There are no plans to acquire any lender. This was the statement of Mr. Herbert Wigwe, chief executive officer of Access Bank.
Access Bank is Nigeria’s largest bank by asset base. The bank recently acquired Diamond Bank. The Diamond acquisition which was termed a ‘merger’ by the bank is valued at $200 million
In a live interview monitored o Bloomberg TV, Herbert said the Bank is only focused on leveraging its acquisition of Diamond Bank to scale up its retail banking side of its business.
“We will push our retail business, we will bring down our cost of funds and get to where our comparatives are. We are not planing ay acquisition at the moment. We will have a disciplined capital structure,”
On worries that the bank has unresolved debts in its books, Herbert said “We have a very strong rich culture. We are getting significant recoveries. We are on track from a recovery standpoint.”
Wigwe projected that the bank will be as profitable as its competitors by 2020. He said the bank plans to leverage its retail business with over 20 million customers (twice as much as its largest competitor) to streamline its capital structure into a cheaper option that will increase its profitability.
Prior to its acquisition of Diamond Bank, Access Bank made its biggest acquisition after it took over Intercontinental Bank in 2012.
There were recent rumours (we reported) that Access Bank was in talks to acquire Union Bank, midsized lender majorly owned by Bob Diamond’s Atlas Mara Limited. While Access Bank has issued a rebuttal, some analysts think the bank could be given its usual denial as it was in the case of Diamond Bank.