Merger puts us in better position to achieve continental aspirations – ACCESS BANK Chairman
BY NSIKAN IKPE
Chairman of Access Bank Plc, Mrs Mosun Bello-Olusoga has said that the bank’s recently conducted merger with Diamond Bank Plc has put it in a better position to achieve its continental aspirations.
‘The merger will create the required scale, customers base and support our desire to achieve wider spread across the continent,’ she stated.
Bello-Olusoga, who was speaking at the recently conducted Annual General Meeting of the Bank described 2018 as both a remarkable and challenging year due to many factors.
She said that despite unfavorable market conditions overall, Access Bank delivered strong performance, demonstrating an effective strategy backed by strong governance.
‘Over the years, we have implemented strategies built on strong governance metrics and have therefore remained profitable in business development,’ she outlined.
The Chairman maintained that the bank is however a much more diversified bank as a result of consistent approach to achieve it market place.
‘In January 2018, we began the implementation of another five years strategy to build a large diversified bank by consolidating our wholesale franchise and embedding ourselves firmly into retail market. This strategy will be digitally led, customers-focused and supported by various collaborations with reputable Fintech Companies,’ she elaborated.
Among other outcomes in the financial year just ended, the bank paid a financial dividend of 25kobo per ordinary share. This was in addition to the interim dividend of 25kobo earlier paid to shareholders, making a total of 0.50kobo dividend for 2018 financial year.
Also, the group’s profit before tax rose to N103.2 Billion while total assets grew by 21 per cent from N4.1 Trillion in 2017 to N4.95 trillion in 2018.
Similarly, Deposits also grew by 14 per cent from N2.25 trillion in 2017 to N2.56 trillion in 2018. However, shareholders equity decreased by 4 per cent from N511 Billion in 2018 to N491 Billion in 2018. This however is being attributed to the impact of the implementation of IFRS9 on retained earnings.
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, in his remarks, was also upbeat on the improved financial growth trajectory of the bank.
‘Our business recorded increased profits. The group delivered a 15 per cent increase in gross earnings, moving to N528.7 Billion from N459.1 Billion in 2017. The retail business also gained momentum in the year following an intense marketing drive and a continued commercial investment in the sector to deliver stronger synergies,’ he enthused.