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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Hebert Wigwe: Building the World’s Most Respected African Bank

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Hebert Wigwe is our master of coin, and there is no one to replace him!

Indeed, the chief executive officer of Access Bank has a magic finger and anything he touches turns to gold.

His remarkable achievement since he was appointed in 2014 to sit the Iron Throne surpasses other CEOs, and the Harvard trained graduate is not resting on his oars as even has climbed to the top of the pyramid.

To go north, you must journey south. To reach west, you must go east. To go forward, you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadows.

Despite two macroeconomic economic shocks such as the crude oil crash of mid-2o14 that tipped the country into its first recession in 25 years and the coronavirus pandemic that significantly undermined energy prices and plunge Nigeria into recession in 2020, Hubert Wigwe’s Access Bank surmounted theses headwinds.

In March 2019 Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank to form the largest bank in Africa, by customer numbers.

Interestingly, the lenders’ total asset was N2.10 trillion in June 2014 (the year Wigwe became CEO), and now it stands at N10.05 trillion as at June 2021.

Net income was N42.97 billion in June 2021, and it spiked by 88.14 percent to N86.93 billion as at June 2020.

Access Bank’s tremendous success under the reign or leadership of Hubert Wigwe is enviable as the lender emerged the strongest by return on equity (ROE) in the entire banking industry, which means it has generated more profit from shareholders’ investment.

Access Bank’s return on average equity of 22.87 percent as at June 2020, according to MoneyCentral calculations.

And that compares with Guaranty Trust Holding Company with ROE of 19.70 percent; Zenith Bank is next with 18.77 percent; United Bank for Africa fourth with 16.41 percent; FirstBank Holdings, 9.89 percent; Stanbic IBTC Holdings, 12.43 percent; WEMA Bank, 12.77 percent, and First City Monument Bank, 6.54 percent.

Access Bank recorded the largest profit growth among the Tier 1 lenders, as net income was up 44.44 percent as at June 2021.

That compares with United Bank for Africa’s profit growth of 36.55 percent; Zenith Bank, 2.21 percent.

Hebert Wigwe, whose success has been famed across the continent, is an aggressive expansionist who is ensuring that the bank spreads its tentacles across Sub-Saharan Africa through acquisitions.

In March 2021, it paid about $60 million to purchase a controlling interest in South Africa’s 74-year-old Grobank, which sealed its commitment to delivering its strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World, in line with its vision to be the ‘World’s Most Respected African Bank.’

“We look forward to the many opportunities our collective experience and deep understanding of the African market brings to our valued clients, and the journey ahead being one of great promise for our institution and the continent,” said Wigwe

 “We remain committed to a disciplined and thoughtful expansion strategy in Africa, which we believe will create strong, sustainable returns for our shareholders and stakeholders at large, over the medium and long-term,’’ adds Wigwe.

Access Bank’s instant electronic transfer rises 78.12 percent to N20.85 trillion

Access Bank, the largest lender by total assets in Africa’s largest economy, is using cost savings digital means to reach the currently financially excluded and underserved populations.

The value of transactions via the Access Bank’s Interbank Settlement System Instant payment system or total digital transaction value stood at N20.85 trillion as at June 2021, as it intensifies efforts to deepen financial inclusion.

This is a 78.12 percent surge in the value of the transactions compared with N11.70 trillion transactions as at June 2020.

The number of electronic product transactions stood at 894 million as at June 2021, which is 27.77 percent higher than 2020’s 700 million.

Further analysis of the financial statement of Access Bank shows revenue from mobile and internet banking surged by 66.90 percent to N16.39 billion in June 2021 from N9.82 billion as at June 2020.

“Our market leading propositions are designed with the customer at the Center.  Our customers have trusted our digital platforms resulting in significant growth,” said the bank.

In Nigeria, only 67.5 million (64 percent) of the 105.5 million adult population were financially included in the year 2020. This was disclosed in a report by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access, tagged ‘New data from EFInA.

The report stated that 36 percent of Nigerian adults, or 38 million adults, remained completely financially excluded at the end of 2020.

In line with its mission to deliver superior value to its customers and provide innovative solutions for the markets and communities it serves, Access bank Plc, has successfully commissioned and empowered 74,000 Access Closa agents to provide financial services to customers across Nigeria, the bank has said.

“As a bank driven by innovation, we must deliver better outcomes for customers in terms of speed, security and service to enhance customer experience in all the locations that we operate. With the recent mapping of over 70,000 Access Closa Agents, customers and non-customers of the Bank who are travelling for Business, events or to visit loved ones in any location in Nigeria will continue to enjoy uninterrupted banking services as our Closa agents are available in several rural and semi-urban locations across the country,” said Robert Giles.

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