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Access Bank set to acquire Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries in 5 African countries

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc (l), and Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa & Middle East, Standard Chartered, Signing the Agreement in London, UK

*Access Bank Plc, in the new transaction agreement, will provide a full range of banking services and continuity for key stakeholders, including employees and clients in the Standard Chartered businesses across five countries on the African continent

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Access Bank Plc and Standard Chartered Bank have inked an agreement for acquisition of Standard Chartered’s shareholding in its subsidiaries in five countries on the African continent.

ConsumerConnect learnt the Standard Chartered’s affected subsidiaries are located in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone, and its Consumer, Private & Business Banking business in Tanzania.

However, each transaction remains subject to the approval of the respective local regulators in the African countries, and the banking sector regulator in Nigeria, report said.

Standard Chartered disclosed the development Friday, July 14, 2023, at its Headquarters in London, United Kingdom (UK), in the presence of senior representatives from both banks.

Both Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa & Middle East, Standard Chartered, and Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director (GMD) of Access Bank Plc, were said to have signed the transaction agreement at the meeting.

Activating provisions of transaction agreement

The latest agreement with Access Bank for the sale of the bank’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa is in line with Standard Chartered’s global strategy, aimed at achieving operational efficiencies, reducing complexity, and driving scale.

In actualising the agreement, Access Bank is expected to offer a full range of banking services and continuity for key stakeholders, including employees and clients in the Standard Chartered businesses across the five aforementioned countries.

Access and Standard Chartered Banks will work closely together in the coming months to ensure a seamless transition, with the transaction expected to be completed over the next 12 months, according to report.

Speaking on the  agreement with Access, Kaushal of Standard Chartered, said: “Following on the announcement we made in April last year, the project is now substantially completed with the announcement for the sale of the five markets, and the furtherance of a partnership with Access Bank.

“This strategic decision allows us to redirect resources within the AME region to other areas with significant growth potential, ultimately enabling us to better support our clients.”

He also stated: “We look forward to working closely with Access Bank’s team over the coming months to achieve a successful conclusion to this transaction while safeguarding the interests of our valued clients and prioritising our employees.”

We’re focused on building strong global franchise -Access GMD

Commenting on the agreement with Standard Chartered Bank, Ogbonna, GMD of Access Bank Plc, stated: “We are pleased to sign this agreement today and express our appreciation for being selected as the preferred partner to Standard Chartered Bank through this transaction, in which it is exiting four African markets and refocusing in one.

“As a distinguished regional and international bank with a rich heritage spanning over 150 years, Standard Chartered Bank has built a solid presence in these markets for over 100 years.”

The GMD of Access Bank noted as far as the financial institution is concerned, the strategic transaction with Standard Chartered represents a key step in its journey to build a strong global franchise focused on serving as a gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world.

This is anchored by a robust capital base, a relentless focus on execution, and best-in-class customer service and governance structures, Ogbonna said.

He further stated: “At Access Bank, we are committed to reshaping the global perception of Africa and African businesses, even as we continue to build toward our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

“Our 5-year growth plan will see us build a world-class class payments gateway leveraging the power of technology and supported by a dynamic ecosystem of local and international partnerships, enabling us to serve global payments and remittances efficiently.”

The Group Managing Director of the bank said: “With our recent European expansion and our deepened presence in key trading corridors across Africa, we will bridge the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments.

“More importantly, we are committed to impacting our host communities positively.”

It is recalled that Standard Chartered, April 2022, strategically decided to divest from a number of markets, namely Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Jordan, and to exit the Consumer Private and Business Banking (CPBB) business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

The financial institution as well announced the sale of its business in Zimbabwe earlier June last year, and in Jordan March this year.

In regard to Friday’s announcement of the agreement with Access Bank Plc, Standard Chartered substantially, has completed the divestment process from the markets announced earlier mulled April 2022, except Côte d’Ivoire where it remains actively engaged in discussions with potential buyers for the sale of its CPBB business in the country, report said.

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