A new bank on the block was launched on Monday after a transaction that saw Nigeria’s biggest bank, Access Bank, spending $60 million (about R823 million) on acquiring South Africa’s Grobank.
Access Bank SA is a full-service commercial bank with a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets and 31 million clients, spanning three continents and 12 countries. It has subsidiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom, a branch in Dubai and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.
Bennie van Rooy, CEO of Access Bank SA, described the launch as ‘an exciting event for the South African banking industry’, saying that the bank will provide sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.
“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the Group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint.”
Access Bank CEO, Herbert Wigwe, says the SADC region is the strongest economy on the African continent. “This means Access Bank SA is firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy, and unlocks the gateway to the entire Southern African region.”
He says the opening of the South African subsidiary reinforces the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for exceptional banking opportunities across the continent. “The group will continue to focus on building relationships as a partner in businesses and communities.”
Wigwe believes that it is vital that the bank’s solutions offer clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.
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Access Bank SA will offer transactional accounts and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and Forex requirements or deposit solutions.
“Partnerships with all our clients mean power for them to achieve their aspirations, while Access Bank’s growth brings greater advantages in the financial sector. Like Bennie, I am excited to be on this path with the knowledge and experience of the continent that we share,” Wigwe says.
Access Bank has been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange since 1998 and describes itself as a diversified financial institution that combines a strong retail customer franchise and digital platform with four business segments, retail, business, commercial and corporate.