March 2022 marked twenty years since two young Nigerian bankers – Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe – bought a small, nondescript bank and turned it into one of the biggest lenders in Nigeria, with subsidiaries across Africa, Europe, and Asia.
From the start, the dream was massive: For Access Bank to take advantage of the the continent’s enormous potential and vast opportunities, and establish its presence in 22 African countries as well as some strategic locations outside the continent, to diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in Africa.
Today, Access Bank is trusted as one of the Top Five African banks for its understanding of regional compliance; it’s capacity to support cross-border trade; and its technology infrastructure that ranks among the best in Africa.
Twenty years after the dream was set in motion, pioneers Aig-Imoukhuede and Wigwe’s focus is on becoming a key aggregator in Africa that is currently building a global payment gateway and providing trade finance support and correspondent banking across the continent, focusing on the key markets.
As Access Bank stands on the threshold of another decade, its focus is on strategic diversification into various growth areas, including the fintech business.
Says Wigwe: “The next 20 years will be very exciting for Access Bank. I see it landing in New York, Paris, and other key places in the Northern Hemisphere. But we will always be a pioneering financial institution looking with a key aim of being the most trusted bank in Africa.”
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