Access Bank’s journey of transformation has been remarkable in many respects, none more so than our emergence from a low industry ranking in 2002 to become one of Nigeria’s “Big 4” Banks by 2011. The chevrons in our logo signpost our continuous progress and denote an organisation that is focused on moving forward, albeit with painstaking attention to detail and strong risk management. We continue to register spectacular success in our execution of both organic and inorganic growth opportunities. To the glory of the Almighty last year we marked yet another key chapter in our transformation story, by the successful acquisition of Intercontinental Bank; to us M & A success is not measured by the “size of the deal” but by our ability to enhance shareholder value and overcome the many risks that are associated with such transactions. In 2005 we received awards and commendation for the speed and efficiency with which we concluded the acquisitions of Capital Bank and Marina Bank. This time around, following the January 2012 completion of our legal merger with Intercontinental Bank, we set ourselves a 100-day target to complete the post merger integration exercise. You will be pleased to learn that this has been achieved ahead of target; I must express my thanks and appreciation to all our employees as well as our external consultants and advisers for this outstanding performance.
It is now on record that under Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s leadership the Central Bank of Nigeria has successfully resolved what is arguably the worst banking crisis this nation has ever faced, without the loss of a single customer deposit and at no cost to Nigerian tax payers. We are proud of our Bank’s decision to participate in the crisis resolution process and play the role of Safe Harbour for the rescue of a systematically important financial institution. Our intervention has preserved thousands of jobs, safeguarded the interests of hundreds of thousands of Shareholders and protected the savings of millions of Nigerian citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria and all other institutions of Government whose actions and efforts have enabled Nigeria overcome this difficult moment in our history must be specially commended.
They say that the reward for success is even more hard work; year 2012 will see us leverage our culture of excellence, leadership, and customer focus to achieve market leading levels of operating efficiency as well as deliver outstanding customer service to millions of customers. We are further strengthening our vision, mission and values to reflect a Bank that is focused on creating a sustainable future. Sustainability gives us a noble purpose for being and will ensure that we maintain the necessary emotional connection with our customers, employees and host communities; sustainability we believe will lead us to our goal of being Africa’s most respected Bank.
Finally thank you for your wonderful support, patience and valued patronage.