Tier one lender, Access Bank Plc, in addition to its merger with Diamond Bank, would also embark on a continental expansion. Executive Director of the bank, Victor Etokwu gave a hint on this during a press briefing held with media executives yesterday.
Etuokwu then went on to highlight the bank’s expansion plans.
“We are in 15 countries. Before the MIDDLE of this month, we will be in three more countries in Africa. Before June end hopefully, we will have a franchise in Hong Kong. We are Africa’s biggest bank, and most profitable bank in the United Kingdom. We are the only African bank in the clearing house in the UK. It is a big franchise. There is room for everybody, We have shared this with all the staff.”
The bank currently has operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
Reasons for the expansion
The Access Bank Executive Director much later during the parley gave the reasons for the expansion drive, stating that the expansion was part of the lender’s 5-year strategic plan.
“If you listened to Herbert’s (Hebert Wigwe, Access Bank GMD) interview on CNBC early last year where he was talking about our 5 year plan between 2018 and 2022, you would have heard those plans.
“We want to be Africa’s gateway to the world. That means we have to be in the key financial centres of the world. United Kingdom, Hongkong, China and the United States. Hopefully we should be in the United States in 2/3/4 years from now.”
“We have a full banking licence in Dubai. We are the biggest African bank in the UK. We have a rep office in China, India and in Lebanon. Before the half of this year, we would be in Hong Kong.”
In response to a question from Tunji Andrews pertaining to reports of some staff resigning from a particular bank, he denied any knowledge of such.
“I am not aware that any position has been taken, that anybody will go. If at all, the position that has been taken is that people will stay.There is no merger in this country that has happened that has had the level of staff engagement that we have had.
“In the last one month, we have been to Owerri, we have been to Ibadan, we have been to Abuja. We are talking to staff and customers. We are building something big. There is room for everybody. This is the biggest retail bank in the country. We need people to run it. The branch network is almost number one or two.”