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Stakeholders Commend Access Bank Board, Management On "Disclosure And Transparency"

Jul 17, 2009, 6:51 AM

Shareholders of Access Bank Plc at the Bank's 20th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on July 14  commended the Board and Management of the Bank for another outstanding financial performance. They were particularly happy that in spite of the challenges posed by the global financial crisis, the Bank posted a PBT (Profit Before Tax) of N28billion, a 43% increase over last year's figure and lauded the Board and Management of the Bank for its high level of disclosure and transparency which is unprecedented in the Nigerian banking industry.

The Chairman of the Bank, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, MFR, stated that the 20th annual general meeting was of significance because it coincided with the Bank's 20th anniversary of commencing banking operations, and emphasized the fact that the Bank has grown from the humble beginning of 20 years ago to a position of prominence and recognition on the African financial services landscape.

He said: "You will take pride in the fact that from humble beginnings your Bank has been elevated to the ranks of Africa's leading financial institutions with a fast growing reputation for being Africa's Bank of Best Practice."

He added that: 'The Bank's financial performance in 2008/09 defined its commitment to sustainable fundamentals and strong financial performance. "Our results underscore our resolve to consistently record superior financial performance, even in the face of testing circumstances and a difficult operating environment."

In explaining the Bank's performance, GMD/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Aigboje Aig - Imoukhuede stated that: "We are thankful to God for the foresight as far back as March 2002 to pursue a transformation agenda driven by the Quest for Excellence in all facets of our operations.  A journey it must be said we embarked on not just for altruistic reasons, but for our realization of the fact that great organizations that outlast successive cycles of harsh economic conditions and remain in leadership positions over the long term all have one thing in common. They are Built to Last on values and standards that are founded on excellence.

He espoused further on the four pillars that guide the way and manner in which the Bank conducts its business which are: Excellent Governance, Strong Capital, First Class Risk Management and Highly skilled, Customer driven employees." 

Also commenting on the operating environment during the year under review, the GMD/CEO said "During the second half of the year we chose to alter our hitherto aggressive balance sheet growth posture, driven by the rationale that the quality and sustainability of our earnings and franchise took precedence over market share growth considerations. From September 2008 we commenced steps to derisk and deleverage our balance sheet thereby insulating ourselves from the systemic risks which had begun to emerge within our domestic market, between December 2008 and March 31st 2009, we paid down $1.1 Billion of our foreign currency trade facilities through internally generated liquidity from our regular deposit generation activities.

These proactive actions have ensured that we were able to record a strong financial performance, whilst still maintaining the conservative risk management practices associated with First Class Financial Institutions. Indeed, throughout the last year and up till today, we have had no cause to approach CBN expanded discount window nor did we resort to rescheduling our margin loan exposures without recognizing impairments on them as required by the prudential guidelines."

It was also noted that last year, the Bank became the 2nd in Nigeria to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) in preparation of its financials. The annual report was commended for its high level of disclosure and transparency and has become the benchmark for reporting in Nigeria.