There is an opportunity for Access Bank to expand to high-potential markets, leveraging the benefits of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (Af- CFTA), the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, has said. Wigwe, in a presentation at the bank’s investor call, said Africa presents a market opportunity of over 1.3 billion people and additionally, the AfCFTA is expected to expand intra Africa trade and provide real opportunities for Africa. He said the bank already operated in 12 countries following a series of acquisitions spanning from Kenya to its home market.
Wigwe said the bank planned to eventually expand into 22 African countries to cushion challenges in some markets, diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in the region. He identified markets of interest to include Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia.
The CEO said the group was considering floating an insurance brokerage subsidiary in a bid to leverage the insurance market opportunity of $150 billion in countries with Access Bank presence.
“Having secured the permission of its share-holders and relevant stakeholders to operate a Holding Company (Hold- Co) structure, the bank is, however, planning, to be the hub of all financial services, not only in Nigeria, but Africa and the global stage,” he said. The group managing director said the proposed insurance brokerage would adopt a dynamic and creative approach to provide a value- added insurance broking services focused to meeting customers’ insurance protection needs.
According to him, “there is a market opportunity of $150 billion in countries with Access presence assuming insurance penetration in these countries (4.4%) grows to South African penetration (13.1%).