The Access Bank UK Posts Full-Year Profit for the eight’s Consecutive Year

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 10 June 2019: The Access Bank UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, today reported its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2018. During the period, operating income advanced 47%, from £36.2m to £53m, and profit before tax increased 50% to £33m, while Balance Sheet growth grew 36% to 1.9bn.

Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of The Access Bank UK, said, “These results demonstrate our ability to continue growing the business through the depth and quality of customer relationships, whilst still operating within moderate risk appetite. The continuing success of this strategy is reflected in our achievements, being named winner of the Capital Finance International Award 2019 for Best Africa Trade Finance Bank for the fourth straight year, together with the International Finance Award for Best African Trade Finance Bank.”

The Bank saw a strong growth in the Balance Sheet during 2018, increasing from £1,402.5m as at 31 December 2017 to £1.9bn as at 31 December 2018.  This growth was in part funded by the continued success of the Bank’s Fixed Term Deposit product range, which is targeted at the UK retail market. Deposits for this product continue to grow at a consistent and satisfactory rate in line with plan, with good retention levels being maintained.

Costs rose 41% in the year, as the Bank continued to invest in employee training and recruitment. The success of this policy was reflected in the Bank receiving the Gold Award from Investors in People in 2017, having been awarded Bronze in 2015. The increase also reflects costs incurred by the Bank in becoming a member of the Sterling Clearing system in 2018, with the Bank becoming a direct participant in the Faster Payments Service, BACS, and the Image Clearing System of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company.   

Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of The Access Bank UK stated, “The Access Bank UK is continuing to demonstrate positive growth momentum, with another year of profitability and a strong growth in assets. The investment we have made in becoming a member of the Sterling Clearing system has enhanced our service provision, giving us a sustainable base for growing our business and enabling us to build our service offering for business and personal customers.”

Since commencing operations in 2008, the Bank has achieved its initial objective of providing a credible and sustainable OECD hub to grow the international business of Access Bank Plc. Under the Bank’s second strategic plan, the Bank achieved its goal of creating the most profitable Nigerian bank in the UK and increasing the UK contribution to parent bank Group performance. During the second half of 2017, the Bank developed a new five-year plan, which reflects and is line with Access Bank Plc’s vision of becoming “The worlds most respected African Bank”

Parent company Access Bank Plc has successfully completed its merger with Diamond Bank Plc, designed to significantly accelerate the strategy of being a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion. The new Access Bank was publicly launched on April 1, 2019, creating Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by a number of customers.

With regard to The Access Bank UK’s core trade finance markets in Africa, Nigeria remains the key market. Increases in both oil production and oil price in 2018 and expectations of further growth in 2019 have had a positive impact on Nigerian GDP, with the latest forecasts estimating that this will have grown at circa 1.9% for 2018 and forecast to grow at 2.7% in 2019.  Given the continued signs of improvement in the situation in Nigeria, the Directors are confident that the outlook for the Bank is a positive one.

The financial statement incorporates the results of The Access Bank UK – DIFC Branch. “As the gateway to trade with Africa and Asia, we will continue to support and encourage corporates in the Middle East and Asia region looking to grow trade relations with these markets and will continue to explore strategic opportunities to grow our business and provide customised offerings to our key customers,” said Rola Seifeddine, Senior Executive Officer and Head of The Access Bank UK – DIFC Branch.

About The Access Bank UK – DIFC Branch

Situated in the iconic Gate Building of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and regulated by Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), The Access Bank UK – DIFC Branch in the UAE offers a wide range of services to support business activities across various sectors in the region. As a licensed, branch, the strategic and centrally located Access Bank UK DIFC Branch will serve as a route for investors in the region to trade effortlessly from Asia to Africa. Armed with a strong purpose to offer complete support to its customers by moving closer to them, the DIFC Branch is committed to building a long lasting relationship in the region.

About The Access Bank UK Ltd

The Access Bank UK Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, a Nigerian Stock Exchange listed company. The Access Bank UK Limited was established to provide customers in the UK and in Africa with a broad range of business and personal banking services. These include trade finance, treasury services, business and personal banking together with private banking and wealth management.

Our objective is to grow the international business of the Access Bank Group through excellence in customer service and innovative solutions in trade finance, commercial banking and asset management. We are authorised and regulated by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority (PRA and FCA) and are therefore in a strong position to support opportunities in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) markets for Access Bank Group customers. At the same time, our position as Access Bank Group’s OECD operational hub supports the flow of investment into markets in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan, West Africa and the MENA region.

We have a strong base in the UK and abroad which allows us to stay in touch with our customers wherever they are in the world. Our Head Office is located in the heart of the City of London and overlooks the Bank of England and our Operations division is near Manchester. We also have an office in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Access Bank UK has been voted as the Best Africa Trade Finance Bank in 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016 by Capital Finance International, for the fourth consecutive year.

About Access Bank plc

Access Bank a leading full service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 29 million customers. The Bank employs 28,000 thousand people in its operations in Nigeria, Sub Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom, with representative offices in China, Lebanon, India and the UAE.

Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange since 1998, Access Bank is a diversified financial institution which combines a strong retail customer franchise and digital platform with deep corporate banking expertise and proven risk management and capital management capabilities. The Bank serves its various markets through five business segments: Personal, Business, Commercial, Corporate & Investment Banking and Operations and IT. The Bank has over 800,000 shareholders, including several Nigerian and International Institutional Investors, and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last 17 years. Following its merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank became one
of Africa’s largest retail banks.

As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant, helping customers to access more and achieve their dreams.