According to Mr. Herbert Wigwe, group managing director of Access Holdings Plc, the business received approval for a license to start operating in France.
Wigwe, who made this statement at a Statutory Meeting of Access Holdings’ shareholders in Lagos, also mentioned that the holding company is planning to establish a new firm named Hydrogen in an effort to become Africa’s entry point to the world.
He stated that with the opening of the subsidiary, Access Holdings will facilitate trade throughout Africa and that Hydrogen, in collaboration with select DFIs, would be in charge of payment across the continent.
“We share the fact with you that we wanted to be known as Africa’s gateway to the world and what that meant was that we are going to be responsible for payments across the entire continent, irrespective of where you are and where you’re transferring money from. We are going to support intra-African trade, which is a big problem today.”
“The bank cannot do this alone because these are very specialist skills and it will allow us to be able to ensure that there are settlements even in countries where we don’t have a physical presence. The idea is that wherever you are in the world if you’re making a transfer to anybody across the continent, one out of every three transactions that come into the continent will be settled on Access Bank’s platform,” Wigwe said.
However, he gave investors assurances that even though the company would earn commissions and fees, there would be little to no credit risk.
“They do have operational risk, obviously, but we do have strong compliance process and technology platform, which we will enhance to ensure that operational risks will be significantly mitigated,” he noted.
The GMD went on to say that preparations are being made for the creation of further subsidiaries, including financing platforms for insurance brokerages that cater to young people among others.
He reassured the shareholders that as the company continued to extend its tentacles across the continent, its profits base will grow.
“We will continue to spread across Europe to make sure that at the end of the day, perhaps ten years from now, we would have created a very strong diversified entity, not just relying on Nigeria or Africa but also having a broad diversified income base with good quality earnings coming from countries where the inflation rates are less than that of the country, thereby making us much stronger franchise than any other financial institution in the continent,” Wigwe said.
The statutory report of the Holdings was approved by shareholders at the meeting in accordance with Section 235 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Access Corporation has divided its shares into 35,545,225,622 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each, in accordance with the resolution adopted at the bank’s Ordered General Meeting held on December 16, 2021, at which the Scheme of Arrangement was accepted by the bank’s shareholders.