Standard Chartered Bank and Access Bank Plc have recently reached an agreement regarding the sale of Standard Chartered’s subsidiaries in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone, as well as its Consumer, Private & Business Banking business in Tanzania. The completion of these transactions is contingent upon approval from local regulators and Nigeria’s banking regulator.
The announcement, which took place at Standard Chartered’s London headquarters, involved senior representatives from both banks. Sunil Kaushal, the Regional CEO for Africa & Middle East at Standard Chartered, and Roosevelt Ogbonna, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, were among the signatories.
A Global Strategy
This agreement aligns with Standard Chartered’s global strategy, which aims to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce complexity, and drive scale. Access Bank will provide comprehensive banking services and ensure continuity for employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses in the aforementioned countries.
Over the next 12 months, Access Bank and Standard Chartered will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition. The two institutions will collaborate to safeguard the interests of their valued clients and prioritize the well-being of their employees.
Redirecting Resources within the Africa and Middle East Region
Sunil Kaushal expressed his perspective on the agreement, emphasizing the progress made since the initial announcement in April of the previous year. He stated that redirecting resources within the Africa and Middle East region will enable the bank to better support its clients and tap into areas with significant growth potential. Kaushal also expressed his anticipation of a successful conclusion to the transaction while maintaining strong partnerships with Access Bank.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, conveyed his appreciation for being selected as Standard Chartered’s preferred partner in this transaction. He highlighted Standard Chartered Bank’s long-standing presence and solid reputation in the markets being exited, which span over a century. Ogbonna emphasized Access Bank’s commitment to building a strong global franchise that serves as a gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and with the rest of the world. The bank aims to achieve this through a robust capital base, a focus on execution, and excellent customer service and governance structures.
Establishing a World-class Payments Gateway
Access Bank’s vision includes reshaping the global perception of Africa and African businesses while being recognized as the most respected African bank. Their five-year growth plan involves establishing a world-class payments gateway, leveraging technology, and developing strong local and international partnerships. Ogbonna also emphasized the bank’s commitment to making a positive impact on host communities.
In April 2022, Standard Chartered strategically decided to divest from several markets, including Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Jordan. Additionally, the bank aimed to exit the CPBB business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania. As of this announcement, Standard Chartered has substantially completed the divestment process from the markets announced in April 2022, with the exception of Côte d’Ivoire, where discussions with potential buyers for the sale of the CPBB business are still underway.