Nigeria’s largest retail bank, Access Bank Plc, is spreading its wings in the East African market, by doubling its investment in its Rwandan subsidiary after acquiring Kenya’s Transnational Bank four months ago.
Access bank owns 75 percent shareholding in its Rwandan subsidiary, which has eight branches across the country. According to the bank’s 2019 annual report, Access Bank (Rwanda) posted a 56 percent drop in net profit to $646,702 from $1.46 million in 2018.
The bank’s latest financial statements for the first quarter (January-March) 2020, shows that the Nigerian lender has injected $9 million in additional capital into the Rwandan subsidiary, increasing its investment in the bank to $13.32 million from $4.02 million, thereby solidifying its position in the regional banking industry.
As part of the bank’s five- year plan (2018-2022), it is targeting the regional banking market that seeks to shore up its retail and wholesale banking business and position the institution as the world’s most respected African bank. This can be achieved by acquiring shares in its subsidiary units
On February 1, 2020 Access Bank Plc acquired all the shareholding of Kenya’s Transnational Bank at an undisclosed fee. Also in 2019, Access Bank obtained the Central Bank of Guinea’s approval to set up a subsidiary in the country through 100 percent acquisition of a local bank at an estimated cost of $14 million.
Prior to the Guinea acquisition, Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank Plc in March 2019 in order to expand its retail footprint, complement the Bank’s existing corporate franchise and create a diversified lender that can support all its customers’ needs.
According to Access Bank Group’s managing director and chief executive Herbert Wigwe, “in our quest to create an integrated global franchise, we intend to build a presence in key Eastern African countries as well as Asia. By expanding our reach in these regions, we are aiming to make the most of the growth potentials they offer.”
Access Bank has over 36 million customers across the continent, and is boosting the performance of its East African subsidiaries. It is the largest bank in Nigeria with a total asset base of more than $16.10 billion, with subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Zambia and the UK.
The bank also operates representative offices in China, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and India.
Access Bank is looking for more acquisitions in African markets, as it seeks to set up its own banking infrastructure.