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Nedbank & Ecobank Groups form Ground-breaking Alliance

Dec 15, 2008, 6:27 AM

Nedbank Group and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, have entered into a strategic business co-operation relationship to provide customers access to a combined pan - African banking network covering 30 countries (including South Africa) with over 1 000 branches and banking outlets across the continent.

Through this relationship customers will have the convenience and benefit of a 'one bank' experience across the combined footprint of both banking groups.

Ecobank, the Pan-African Bank that is currently operating in 25 countries has the largest geographic banking coverage in Africa in terms of number of countries and operates mainly in west, central and east Africa including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. The Nedbank Group operates as one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa with banking operations in five other southern African countries.

The Alliance will enable the two banks to extend their coverage across Africa on a co-operative basis whilst managing costs and risk effectively. Ecobank will retain its focus on expansion into less mature, growing markets, and will also enhance its service offering in southern Africa. Nedbank will retain its focus on banking operations in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and together with Ecobank provide its clients with comprehensive banking services in west, central and east Africa and grow its banking services in these markets.

Arnold Ekpe, Chief Executive Officer of ETI, notes "we are excited about this strategic alliance which is designed to build a true pan-African champion. It represents a win-win solution for both institutions, their shareholders and particularly their customers. Ecobank currently operates across 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Nedbank is one of South Africa's leading banks. No other banking group can currently match this alliance. In our view, it represents not only a commitment to Africa, but also a commitment to providing world class service across the countries in which we operate. Our collaboration with Nedbank will allow us to extend our operations more effectively from middle Africa to the southern African market in a very capital-efficient manner. It also offers a good platform for Nedbank to grow its business in other parts of the African continent."

Tom Boardman, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank Group, says "we are committed to becoming southern Africa's most highly rated and respected bank and this alliance allows us to focus on this vision, while providing our clients access to the largest geographic banking footprint in Africa. In Ecobank we have a partner who shares similar values and who has extensive local knowledge of doing business across Africa. Ecobank has demonstrated an ability to expand and grow in new markets. The alliance will help us grow our business in the rest of Africa and together we will explore new investment opportunities."

Through the Alliance both groups will be positioned to deliver country specific tailored banking solutions across the African continent in the most convenient and simplified way to corporate and individual clients spanning day to day transactional banking, financing and investment banking advisory services.

In addition to enhancing accessibility to banking services across the combined footprint through a 'one bank' experience and exploring joint investment opportunities, other anticipated benefits from this relationship include:

Leveraging off existing client and business relationships;

Utilising each banks expertise on sector specific advisory skills such as Nedbank's expertise in the minerals, resources, energy and infrastructure sectors;

Retaining and attracting skilled resources; and

Utilising state of the art technology, electronic banking and the use of existing innovative products and solutions in the field of cash handling for the benefit of clients.

Graham Dempster the Chief Executive of Nedbank Corporate who has been involved in the formation of the Alliance said the strategies of Nedbank and Ecobank are complementary. Both banking groups adopt decentralised business models where they base responsibility and decision- making close to the clients in the individual businesses, which operate under a standard set of policies, processes and procedures.

This relationship will be governed by an alliance committee comprised of senior executives of both banks, structured to include specialised sub-committees for execution of the alliance initiatives.

A 'one bank' experience across the largest geographic banking footprint makes this unique alliance a natural choice for seamless banking across the African continent.