The Access Bank UK used its annual Access Bank Polo Day at Guards Polo Club Windsor on Saturday 13 July to post results showing another year of outstanding international business growth. 2018 was the year that it joined the three key UK clearing systems, and collected the best African Trade Finance Bank Awards from both International Finance and CFI. All four strategic business units returned double digit growth and in only its second year of operations the importance of its investment in Dubai was demonstrated by a 200 per cent increase in income. For the eleventh year running it was able to report having no ‘non performing loans’.
With Corporate Responsibility and exemplary Corporate Governance playing a key role in the growth of the Bank, the Polo day is the culmination of a yearlong programme, part of its fund raising in partnership with UNICEF for education projects in northern Nigeria in particular. 350million Naira (UD$970,000) were pledged during the day to build and equip 70 new classrooms, for children’s education in Northern Nigeria. Since the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative was started in 2005 it has built schools in Kaduna and, kept more than 8000 students in continuous education. At the same time new school blocks and a computer literacy building all in a more secure and friendly school environment have been developed. The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes for water, and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development. Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir El-Rafai is committed to matching the building programme which will see another 70 class rooms built in the coming year and another 2500 children in education.
The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, and celebrates reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internally displaced persons. In partnership with 5th Chukker and based in Kaduna, Nigeria, the tournament is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and generates funds and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF/Access Bank initiative across Africa.
According to Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Jamie Simmonds, “We are a bank where our growth has been fuelled by the strength of customer relationships. It enables us to develop innovative products and financial solutions with, rather than just for, our customers.
“Becoming a UK clearer is a major landmark for us and differentiates us from many of our competitors in the market place. We also manage our retail deposit offering in-house for greater control with both initiatives forming part of our strategy to future-proof the bank.
“We have offices here in the heart of the City of London, Dubai and Lagos and are building our presence in Chinathrough a representative office there. We invest significantly in attracting, retaining and developing professional staff in order to ensure customers always deal with an expert who is familiar with their business and personal financial needs.”
Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, says “The successes in completing the first decade of trading for Access Bank UK has been a major milestone. Growth has been sustained at the same time as earning a reputation for innovation and flexibility.”
“Together our continuing support for the Fifth Chukker – UNICEF initiative is predicated on our view of our role as a change agent in Nigeria and Africa that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice, social initiatives and environmental consideration.” Wigwe added: “We continue to look for ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children. We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing.”