Access Bank officially launches its operations in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAAccess Bank has marked the official launch of Access Bank South Africa and another step in furthering Access Bank Plc’s footprint across the continent.

Access Bank Chief Executive Officer Herbert Wigwe said in a statement that the Southern African Development Community represented the strongest economy in Africa.

The Nigerian multinational commercial bank acquired agricultural bank Grobank in March 2021 and officially launched its entry into the South African market this week.

While Grobank, previously Bank of Athens, didn’t have retail banking operations as it was only focused on lending to farmers, the CEO of Access Bank South Africa, Bennie van Rooy, said the bank plans to compete in the retail space.

Nigeria Stock Exchange -listed Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.

It has a workforce of 28,000 employees in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, with a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.

Following a merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank, with more than 900,000 shareholders, became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base.

The CEO said the opening in South Africa meant Access Bank South Africa was now firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy.

Highlighting Access Bank’s presence in Zambia, he said the opening of the South African subsidiary cemented the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for banking opportunities across the continent.

“It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals”

Herbert Wigwe – CEO, Access Bank Plc

Bennie van Rooy said it was “an exciting event for the South African banking industry”, and the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

Van Rooy said Access Bank will also open many doors for African businesses to simplify trade across the continent, a proposition that is likely to strike a chord given the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint,” he said.

Wigwe said the group’s focus was on building relationships, as a partner in businesses and in the communities it served.

“It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.”

“With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and foreign exchange requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank put the power of choice in clients’ hands, he added.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go,” said Wigwe.

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