Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest financial services group, has taken a significant step in its African expansion strategy with the finalization of an agreement to acquire the subsidiaries of Standard Chartered Bank in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and the consumer, private, and business banking business in Tanzania. This move is expected to further solidify Access Bank’s position as a key player in the African financial landscape while providing a seamless transition for employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses in these countries.
Standard Chartered confirmed the sale in a letter sent to, highlighting that the completion of each transaction is subject to approval from local regulators and the banking regulator in Nigeria. The agreement aligns with Standard Chartered’s global strategy, which focuses on achieving operational efficiencies, reducing complexity, and driving scale. By divesting its subsidiaries in these markets, Standard Chartered aims to reallocate resources within the African and Middle East region to areas with higher growth potential.
Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s regional CEO for AME (Africa and Middle East), expressed support for the strategic decision, stating, “This allows us to redirect resources within the African and Middle East region to other areas with significant growth potential.” The move signifies Standard Chartered’s commitment to optimizing its operations and seizing opportunities in markets that offer greater potential for expansion.
Access Bank’s acquisition of Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries is part of its broader vision to build a strong global franchise, serving as a gateway for payments, investments, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world. The Nigerian banking giant has already ventured into strategic markets such as Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique, and this latest move will further expand its presence on the continent.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, group managing director of Access Bank Plc, commented on the agreement, emphasizing the bank’s commitment to building a world-class payments gateway. Leveraging the power of technology and a robust network of relationships across its operating countries, Access Bank aims to bridge the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments. Ogbonna outlined a comprehensive five-year growth plan, which includes leveraging strategic partnerships and delivering efficient global payments and remittance services. As part of its expansion strategy, Access Bank aims to positively impact host communities through various initiatives.
The acquisition of Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries is not the first strategic move by Access Bank in recent times. In April 2022, Standard Chartered had announced its decision to divest from several markets, including Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Jordan. Access Bank’s acquisition of these subsidiaries signifies its determination to capitalize on growth opportunities and become a dominant player in the African financial services landscape.
While Access Bank has made significant progress in its divestment process from the markets announced in April 2022, negotiations are still ongoing for the sale of Standard Chartered’s Consumer Private and Business Banking (CPBB) business in Côte d’Ivoire. Once completed, Access Bank’s acquisition of Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries will mark a substantial milestone in the divestment process, allowing Standard Chartered to further focus on its core operations in key markets.
Access Bank’s expanded presence in the African market is expected to enhance its capabilities and reinforce its position as a leading financial institution. The acquisition aligns with its strategy to become a global franchise, offering comprehensive banking services and driving economic growth across the continent. As Access Bank continues to strengthen its network and partnerships, its ability to facilitate payments, investments, and trade within Africa and beyond will be further enhanced.
The acquisition of Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries by Access Bank signals the Nigerian banking giant’s determination to cement its position as a major player in Africa’s financial services sector. With a robust capital base, a relentless focus on execution, and a commitment to best-in-class customer service and governance structures, Access Bank is poised to reshape the African financial landscape and contribute to the development and growth of the economies it serves.