By jane Osamor
L-R: Jamie Simmonds, CEO, Access Bank UK Limited; Dr. Herbert Wigwe; GMD/CEO, Access Holdings Plc; Olivier Becht, France Minister of Foreign Trade; Aigboje Aig-Imoukuede, Chairman, Coronation Capital; Roosevelt Ogbonna, MD/CEO, Access Bank Plc and Pascal Furth, Head of Regional economic Department, French Embassy, Nigeria, during the launch of Access bank branch in Paris, France… on Thursday
Access Bank PLC, the flagship company of Access Holdings PLC, has officially launched its subsidiary in Paris, France. The Bank’s operations will focus on trade finance, initially capitalising on flows between Africa and France, particularly Francophone Africa.
Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings PLC, speaking on the purpose of the Bank’s strategic expansion efforts said, “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,” he reiterated.
Recognising the critical role of the Bank’s various stakeholders in making the expansion drive successful, Wigwe stressed 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,” he added.
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 5-year strategic growth plan.
“Over the years, we have demonstrated a strong commitment to deepening the Bank’s presence across Africa and beyond,” remarked Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director, Access Bank PLC, at the launch. “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 concluded.
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.