Nigeria’s top financial lender, Access Bank, has pledged to fund entrepreneurs and create market access for small businesses by putting them in the right community.
Speaking during a conversation with customers in the micro-, small- and medium-scale category, Deputy Managing Director, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, said the bank remained resolute in its drive to engage and empower MSMEs by providing access to funds, markets and knowledge, noting that these objectives were at the heart of the business engagement sessions in key cities across the nation.
He said apart from providing funding for MSMEs, the bank also enhanced their capacities and create networking opportunities for them.
“The North remains a strategic business environment for the bank and that is why we have organized this engagement session to provide an opportunity to meet one on one with our SME customers in Abuja, provide them with a platform to ask questions, get answers and solutions that help them take their businesses to the next level. We are committed to being a bank that gives more to our customers and that includes more listening and more engagement and this forum allows us meet up to that promise,” Etuokwu said.
He further said Access Bank was the only bank with a department focused on women in Nigeria and across Africa, stressing that the bank believed women were a glue that held the society together.
He said the bank also worked with both genders to elevate their economic statuses.
He noted that the bank viewed MSMEs as critical segments of the Nigerian economy as they contributed more than half to the Gross Domestic Product and created over 60 per cent of the jobs.
“We want to elevate Abuja because we believe there is so much more to be done here,” he said, noting that MSMEs were the reason for positive things happening in the Nigerian economy.
“We intend to be more present and relevant in the lives of our customers than ever, and we want to ensure business owners have easy access to funds to sustain and expand their businesses. We are committed to providing excellent services both online and offline to meet the varied needs of all our customers and create impact in the lives of both individual and MSME customers alike,” Etuokwu added.
The engagement session is one of the benefits for customers that are under the Diamond Business Advantage proposition from Access bank which has been designed to add value to Micro, Small and Medium-scale business owners so that they can grow their businesses with smart banking. The proposition provides SME’s market linkages, increased referral base and networks that enable them scale the hurdles of accessing new markets for their products.
Networking sessions such as Business Clubs, Business clinics, and Business seminars enable MSME customers to expand their referral base through interacting with other MSMEs.
Access Bank is the leading retail bank in Nigeria with over 600 branches and more than 40 million customers. The Bank offers products and services tailored to suit the lifestyle of every Nigerian irrespective of age and demographic.
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DiamondXtra Promo: Access Bank To Reward Customers In South-South, South-East With Millions
Nigeria’s Leading retail financial institution, Access Bank will be rewarding its customers in the South-South and South-East region with millions of naira and other attractive consolation prizes in the DiamondXtra regional draw.
The Live draws which have been scheduled to hold on June 29, 2022, in Owerri, Imo State, will feature mouthwatering cash prizes of N1million, Business grant worth N1million, Rent for a year worth N1million, Educational grant of N500,000, and the star prize, Salary4life where a lucky customer will earn N100,000 every month for 20 years.
Speaking to newsmen at the Bank’s head office in Lagos, Adaeze Ume, Group Head, Consumer Banking, explained that the motivation behind the regional draws in the new season of the reward scheme is the need to transform the lives of More Nigerians across the country.
“To deliver on our promise to continually reward our customers for their loyalty and continued savings with our bank, we have decided to take the DiamondXtra reward scheme draws even closer to them”, she said.
“We intend to reward 38 lucky customers in the South-South, South- East region with juicy cash and consolation prizes in the LIVE draw taking place on the 29th of June 2022 in Owerri, Imo State.
“By executing LIVE draws in the regional hubs across the country we believe this will aid consumer participation, drive credibility of this 14 year old reward scheme and boost our relationship with our dynamic and loyal retail customer base in the various LGAs and regions across the nation.
“We continue to evolve and reflect on the various offers within the DiamondXtra reward programme, and engage our customers on what they would prefer to have as a reward.
“So this year, we introduced a new reward element to commemorate the launch of season 14 (tagged READY FOR MORE); in line with the evolving economic climate that has seen more businesses commence trading and transactions online, we now offer digital skills training to 14,000 lucky customers as one of our prizes.
“This skill will empower them and enable them to boost their businesses and operations as entrepreneurs leveraging the Digital Marketing platforms. This is our own little way to help build employers of labour instead of employees of labour.
“To join the winning train or to stand a chance to win in the forthcoming South South, South-East regional draw, simply fund your DiamondXtra account with a minimum of N5,000 or more for an opportunity to win millions and other attractive prizes.
“Those who do not have a DiamondXtra account can simply open an account by dialling *901*5# from their phones and fund it with a minimum of N5,000 or more to stand a chance to become a winner”, Ume concluded.
DiamondXtra is an interest yielding hybrid account which allows deposit of both cash and third-party cheques. Hybrid means a combination of both savings and current account features. The DiamondXtra reward scheme was launched in 2008 and has been running till date.
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UBA Redeems $500m 5-Year Eurobond
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) on Wednesday, redeemed its debut $500 million 5-year Eurobond notes with the maturity date of June 8, 2022.
The bank in a statement stated: “ Issued in 2017, the five-year bond was offered at a coupon rate of 7.75%, and raised to support the Bank’s business in key sectors of the economy.
As part of UBA’s liability management strategies, In November 2021, the bank repurchased $310.9 million of the notes through a cash tender offer. Upon maturity of the Eurobond, the outstanding portion of $189.1 million and the coupon of $7.3 million were redeemed by the bank.”
“The development is a testament to UBA’s robust and prudent liquidity management strategies, coupled with a very strong and diversified asset and liability management process. This, in spite of macroeconomic headwinds underpinned by FX illiquidity, double-digit inflation and currency devaluation,” said Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO of UBA.
“Our huge customer base, diversified geographical spread and uncommon multiple decades of proven track record, continue to spotlight UBA as the preferred destination for investors, individuals and businesses alike,” Uzoka continued.
With presence in 20 African countries, including Nigeria, as well established operations in France, the United Kingdom (UK) and the only sub-Saharan African bank with a deposit-taking licence in the United States of America (USA), UBA is a renowned financial institution providing banking and financial services to over 33 million customers across the globe.
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Access Bank To Acquire Kenya’s Sidian Bank For N15bn
Access Bank Plc has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire 83.4 per cent equity stake held by Centum Investment Plc, a Kenyan-based investment company, in Sidian Bank Ltd, for the sum of about N15 billion ($37 million).
Access Bank disclosed the acquisition in a statement sent to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, NGX on Wednesday noting that the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Kenya and Nigeria. Access Bank said the purchase consideration includes the price to “book multiple of 1.1 times” based on the audited March 31, 2022 shareholders’ equity of Sidian.
Commenting on the transaction, Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive, Access Corporation said: “This growth transaction being implemented in Kenya represents the relentless focus and execution of our strategic objectives within our banking subsidiary even as we grow the other businesses within Access Corporation’s core segments.”
“The acquisition of Sidian is a significant step-up in scale and potential for Access Bank in Kenya which represents the largest market and trade corridor in East Africa.
“The significant increase in scale and customer base presents us with enormous opportunities to support growth in the various ecosystems we are building in our trade and payment business.”
On his part, Roosevelt Ogbonna, chief executive officer, Access Bank, said the transaction builds on their earlier acquisition of the former Transnational Bank Plc (now Access Bank Kenya) “and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Kenya, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification.”
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