Access Bank shareholders laud expansion exercise, approve 60k dividend
SHAREHOLDERS of Access Bank Plc have lauded the bank’s growth and expansion exercise, aimed at improving cost efficiency and profitability, even as they approve the bank’s 60 kobo dividend for the 2014 financial year.
The shareholders who spoke during the 2014 yearly general meeting commended the bank’s expansion into the countries where it has operational capacity, especially in Ghana.
Specifically, the President, Association for the Advancement of Shareholders Right, Faruk Umar expressed satisfaction with the state of affairs in the bank especially on its business diversification.
He berated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), especially the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for its reforms programmes , which failed to take into consideration the plight of shareholders and the harsh economic situation in the country.
According to him, AMCON reforms in the banking industry, rather than improve the lot of shareholders has become a ‘nightmare’ for investors in the financial services industry.
“We commend the management of the bank for their prudent management of the affairs of the banks, in spite of the reforms of AMCON, which has impacted negatively on the economy and which is causing untold hardship for shareholders. We are not happy with CBN because they are making our business very difficult. CBN should reduce the CRR. You are diversifying to Ghana, it is commendable because you have no CRR or COT to pay there.”
The National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie also commended the bank for their prudent management of affairs of the bank as well as its performance, while urging them to do everything within its powers to consolidate on the performance to enable it enhance shareholders value.
The Chairman of the bank, Gbenga Oyebode explained that the bank recorded gross earnings of N245 billion representing 18.5 per cent increase when compared to N52.02 billion achieved in 2013 while profit before tax grew by 21 per cent from N43 billion in 2013 to N52 billion during the year under review.
He assured shareholders that the company would continue to record sustainable progress in the countries where it has established its presence adding that the company remains optimistic in sustaining returns on shareholders’ investments.
“One of our core values as an organization is the passion we have for our customer. Going forward, we plan to continue to make our products revolve around our customers.
“Access Bank will remain nimble and innovative, promoting customer centricity through the refinement of our digital platforms, thereby developing a competitive advantage that provides value to customer while reducing the cost of business for the bank.” He added.
The Group Managing Director/CEO, Herbert Wigwe also explained that the bank would focus its resources on the retail segment of the bank, adding that the bank would continue to strive for a leadership position in customer service supported by the bank’s drive for customer acquisition and retention.