Access Bank Announces Expansion into Cameroon

The management of Access Bank Plc on Wednesday announced its intention to expand its businesses into the Republic of Cameroon.

The bank made this known in a disclosure notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The notice, signed by Sunday Ekwochi, the Company Secretary, said that the move followed the approval obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The bank said it obtained a “No Objection” approval from the apex bank to set up a subsidiary in Cameroon.

The Cameroon subsidiary will take off once regulatory approvals are obtained in the country, the bank said in the disclosure Wednesday, adding that the expansion is in conformity with the bank’s strategic objective to become “Africa’s Gateway to the World.”

Access Bank had last year announced a merger scheme with Diamond Bank as parts of its drive to expand and serve its customers.

Last March, the bank in a corporate filing with the NSE announced it received the final approval of both the CBN and the SEC to the proposed Scheme of Merger with Diamond Bank.

The merger of the two banks was touted to be one that will produce Nigeria’s biggest bank in terms of both capital base and network among all the 23 commercial banks in operation in the country.

With the new merger, both banks (Access and Diamond) said they would leverage on their distinct potentials to build a stronger bank.

Access Bank boss, Herbert Wigwe, said both banks have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond Bank, with its leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking, could accelerate Access’ strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.

The planned expansion move to Douala signals part of the promise of last year’s merger.

Upon completion of all necessary regulatory filings in Cameroon, Access Bank Plc will become the 16th commercial bank to operate in the country alongside United Bank of Africa (UBA).
Local media reports in Cameroon suggest that the new subsidiary’s headquarters will be in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital.