Access Bank UK Ltd., the UK-based subsidiary of Access Holdings, a pan-African financial services conglomerate led by Nigerian banking tycoon Herbert Wigwe, has received approval from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to establish a Restricted Licence Branch in Hong Kong — this aligns with Access Holdings’ goal of becoming the world’s most respected African Bank.
The approval for the Hong Kong branch comes on the heels of Access Holdings’ strategic initiatives, including the upcoming launch of a French unit and the acquisition of several banks in Africa. The conglomerate is also positioning itself for further expansion — notably the planned acquisition of the Sub-Saharan African subsidiaries of the UK-based multinational bank Standard Chartered Bank.
Cross-continental commerce catalyst: Access Bank’s Herbert Wigwe on Hong Kong’s strategic significance
Wigwe, the group CEO of Access Holdings Plc and chairman of Access Bank UK, expressed his pride in achieving this milestone, emphasizing the strategic importance of the move. He stated, “I am immensely proud that The Access Bank UK Ltd has secured approval to commence formal banking operations in Hong Kong, marking a monumental achievement in our journey towards global prominence.”
Wigwe highlighted the significance of Access Holdings’ presence in the Hong Kong market, emphasizing its potential to boost cross-continental trade as a global financial hub and a gateway connecting Asia with the rest of the world.
Plans to commence operations in the coming year underscore the group’s international capabilities and the strength of its strategic partnerships, including regulated branches in Dubai and Paris under Access Bank UK.
Herbert Wigwe’s financial mastery: Access Holdings’ surge under Nigerian banking mogul
Access Holdings, a major player in Nigeria’s financial services sector, operates in 12 African nations and has been actively expanding its footprint in Africa and Europe. The recent announcement of plans to acquire the Sub-Saharan African subsidiaries of Standard Chartered Bank further solidifies its position in the global financial landscape.
Wigwe, the Nigerian multimillionaire banker, holds a 7.14-percent stake in Access Holdings, equivalent to 2,536,687,116 ordinary shares as of June 30, 2023. Under his leadership, Access Holdings has witnessed remarkable fiscal growth, with total deposits increasing from N11.26 trillion ($15.23 billion) to N16.17 trillion ($20.2 billion) and total loans and advances growing from N5.56 trillion ($7.27 billion) to N7.46 trillion ($9.75 billion) during the first nine months of 2023.
Access Holdings’ profit for the same period soared from N136.77 billion ($178.2 million) in 2022 to N250.44 billion ($327.1 million) in 2023. This substantial growth is attributed to increased interest and non-interest incomes, coupled with a surge in net foreign exchange gains, which rose from N184.12 billion ($240.8 million) to N314.6 billion ($411.48 million) during the same period. The group continues to cement its position as one of Nigeria’s most profitable lenders, driven by strategic initiatives and robust fiscal performance.