Access Bank Plc, the flagship commercial banking subsidiary of Access Holdings Plc, yesterday formally launched its subsidiary in Paris, France, the latest in the rapid global expansion that has positioned the bank as global gateway to Africa’s financial hubs.
The French subsidiary will focus on trade finance, initially capitalising on flows between Africa and France, particularly Francophone Africa.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe said the purpose of the bank’s strategic expansion efforts was to consolidate the bank’s leading position as intermediary for global and African trades and businesses.
“Access Bank Plc, today, has a very strong presence in the United Kingdom, but coming on the heels of Brexit, there was a need for us to establish a presence in another country in Europe and France provides a very strong platform for us to do so.
“Beyond that, Access Bank has a great presence in the Francophone world that relies significantly – in terms of trade – on France, so, Access Bank in Paris will work to support trade possibilities and trade finance solutions to businesses in those regions, ranging from large conglomerates to SMEs and more.
“Our range of banking products and services will be a valuable asset for businesses looking to trade internationally, while our corporate and investment banking services will help businesses access capital, manage their cash flow, and mitigate risk. Furthermore, we are confident that the Bank’s trade finance solutions will help businesses to navigate the complexities of cross-border trade, and at the same time, our digital capabilities will make banking more convenient and efficient for all our customers,” Wigwe said.
He pointed out that the bank recognizes the critical role of its various stakeholders in making its expansionary drive successful, assuring that the bank places priority on the value of its customers, shareholders, regulators, and the communities it operates.
“Our successes over the years would be footnotes but for the relationships we have fostered with these critical contributors. In recognition of this, we are committed to building long-term partnerships with all our stakeholders in France – based on trust, transparency, and mutual respect,” Wigwe said.
According to him, Access Bank’s presence in France represents an important step towards achieving its goal of bridging worlds and connecting opportunities for African businesses. The bank’s latest stride also lays a marker for realising its recently unveiled five-year strategic growth plan.
Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Roosevelt Ogbonna noted that over the years, the bank has demonstrated a strong commitment to deepening its presence across Africa and beyond.
“Today, we are proud to have a presence in 18 countries across four continents, serving millions of customers and businesses. Indeed, our expansion drive has been guided by our vision to become the world’s most respected African bank, and by building on our strong track record of innovation, customer service, and social responsibility, we have come one step closer to achieving this goal.
“We remain committed to building a bank that is truly global in scope, yet locally relevant in its approach, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to grow and expand our footprint in new markets,” Ogbonna said.
He explained that Access Bank UK, led by Jamie Simmonds, will oversee the operations of the Paris subsidiary and will effectively become the umbrella company for other representative offices in the country.
“With the launch of its operations in France, Access Bank is uniquely positioned to create opportunities for scaled economic growth and development across Africa while helping international investors see the continent as a viable market to do business. To facilitate the flow of capital, goods, and services across borders and support economic growth and development in both regions of focus, the bank will leverage its expertise in cross-continental trade and its strong network of partners and clients,” Ogbonna said.