The Access Bank UK Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Access Bank Plc, a Nigerian Stock Exchange listed company. The Bank provides Trade Finance, Commercial Banking, Private Banking and Asset Management products and services for customers in its dealings with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) markets and support companies wishing to invest in and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA and Asian markets.
The Access Bank UK is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. The Access Bank UK Limited – Dubai Branch, situated in the iconic Gate Building of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
Like its parent, The Access Bank UK is committed to developing a sustainable business model for the environment in which it operates. This is reflected in its moderate appetite for risk, passion for customer service and commitment to build long-term relationships by working in partnership with customers. The Bank plays a key role in the Group’s vision to the World’s Most Respected African Bank. Instead of chasing unsustainable yields as a route to growth, the Bank is focused on building business through the strength of customer relationships.
Herbert Wigwe, Chairman and Non-Executive Director said: “The Access Bank UK was founded to establish a credible, sustainable OECD hub for the Access Bank Group. This was achieved with commendable efficiency while also becoming a successful and profitable business on its own right. Fundamental to the Bank’s growth is our operational culture built upon strong customer relationships and the delivery of high quality services.
Many high net worth customers who utilise The Access Bank UK for trade finance and commercial banking services also use our asset management and private banking for their UK personal financial interests. Such duality has proved beneficial for customers at a time when business and financial environments across Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the USA remain challenging.”
Our Strategic Business Units
The Access Bank UK provides a number of services to support business activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the world. The Bank was awarded Confirming Bank status by the International Finance Corporation as part of their Global Trade Finance Programme, strengthening its Trade Finance capabilities further. Moreover, The Access Bank was the first Nigerian Bank in the UK to be appointed as correspondent bank to the Central Bank of Nigeria to undertake infrastructure work on behalf of the Nigerian government. The Bank also issues Letters of Credit on behalf of the Nigerian government and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Recently, it was awarded the Capital Finance International Award for Best Africa Trade Finance Bank for the third consecutive year.
The Access Bank’s Commercial Banking team offers relationship-based service for corporate and individual customers. They offer a wide range of products and services with a choice of competitive rates, market leading systems and top quality service.
The Global Private Bank has been built around The Access Bank’s passion for delivering excellent service. “We deliver innovative investment solutions to our discerning clients who value trust, integrity and accountability as well as investment performance. We take a proactive approach to product and service delivery, and offer unique investment solutions, which are tailored to our customers’ needs by a highly experienced Private Banking team.”
Dubai: A Strategic Middle East Hub
The Access Bank UK Dubai Branch offers a broad range of products and services to assist customers with trade and investment needs in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. The DIFC Branch is committed to building a long-lasting relationship in the region in line with the approach that has proven so effective for The Access Bank UK. The combination of the Dubai office together with its presence in the UK and Nigeria delivers a wealth of expertise that significantly benefits customers.
The Access Bank takes time to build long-term relationships and work closely with customers to understand their goals in order to create a strategy designed to meet their needs. The Bank provides constant support and development opportunities for employees, which reflects in their dedication and professionalism. The Bank is led by a team of accomplished individuals determined to deliver superior financial solutions for business and individuals. The staff are highly experienced, with many having spent time working in the Sub-Saharan, West African and international marketplaces. The Bank is firmly committed to the diversity of its workforce. A sense of individual ownership is encouraged, while also fostering team spirit. The Bank’s endeavour is to help employees realise their potential through the provision of continuous learning opportunities, tools and training to support professional growth.
Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director said: “Our people are fundamental to our Bank’s continued development. They provide the skills that deliver our focus on service and customer relations. Reflecting this, during the year we selectively recruited additional members to the team and also invested more in professional development. We were the first Nigerian bank to achieve Investors in People accreditation. We have now advanced our status to Gold. We believe that our consistently low staff turnover rate reflects in part the advances we have made in training and development. The Bank is currently working in partnership with BPP professional apprenticeships and Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) programmes.”
Going From Strength To Strength
The Access Bank UK has recently announced its Annual Report and Accounts for 2017. The Bank has recorded yet another year of significant all-round growth, achieving and exceeding target for all the main growth strategies. Operating income was up 45% year-on-year to £36.2m, with all four strategic business units performing well. Pre-tax profits overall grew by a substantial 76% to £22m and the return on equity rose to 16.6%, up from 13.54% in 2016.
Trade Finance revenues increased year-on-year by 15% to £19.8m whilst Commercial Banking team achieved an increase of 113% year-on-year to £11.5m. Asset Management and Private Banking incomes rose by 15.3% to £1.5m. The Bank continued expanding the depth and breadth of the services in the recently opened office in Dubai and in its first full year trading it has delivered income of £671k covering all of its Direct Costs.
Jamie Simmonds commented on the recently published results: “The Access Bank UK continued to build the trust and loyalty of our customers by providing consistent support throughout a period when the business environment in key markets has often been extremely challenging. In doing so, we have developed even stronger relationships with our existing customers whilst also attracting new ones, creating a solid platform for further growth in an improving economic environment.”
Herbert Wigwe added: “This year marks the end of The Access Bank UK’s 9th full year of trading during which time the Bank has gone from strength to strength, routinely meeting and often exceeding all its annual growth targets despite the long-lasting worldwide financial and economic challenges arising from the global crisis of 2008. Looking forward to 2018 we are well prepared to take advantage of an improving economic outlook, in our market place and we are confident The Access Bank UK will continue to make good progress as we embark on our third five-year plan with the declared aim of helping to establish Access Bank Group as ‘Africa’s Gateway to the World’.”
Throughout my experience in financial services, my guiding principles have been to deliver excellent customer service and provide innovative solutions for the customers and markets we serve. I have been involved in the turnaround of several existing businesses by going back to these basic principles and rebuilding from the ground up. When I established The Access Bank UK Ltd in January 2008, it was at a turbulent time in banking but we set the risk appetite, processes and procedures, and developed products that our customers wanted. We have built the Bank steadily but sustainably, and have a balance sheet of over £1.5bn.
Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director