Access Bank Profit Spikes 12.71% as Lender Deepens African Footprint
Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc.

Access Bank Profit Spikes 12.71% as Lender Deepens African Footprint

Access Bank Plc. profit spikes 12.71% to N106.01 billion in the financial year 2020 amidst pandemic-induced economic stress as lender deepen its inorganic expansion across African countries.

In its audited statement, lender’s gross earnings printed at N764.7 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31. 2020, in spite of the challenging economic and regulatory landscape.

At this level, gross earnings record represents an increase of 15 per cent, when compared with the N666.75 billion the bank recorded in 2019. Lender’s pretax profit printed at N125.9 billion from N115.38 billion in the comparable year in 2019.

In its statement submitted on the stock exchange, Access bank achieved consistent growth in its retail banking business, reporting a 5.8 million growth in customer sign-on during the year.

This came through its financial inclusion efforts which was further deepen during the lockdown as customers resulted to usage of banking extended channels.

The management said the increase in customer base led to a retail revenue of N177.2 billion or a 64.4 per cent increase from the 2019 figures of N107.8 billion.

Indeed, customer deposits expanded by 31 per cent to N5.59 trillion in December 2020, with savings account deposits standing at N1.31 trillion.

Access bank net loans and advanced 18 per cent to N3.61 trillion as against the 2019 figures of N3.06 trillion, lifting the bank impairment on credit losses as default rate increase.

The statement quoted the bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Herbert Wigwe, as saying that the performance was a testament to the effectiveness of its strategy and capacity to generate sustainable revenue.

“The strategic actions that the bank has taken, over the past 12 months, evidenced a strong focus on retail banking and financial inclusion, an African expansion strategy and a drive for scale for sustainable value creation.

“In 2020, Access Bank proudly opened its doors for business in Kenya and Mozambique, further extending our footprints across the African Continent.

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“Access Bank Zambia also concluded the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited in January 2021, and the Group recently announced the approval, by relevant regulatory authorities, for the acquisition of Grobank Limited, creating an inroad into the South African market, in realisation of the Group’s strategic ambitions.

“In view of the opportunities that exist in the market, we will be transitioning to a holding company structure (Holdco),” Wigwe said, adding that an Approval-in-Principle had already been granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the restructuring.

According to him, the HoldCo would comprise four subsidiaries in order to tap into the market opportunities available in the consumer lending market, electronic payments industry and retail insurance market.

“Going into the fourth year of our five-year cyclical strategy, our focus remains on consolidating our retail momentum and expanding our African footprint in a sustainable manner,” Wigwe said.

Access Bank Profit Spikes 12.71% as Lender Deepens African Footprint