BY ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos
Access Bank group is mulling the idea of having an insurance brokerage subsidiary soon, in a bid to leverage on the insurance market opportunity of $150bn in countries with Access Bank presence, LEADERSHIP learnt.
The move, it was learnt, is based on the projection that insurance penetration will witness a rapid increase in most countries, especially, in Africa, where the bank already has its presence, in the next five years.
Having secured the permission of its shareholders and relevant stakeholders to operate a Holding Company(HoldCo) structure, the bank is, however, planning, to be the hub of all financial services, not only in Nigeria, but Africa and the global stage.
Speaking at the virtual ‘Access Bank Investors Engagement Forum’ on Tuesday, the group managing director of the bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said, the proposed insurance brokerage would adopt a dynamic and creative approach to provide a value- added insurance broking services focused to meeting customers’ insurance protection needs.
According to him, “There is a market opportunity of $150bn in countries with Access presence assuming insurance penetration in these countries (4.4%) grows to South African penetration (13.1%). Access Insurance Brokerage would adopt a dynamic and creative approach to provide a value- added insurance broking services focused to meeting customers’ insurance protection needs.”
Believing that this development, coupled with the already existing bancassurance relationship between the bank and Coronation Insurance will fast-track insurance penetration on the African continent, he added that, “Access Bank is in partnership with Coronation Insurance to offer insurance products to the bank’s customers, while Access Bank-Coronation Insurance bancassurance is already available in Nigeria and Ghana.”
Stating that, his firm already has presence in about 15 countries, most of which were on African continent, he disclosed that the group plans to ensure its banks in Zambia and Mozambique were among the highly rated banks in those countries in the next three to five years.
Access, he stressed, has operated a disciplined growth over time, which has been value accretive, allowing the bank to lead on a number of metrics continent- wide, promising to realign for growth through transitioning to a HoldCo to capture continent-wide opportunities and support the international expansion.
“We have rigorous philosophy and approach to organic and inorganic growth and expansion; capital accumulation and protection over time despite investments in infrastructure and growth; deliberate strategy to ensure diversification of earnings and dilute exposure to soft currencies and strong bench of talent with the bandwidth to deliver future aspirations,” he pointed out.
The engagement was virtually attended by the management staff of Access Bank, its investors, customers, shareholders as well as relevant stakeholders across the continent and beyond.