Top Nigerian Access Bank takes over BancABC Botswana
Targets to have rebranded by Q3 2021
MD Wigwe promises that top posts will remain with locals
Following its successful acquisition of BancABC Botswana stake, the Nigerian founded leading bank Access Bank anticipates to be fully operational as Access Bank Botswana during Q3 2021.
The Nigerian‘s biggest lender, which is present in 12 markets in Africa, Europe and Asia, agreed has last week to buy a majority stake in African Bank Corporation Botswana.
Access Bank is expanding across the African continent to counter, among others the stagflation and dollar shortages in Nigeria that have frustrated businesses and shrinking the lending market.
The Bank Managing Director Herbert Wigwe said that the bank expansion into Botswana was premised on the economic potential that the country boasts of as strategic market in the region.
He said the acquisition of BancABC Botswana is a step in the right direction for the bank to robustly expand across the lucrative Southern African Development Community (SADC) market.
“Our expansion into Botswana will make the country a financial centre. Botswana is a resilient market with stable economic prowess. Our focus as we enter this promising market will be then looking at how Access Bank Botswana becomes a leading bank in the next three years,” he said.
Oozing with confidence, Wigwe said BancABC Botswana has been a resilient business and therefore he is confident that the business has potential to grow in leaps and bounds as Access bank too.
In addition, Wigwe said that the bank will remain listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). He also promised that there will be no job losses due to transition from BancABC to Access bank.
“I can confidently say that there will be zero job losses and top management positions will still remain for the citizens. We are a business that believes in citizen empowerment. Moreover, our entrance into Botswana will come with more job opportunities as we will be carrying a massive growth drive across the country. A huge branding campaign is in the offing as well,” he stressed.
Furthermore, the outspoken consummate Nigerian banker revealed that the bank is embarking on expanding into major trade centres in Africa and across the globe. Wigwe said Access bank is targeting to reach 100 million customers milestone in 2022. Currently, he said the bank has over 40 million customers; thus reflecting large customer base.
He said the bank is worth US$22 billion, stressing that the figure will grow as bank expands. BancABC Managing Director Kgotso Bannalotlhe said it is very inspiring for the bank to be part of large Acess Bank Group, pointing out that the acquisition comes with lot of growth opportunities.
He said the opportunities include that the staff will be afforded jobs in other markets where the bank is present, maintaining that the bank will continue to empower local investors.
According to him, 22% of shareholding in the bank is held by the citizen investors.
“BancABC has grown tremendously in the last 10 years and with Access Bank coming on board this will take the bank to another level. We are the fourth largest profitable bank locally and Acess bank is also the third profitable bank in Nigeria. This paints how future is bright,” he said.
Access Bank has a footprint in some of the strong financial markets such as China, Hong Kong, Dubai and United Kingdom. In the SADC region it operates in South Africa and Mozambique.
Botswana is the latest market for the bank to expand into but Wigwe said it eyes more markets.