RWANDA – Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest retail bank, has more than doubled its investment in its Rwandan subsidiary after investing US$9 million.  

Access Bank Plc owns 75 per cent shareholding in its Rwandan subsidiary, which has eight branches across the country.  

On February 1, 2020 Access Bank Plc acquired all the shareholding of Kenya’s Transnational Bank at undisclosed fee. Transnational Bank, which commenced operations in December 1985, has 28 branches, across Kenya.  

Access Bank, with more than 36 million customers across the continent, is boosting the performance of its East African subsidiaries. Access Bank (Rwanda) posted a 56 per cent drop in net profit to US$646,702 from US$1.46 million in 2018 according to the bank’s 2019 annual report.   

According to the bank’s latest financial statements for the first quarter (January-March) 2020, the Nigerian lender has injected US$9 million in additional capital into the Rwandan subsidiary, increasing its investment in the bank to US$13.32 million from US$4.02 million, to solidify its position in the regional banking industry.   

Access Bank Plc is the largest bank in Nigeria with a total asset base of more than US$16.10 billion, with subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Zambia and the UK.  

The bank also operates representative offices in China, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and India.  

In 2019, Access Bank obtained the Central Bank of Guinea’s approval to set up a subsidiary in the country through 100 per cent acquisition of a local bank at an estimated cost of US$14 million.  

Access Bank is targeting the regional banking market as part of its five-year plan (2018-2022) that seeks to shore up its retail and whole sale banking business and position the institution as the world’s most respected African bank.  

“In our quest to create an integrated global franchise, we intend to build a presence in key Eastern African countries as well as Asia. By expanding our reach in these regions, we are aiming to make the most of the growth potentials they offer,” said Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Group’s managing director and chief executive.  

The bank is looking for more acquisitions in African markets, while in other markets it seeks to set up its own banking infrastructure that in most cases has turned out to be more expensive.  

In March 2019, Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank Plc mainly to expand its retail footprint, complement the Bank’s existing corporate franchise and create a diversified lender that can support all its customers’ need.