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Access Bank, Cavmont Bank Merger to Conclude in Few Weeks

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Access Bank Cavmont Bank Merger

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The merger between the Zambian subsidiary of Access Bank Plc and Cavmont Bank Limited is expected to take place before the end of this month.

The top financial institution in Nigeria confirmed this on Wednesday in a statement issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), where it trades its securities.

Last year, Access Bank said it was in merger talks with Cavmont Bank, a lender located in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, which provides an array of banking services including in the areas of community banking, retail banking, investment, and corporate banking.

Access Bank has never hidden its intention to become the biggest bank in Africa and acquiring Cavmont, one of the major players in Zambia, was in line with its expansion strategy.

Yesterday, the Nigerian bank gave an update on the transaction, disclosing that it has completed the acquisition after meeting regulatory requirements.

The next step, according to a statement issued by the company secretary, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, is to finalise the merger and begin to operate as a single entity and drop the Cavmont brand like it did with Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in March 2019.

Access Bank disclosed in the notice on Wednesday that its Zambian subsidiary will become a stronger and well-capitalised banking franchise with improved scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services to the market, describing its presence in the country as strategic.

“Sequel to our announcement, the board of Access Bank Plc announces that its Zambian subsidiary, Access Bank (Zambia) Limited has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited, following fulfilment of the key conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.

“The merger of Cavmont into Access Bank Zambia is expected to take place before the end of January 2021, following which Access Bank Zambia will emerge as a stronger and well-capitalised banking franchise with improved scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services in the Zambian market.

“Growing our presence in Zambia remains a strategic priority for Access Bank and with the conclusion of the proposed merger with Cavmont, the bank looks forward to realising the synergies from the transaction and achieving further growth of the combined platform to the benefits of all stakeholders,” the statement said.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

Banking

Stanbic IBTC Strongly Advocates Financial Literacy Among Children

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Stanbic IBTC

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A member of Standard Bank Group, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, has strongly backed the promotion of financial literacy among children, emphasising its unwavering commitment to the upliftment and empowerment of the Nigerian child.

The Head of Client Experience at Stanbic IBTC Pensions, Ms Layo Ilori-Olaogun, while speaking recently at the company’s Blue Kids event to commemorate the 2023 Children’s Day, said that was why the financial institution designed various innovative initiatives for the nation’s future leaders.

She said one of these initiatives is the Children Educational Savings Scheme (CHESS) account, a special savings account developed to support parents in meeting the cash flow and timing needs of their children’s education.

Available for kids between ages zero (0) and 17 years, CHESS offers a low opening balance, a one per cent interest rate above the average savings account, a MasterCard debit card for easy access to funds, round-the-clock access to the customer care centre via phone, email and social media and full digital banking access – Internet, App and USSD, amongst other benefits.

In 2020, Stanbic IBTC kicked off the Stanbic IBTC Education Trust (SET) scheme, a convenient and flexible investment plan with long-term benefits designed to support parents and guardians striving to provide quality education for their children and wards.

One unique benefit of Stanbic IBTC Education Trust is that payments are effected directly to the institution of learning, ensuring no diversion of funds. Whether it is primary, secondary, tertiary, or post-graduate education, parents and guardians can now contribute to funding their children’s and wards’ education.

Ms Ilori-Olaogun described Stanbic IBTC’s Education Endowment Assurance as another remarkable initiative and a vehicle for saving that secures a child’s future education to a targeted amount. It is a policy that guarantees peace of mind on a child’s/ward’s education and benefits one’s dependents in case of death.

Also at the event, the Head of Personal Clients at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Emmanuel Aihevba, expressed his heartfelt wishes to all Nigerian children, emphasising their importance to the nation’s progress.

“Children’s Day serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of nurturing and safeguarding the younger generation, who represent the future leaders and change-makers of the country.

“Stanbic IBTC recognises its critical role in promoting children’s wellbeing and educational development and remains steadfast in its efforts to provide support and resources that contribute to their growth,” he said.

At the Blue Kids programme, the participants were engaged in innovative and exciting activities such as a creative class, gaming activities, a financial fitness session and more.

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Banking

Zenith Bank’s Ebenezer Onyeagwu Emerges Best Banking CEO in Africa

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Ebenezer Onyeagwu

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The International Banker has announced the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, as the Best Banking CEO of the Year in Africa.

Published by Finance Publishing Limited, the International Banker is a leading global source of authoritative analysis and opinion on banking, finance and world affairs. Its influence, integrity, accuracy and objective opinion have earned it global recognition.

In its International Banker 2023 Banking Awards, published in the Spring 2023 issue of the International Banker Magazine, Mr Onyeagwu was honoured alongside other individuals and banks from the Middle East and Africa.

The Nigerian banker, while commenting on the honour bestowed on him, said the award “reflects the bank’s position as a leading financial institution in Nigeria and the African continent.”

“It also attests to our commitment to principles of sustainability and high ethical standards, which have become integral to our overall strategy as an institution,” he added.

Mr Onyeagwu dedicated it to the founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia, for his guidance and mentorship.

He also dedicated the award to the bank’s management team and staff for being the shoulder upon which his achievements and success as CEO rests, and the bank’s customers for making Zenith Bank their bank of choice.

This latest award is coming barely three months after he was conferred with a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The degree was in recognition of his immense achievements as the head of Zenith Bank as well as his contributions to the growth of the financial services sector in Nigeria and across the African continent.

Mr Onyeagwu’s outstanding career has led to him receiving multiple awards, including Bank CEO of the Year (2019) by Champion Newspaper, Bank CEO of the Year (2020, 2021 & 2022) by BusinessDay Newspaper, CEO of the Year (2020 and 2021) – SERAS Awards, and CEO of the Year (2022) – Leadership Newspaper.

As the GMD of Zenith Bank, he has led the tier-one lender to achieve tremendous feats and milestones in financial performance, including 47 per cent growth in the bank’s market capitalisation in four years, financial inclusion, corporate governance and sustainability.

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Banking

Zenith Bank Retains Award for Adherence to Global Best Practices

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Zenith Bank

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

For adhering to global best practices and institutionalising corporate governance, Zenith Bank Plc against been announced as the Best Corporate Governance Financial Services in Africa.

This is the fourth consecutive year the financial institution is running away with the award, setting an industry-wide example of best practices in corporate governance on the continent.

The lender was bestowed with this recognition by the Ethical Boardroom in the Spring 2023 edition of its magazine.

Ethical Boardroom is a trailblazing and leading international magazine that delivers in-depth coverage and critically-astute analysis of global corporate governance issues to help boards stay ahead of the governance curve.

The chief executive of Zenith Bank, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, dedicated the award to the company’s founder and Chairman, Mr Jim Ovia, for providing the template for an enduring and very successful institution.

He also dedicated it to the board for their vision and outstanding leadership, the staff for their dedication and commitment, and the bank’s customers for their unwavering loyalty to the brand.

“I am extremely pleased that Zenith Bank has been awarded the Ethical Boardroom Corporate Governance Award as a regional governance champion for the fourth year.

“No doubt, the bank’s board has pioneered the exemplary governance culture for which we are now renowned. Indeed, this recognition reflects our steadfast commitment, discipline and high ethos in the conduct of our business and dedication to the principles of good corporate governance.

“This award will motivate us to strengthen this culture internally and advocate for good governance at every forum,” Mr Onyeagwu said.

Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a Corporate Governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange.

The firm continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business always conforms to the highest global standards.

Its track record of excellent performances has continued to earn it numerous awards, including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Retail Bank of the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.

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