Access Bank plc has announced the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ‘No objection” to commence operation in the Republic of Cameroon.
The company secretary, Access bank, Mr Sunday Ekwochi in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday announced to stakeholders that it has obtained the apex bank approval to its proposed expansion into the Republic of Cameroon through the setting up of a banking subsidiary.
According to him, “the proposed expansion which is subject to the approvals of the regulatory authorities in the Republic of Cameroon is in pursuance of the Bank’s strategic objective to become Africa’s gateway to the World.
“We are currently awaiting the regulatory approvals and will provide the market with updates in due course.”
With an initial capital of about XAF14.5 billion, the new subsidiary’s headquarters will be in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital.
The administrative board of this subsidiary is constituted of seven members with only one Cameroonian, the legal notice published for the creation indicates. These members are Patience Melone, Iyabode Soji-Okusanya, Fatai Oladipo, Abraham Aziegbe, Ibukunoluwa Odegbaike, and Elliz Nzo Azu.
Created for a duration of 99 years, the bank has chosen Price Water House Coopers as its external auditor and will operate in the management of current accounts, savings collection, checks payment and credit granting.
As required by the rules in force, the launch of Access Bank Cameroon’s activities in Cameroon is still subject to the issuance, by the Ministry of Finance and the banking commission COBAC, of various legal notices and authorizations to the bank’s shareholders.
If it succeeds in launching its subsidiary in Cameroon, Access Bank Plc will become the 16th commercial bank to operate in the country and will meet one of its compatriots, United Bank of Africa (UBA), on that market. Its entering the Cameroonian market some years after the departure of another Nigerian group, Oceanic Bank International namely.
Some years ago, Oceanic Bank International took over 54.5% of Union Bank of Cameroon’s (UBC) assets saving it from bankruptcy. However, in 2011, Ecobank had to buy Oceanic Bank International’s assets in UBC, which is a well-rooted bank in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
On January 15, 2019, Access Bank’s executive director, Victor Etokwu announced that apart from the Cameroonian subsidiary, the banking group would create subsidiaries in two other African countries this year. The banking group will then have 18 subsidiaries in Africa.