Access Holdings targets 100 million customers in five years
Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank CEO


Leading Nigeria’s retail bank, Access Bank Plc., was at the weekend named as one of the top 500 global banking brands, by leading business valuation and strategy consultant, Brand Finance.

The brand value is the amount a third party will need to pay in using the brand name, said David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance.

Since 2017 when it was last ranked as the fifth most valuable Nigerian bank in the Banking 500 report, Access Bank has demonstrated considerable growth. The bank now ranks second with a valuation of $242 million.

According to Brand Finance, for the first time since 2009, the total brand value of the world’s 500 largest banks has declined year on year – from US$1.36 trillion in 2019 to US$1.33 trillion this year

Access Bank’s valuation comes on the back of its successful merger with Diamond Bank in April 2019, and its recent expansion into the East African market. The nine months post-merger financial results posted by the bank showed gross earnings of N513 billion, an increase of 37 percent above the N375.2 billion recorded within the same time frame in 2018.

Further analysis of the results showed the bank’s asset base remained strong and diversified growing by 33 percent to N6.6 trillion as at September 2019, up from N4.95 trillion as of December 31, 2018.

Speaking on the bank’s growth trajectory, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said, “In the last twelve months, Access Bank has grown into a powerhouse in the Nigerian and indeed, African banking industry. We are happy with all the successes recorded so far, and we hope to reach and surpass other targets we have set for ourselves. Access Bank will continue on its journey to becoming Africa’s gateway to the world, through strategic expansion into new and emerging markets within and outside Africa and providing best in-class customer experience.”

He urged investors and other stakeholders to keep their faith in the bank, reassuring that the bank will stay true to its values of ethical and sustainable banking practices.

“Access Bank will continue to innovate and remain profitable while offering value to all investors and stakeholders. As we strive to expand our business operations, we will remain true to our core values of sustainable banking and adherence to global best practices,” Wigwe concluded.

The release by Brand Finance further revealed that China’s ICBC retains its top spot as the world’s most valuable banking brand, breaking the US$80 billion mark. Chinese banks continue to occupy the top four of the Brand Finance Banking 500 2020 ranking

Five United States banks are in the top 10, although overall, the US sector declined by 5%. Wells Fargo is the top bank and JP Morgan has grown by 15% to enter the top 10

Qatar National Bank dominates in the Middle East with 20% growthEurope declines by 7%, more than any other region, with several major banks seeing significant drops in brand value

BCA of Indonesia is the world’s strongest banking brand, alongside Russia’s Sberbank, both with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 91.6 out of a 100 and an elite AAA+ rating

Other Nigerian banks which made the list in 2017 include: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Guarantee Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Explaining the methodology of the ranking at the time, Editor of The Banker, Brian Caplen, said: “Brand Finance employs a discounted cash flow technique to discount estimated future royalties at an appropriate rate to arrive at a net present value of a bank’s trademark and associated intellectual property – its brand value.”

Caplen stressed that the process involved five steps of obtaining brand-specific financial and revenue data; modeling the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors.

It will also establish the royalty rate for each bank; calculate the discounted rate specific to each bank, taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating; and discount future royalty stream (explicit forecast and perpetuity periods) to a net present value – the brand value.

He noted that the approach is used for two reasons: it is favoured by the tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented third-party transactions, and it can be done based on publicly available financial information.

The top 10 banking brands ranking in the world were shared by four countries: China and United States of America with four each while United Kingdom and Spain have one each.

In the top 50 countries in the world, only four African countries – South Africa (26), Nigeria (42), Egypt (46) and Morocco (47)- made the list.


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