of the transaction have been achieved, including the receipt of regulatory approvals from both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO).

The bank added that the impairments arising from this divestment have already been accounted for in its financials beginning from January 2013.

Financial analysts said the divestment will not have any major impact on Access Bank overall business operations considering its spread and future business plans.

The Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, was quoted as saying that  the management had put in place initiatives that would help deepen relationship with customers.

Nwigwe said the initiatives would assist to achieve the target by the board, management and staff to transform Access Bank into Africa’s most respected bank under the on-going five-year strategic plan.

“The target would be hinged on customers’ satisfaction through the provision of speedy, world class services and security of their deposits. We are employing the best professionals that are dedicated to improving the industry which we operate,” he said.

He said Access Bank would, in the years ahead, be consolidating on its reputation to offer timely, improved and secure services to millions of customers.

He noted that the bank is identifying 14 target sectors that would form the major thrust of the drive towards meeting the needs of its customers, with particular focus on women entrepreneurs, small and medium scale entrepreneurs, school proprietors as well as others that had been financially excluded over the years.

“In our five-year business plan, we have customers as the central focus. We have said going forward into the future, our customers will be taken along as true partners. We want to be all that Nigeria needs in financial services, we want to be the change that Africa needs.