In the next five years, Access Holdings Plc hopes to raise to 26 from 17 the number of countries it operates in. Three out of these countries will be members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development: the United States (US), France and the United Kingdom (UK).
The bank declared this in a statement, Access Corporation Strategy, 2027, a five-year strategy it submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Limited recently.
The strategy statement follows in the mode of the bank’s traditional five-year strategic cycles that have guided Access Bank’s rise to the pinnacle of the Nigerian banking system over the past two decades. Access has progressed over the years through a combination of organic and inorganic growth and its latest plan shows it wants to continue on this growth trajectory.
“We will capitalise on our strong M&A capability and ability to build organically to create value with each expansion, prioritising countries with a better sovereign rating and complementary business landscape,” Access said in a document.
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Access says its footprint will grow significantly within this strategic period. The other countries in which it has an interest are as far-flung as Angola, Namibia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda. It is also interested in having its footprints in Morocco, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, the Republic of Benin, and Togo. Further afield, Access also wants to operate in India.
Access is already present in China, the UK, South Africa, Ghana, Congo, Cameroon, among others.
Within the five-year period, the bank expects that the Nigerian bank will be contributing about 52 per cent of revenues, down from about 82 per cent (as of 9M’22). It expects the new verticals will contribute in the region of 12 per cent of total revenues, as revenues from African subsidiaries are expected to double over the next five years.
Similarly, PBT contributions from the Nigerian bank are expected to decline from about 63 per cent (9M’22) to c.33 per cent, while the new verticals are expected to contribute c.19 per cent of the profitability by 2027, while African subsidiaries will contribute c.20 per cent as our footprint grows across the continent.
Twenty years ago, the management of the bank realised that changes in the local banking industry offered opportunities for inorganic growth to catapult it to dominant player status. Since then the management has set various targets in pursuit of this objective. Consistently, it has exceeded the targets.
In 2008, the Bank set a target to be among the top 5 financial services groups by 2012. At the end of the period, Access again exceeded its own target, being ranked 4th by assets as of December 2012 following its acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc. With this, Access entered the Big League in Nigeria’s financial sector, joining the likes of Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Plc, United Bank for Africa, and First Bank of Nigeria Plc in the Tier-1 banks category.
Access Bank’s aim at the number one spot paid off in 2018 when it acquired Diamond Bank Plc. With the acquisition, Access became Nigeria’s biggest bank by the number of customers. It was a complementary transaction. For Diamond, it brought Access Bank’s strong culture of risk and capital management expertise, as well as a clear strategy for sustainable growth. On its part, Access benefited from Diamond Bank’s peculiar retail banking expertise and strong digital offering. The merger also transformed the entity that emerged from it, as the new Access bank combined retail banking and corporate banking.
Within that period also Access completed six M&A transactions across Africa, specifically in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Cameroon, and Guinea, and issued $500 Tier 2 capital.
It said, “Our Africa strategy is supported by our presence in key international markets which enable us to: Diversify our earnings away from the volatile operating environments in Africa, orchestrate operations as a global payments gateway, manage our risk and exposures to soft currencies, and enhance our profitability without excess risk.”
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