Access Bank Group Makes Extra Donation To UNICEF UK

As part of its continued support of UNICEF, Access Bank Group, along with 5th Chukker, The Access Bank UK and Access Private Bank hosted the ‘Access Bank Polo Day’ at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor on Saturday July 16.

The annual event is the climax to the high-profile Access Bank/UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament, which is in its ninth year and is aimed at reaching out to and highlighting the plight of vulnerable children and orphans and internationally displaced persons. 

Based in Kaduna, Nigeria it is the biggest charity polo tournament in Africa and stimulates support for the work of the UNICEF / ACCESS Bank initiative across Africa. This year the Bank donated an additional N10-million (£27,000) to UNICEF for its campaign against HIV/AIDS among Nigerian children.

Since the UNICEF/ACCESS Bank initiative started, it has rebuilt two schools in Kaduna and, kept more than 8000 students in continuous education, while at the same time developing new school blocks and a computer literacy building all in a more secure and friendly school environment. The communities surrounding the schools are being supported with bore-holes for water, and sewing and grinding machines to secure employment and stimulate economic and social development.

The UK event was organised by The Access Bank UK Limited which has just published its Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2015.  This shows impressive growth indicators including an increase in operating income of 31% from £15-million in 2014 to £19.7-million. The Bank’s profit before tax grew by 72% to £8.6-million, while its post-tax profit was up 74% to £6.8-million.

Commenting on the Bank’s success chief executive officer and managing director Jamie Simmonds said: “We are now in our second five year plan that embodies our principles of relationship-based banking, growing our business through the depth and quality of customer relationships, while at the same time maintaining a moderate appetite for risk.  Our objective is to grow the international business of Access Bank Group through customer service excellence, and innovative solutions in trade finance, commercial banking and asset management”.

Drawing attention to the Bank’s 2015 highlights, Jamie Simmonds added: “In 2015 we launched an operation in the UAE, introduced a high net worth regulated execution only mortgage product and unveiled an on-line retail savings product.

Our achievements owe a great deal to the strong partnership that we have with our parent company, as evidenced by our joint support of the fifth Access Bank Day at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor”.

Access Bank PLC group managing director and chairman of The Access Bank UK Ltd, Herbert Wigwe paid tribute to the UK operation by saying: “The Access Bank UK has become the business we always envisaged it would.  Founded on a model of excellent service and moderate risk appetite it has grown income, increased profit and delivers a healthy return on equity.  Importantly it is adding value to Access Bank Group and enhancing the Group’s stature on the international stage.”

Wigwe also explained the reason behind the Bank’s continued support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative. “We are conscious of our role as a change agent in Nigeria that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice and environmental considerations”, he said. “In addition, we are continually seeking ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children.  We are part of the community and as such should support its wellbeing”.