Access Bank aims to become most respected African bank

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 “We came to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, who hosted an interaction between ourselves, analysts and investors basically to talk about a 5-year medium term strategy. One of the things we did explain was what respect is all about and we spent a lot of time speaking to our stakeholders, customers, staff to understand from their perspective what their views as to what the most respected African Bank would be,” Aig-Imoukhuede told CNBC africa on Thursday. 

“What came out resoundingly was from the perspective of our staff. They wanted an institution who allowed them to attain positions of leadership as professionals in banking. Our customers want commitment by putting them at the heart of the organisation and operating at a very excellent level.”

Access Bank has around 300 branches in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia among others. The bank will however be restricting its presence to high impact economies as strategy of further entrenchment into those countries. 

“What it would mean for our African footprint is that if you take the entire stakeholder group, they will see reasonable returns and if it is our staff you will see that in terms of empowerment, training and exposure they will be at par or better than world standards,” added Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank’s current group deputy managing director.

Wigwe will replace Aig-Imoukhuede as Access Bank’s group managing director in the next 6 months.

Women constitute 46 per cent of Access Bank’s customer base and this has prompted them to create products that cater to other majority categories within its ranks.

“We found that women have different needs and priorities so we will serve them differently and in a way that adds true value to them. Similarly, retirees have different needs and priorities and we will serve them differently. You straddle several demographics, cultural differences and nuances so you’re going to have a bank whose ATMs speak different languages, those are the types of innovations we’re talking about,” said Aig-Imoukhuede.