By Dipo Olowookere
It was a day of glory for foremost African financial institution, Access Bank Plc, when it emerged as Nigeria’s biggest winner at the 2016 EMEA Finance Banking Awards by leading financial publication EMEA Finance Magazine.
At the event, Access Bank won in three categories awarded to financial institutions in the Pan-African region: the ‘CEO of the Year’, awarded to Access Bank’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr Herbert Wigwe; ‘Best Bank in Nigeria’ and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’.
Receiving the award on behalf of the bank at the annual African Banking Awards Dinner in London, United Kingdom, Mr Wigwe thanked the staff of Access Bank, acknowledging their support in achieving the goal of not only becoming one of the Top 3 banks in Nigeria, but also for participating in the firm’s CSR activities that have touched the lives of thousands of Nigerians.
“We are delighted to receive these prestigious awards. It is a testimonial to the hard work we have done in line with our five-year strategy to become the world’s most respected African Bank,” Mr Wigwe, who was obviously elated, said at the occasion.
Furthermore, he said, “2016 has been a remarkable year for the Bank as we continue to receive both regional and international acclaim.
“I am extremely proud to be part of a profitable institution that is committed to delivering sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant. We have reaffirmed our status as innovative industry pioneers equipped to help our customers take tomorrow today.”
Commenting on Access Bank’s impressive streak, EMEA Finance CEO, Mr Christopher Moore, said that, “A repeat winner of our Best Bank in Nigeria award, Access Bank has become a Nigerian powerhouse, and one of the premier financial institutions in the country.
“Generating steep increases in revenues and profit growth over the past several years is no small feat, particularly with strong negative macroeconomic headwinds.”
The hat-trick comes after two recent big wins at the Business Day Awards where the Bank was named ‘Bank of the Year’ and Access Bank’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Herbert Wigwe was also crowned ‘Bank CEO of the Year’.
“We are delighted to recognise Wigwe as our CEO of the Year in our African Banking Awards 2016 awards package,” Moore said. “Leadership requires ambition, and Wigwe possesses this quality and much more. His years of dedication and commitment to the development of Access Bank have helped it to attract over 8 million customers, to complete complex and strategically important financings, and to create an international presence,” he added.
EMEA Finance is a leading bi-monthly global industry publication that reports on the major financial events and happenings initiated and influenced by the international financial industry active in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mr Wigwe led Access Bank’s efforts to incorporate sustainability across all aspects of the bank’s activities. In doing so, he also moved the entire sector forward, and now all of Nigeria’s banks, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, have adopted what is known as the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.
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