Access Bank receives awards for innovation and financial performance

25 Feb 2020, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


Access Bank won Bank of the Year Nigeria at The Banker's Awards, as well as Best Bank in Nigeria and Best Product Launch (Pan Africa) at the 2019 Europe, Middle East and Africa Finance Awards.

L-R: Christopher Moore, Publisher/CEO, EMEA Finance Limited; Amaechi Okobi, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank Plc; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, and other representative at the 2019 EMEA Finance Awards in London

Access Bank Plc closed the year 2019 auspiciously by amassing more awards from various independent organisations and in different categories. In late November, the bank emerged as Bank of the Year Nigeria at The Banker's Awards, which held in London.
In early December of last year, Access Bank won the awards for the Best Bank in Nigeria and Best Product Launch (Pan Africa) at the 2019 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Finance Awards, also in London. The Banker, owned by the Financial Times Group, and EMEA Finance are two major London-based global financial publications. Their awards are designed to recognise financial institutions that have demonstrated sound leadership in their respective regional and local markets in the year under review.

The awardees are also those who have sustained and increased their profitability, gained strategic advantage, leveraged technology and innovation and have been adjudged to have delivered value to their stakeholders. One of the indicators by which The Banker selected Access Bank as the winner was the bank’s impressive financial performance, as it surpassed its targets.

Following its successful merger with Diamond Bank Plc and its subsequent rebranding exercise last year, Access Bank did not just become the biggest bank in Africa by customer base – having acquired over 29 million customers in 12 countries –  the bank has also increased its profitability. In 2018, Access Bank’s gross earnings increased by 15 per cent year-on-year from N459.1 billion in 2017 to N528.7 billion. Its profit rose by 58 per cent to N94.98 billion. The bank grew its interest income by 19 per cent to N380.9 billion, according to its 2018 annual report.

For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019, the bank's profit grew by 44 per cent to N90.73 billion, compared to N62.91 billion recorded during a similar period in 2018. Access Bank's unaudited financial statements also show that it generated N210.21 billion in net interest income as at the end of September 2019. This represents an 80 per cent increase over 2018.

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, attributed the bank’s impressive results to a responsible and innovative approach to creating excellent customer experience and the bank’s committed workforce.

“Through our approach, which includes a deep focus on supporting sustainability initiatives as well as leveraging innovation and technology to optimise our processes, Access Bank is well positioned to deliver on its promise to offer more than banking to our customers and indeed, all our employees,” Wigwe said at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane venue of The Banker's Awards in London.

According to a statement by the bank, one of the bank's achievements that buoyed its assessment by The Banker's editorial team was Access Bank's issuance of its N15 billion ($41.3 million) green bond, the first-ever “Climate Bonds Certified” corporate green bond in Africa. The bond is part of the bank’s commitment to deliver positive environmental and social impacts to society. It would be used to help close Nigeria’s critical infrastructure gaps and finance other green development initiatives.

At the EMEA Finance Awards 2019, which took place at The Law Society in London, Access Bank was recognised for its ability to use technology to facilitate business growth. One of the bank's fintech solutions is AccessAfrica, a payments solution that enables efficient and effective transfers between Person to Person (P2P), Business to Business (B2B), Person to Business (P2B), and Government to Person (G2P).

The commitment to innovation is a key aspect of the bank’s award-winning sustainability agenda through which Access Bank is maintaining its leadership in sustainable banking in Nigeria. Also in December, Access Bank was declared the Most Sustainable Bank of the Year for the third consecutive year at the 2019 edition of the CBN's Sustainability Awards. Indeed, the bank won in four other categories of the annual awards to boot.

Representing the bank at all the awards ceremonies was Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head of Sustainability at Access Bank. She said the bank will continue to optimise its business offerings to facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria and also realize the bank's ambition of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world.

“Access Bank is proud to play a role in supporting Nigeria’s economic development through sustainability-driven innovations," Mrs. Victor-Laniyan said. "We will continue to place sustainability at the core of our business strategy and provide sustainable innovative solutions to help address social, environmental and economic challenges.”