Access Bank Plc says it has received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Approval-in-Principle to restructure its operations into a holding company (HoldCo) banking model.
Nigeria’s biggest bank by customer base revealed this in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, saying the proposed HoldCo structure would enable the bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improve operational efficiencies, talent retention, and robust governance.
The bank now joins the growing lists of lenders such as Guaranty Trust Bank and Sterling Bank that have signified their intention to restructure into a holding company.
Also, as part of its plan to connect key African markets, the bank announced a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings to invest in Grobank Limited South Africa, over two tranches.
Access Bank would provide an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, increasing to a majority stake in the second tranche.
GroCapital’s shareholders include the Public Investment Company (PIC) — Africa’s largest investment manager — and Fairfax Africa Holdings.
The bank also announced that it has received approvals to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, noting that it has entered into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited to acquire African Banking Corporation Mozambique for cash.
Joshua Odebisi a banking Analyst at Vetiva Management told Arise News that part of the reasons why banks are restructuring is because of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which will be taking off on January 1, 2021. He said, “once borders are open and there is more intra African trade the banks present in the most markets is likely to make significant strides, remain profitable and better able to cater to different markets.”