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Nigeria’s Banking Industry: Access Bank

Access Bank is one of Nigeria’s largest banking institutions. It provides personal, private and corporate financial services to millions of people in the country, from a growing number of branches and touchpoints located in various states of the federation.

The bank has been growing in size and scope of operations over the years. It has morphed from a solely corporate bank to an institution which offers a broad portfolio of products to the public. Its asset base reflects this rapid expansion. As at the end of 2018, its total assets were worth N4.95 billion, a 21% increase from what they were worth the previous year.

Access Bank currently has its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

History

Access Bank was licensed by the CBN in 1989. It had its shares listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1998.

The decades that followed saw the bank expand rapidly. In 2002, it was taken over by a new management team. And in 2005, it acquired two banks; Marina Bank, and Capital Bank. Seven years later, it took over Intercontinental Bank, another local financial institution.

Access Bank followed the same route in its dealings beyond Nigeria. Its expansion into several other countries involved the acquisition of existing banks. This played out in the Gambia, Congo, and Rwanda. But there have also been new subsidiaries set up in Zambia, Sierra Leone, and the United Kingdom.

Late in 2018, Access Bank moved to merge with Diamond Bank. The process, completed in 2019, is seen as one of the most significant bank mergers in the country.

Access Bank Services

Access Bank has products and services designed for individuals as well as small and large businesses.

The regular banking services include deposit accounts; besides the usual savings, current, or domiciliary accounts, there are accounts designed for specific purposes, like the Diamond School Advantage, with which schools can receive school fees payments for their students.

The bank issues bank cards to its customers, which they can use to make withdrawals at ATMs, or pay for things online. Transactions involving personal accounts can also be carried out with the bank’s apps, USSD codes, and Pay with Capture, a digital tool which lets its users pay for goods by scanning them.

Access Bank caters to mortgage financing and investment needs of its clients as well. Other services available from the bank include business loans, corporate services, and economic research conducted and delivered to larger companies. Its engagements in the larger scale tend to be with players in the energy, telecommunications, and trade industries.

Other Activities

Access Bank sponsors the Lagos City Marathon, which takes place annually. It is also a partner in the ART X event, West Africa’s biggest art conference, which also takes place every year. 

More recently, it has been working to provide entrepreneurs who are women with the funding and mentorship they need to scale their businesses.

Featured image source: Access Bank Logo

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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