TUE, AUG 18 2020-theG&BJournal– The facility announced recently has been arranged by FMO, the Dutch development bank, and is provided together with Proparco, the French private sector development bank, and Symbiotics a leading investment firm specialized in emerging, sustainable and inclusive finance. FMO acted as the Mandated Lead Arranger and will be the Facility Agent.
‘’The facility, structured as a “10 years non-call 5 years” subordinated debt instrument, qualifies fully as Tier-II capital, benefitting the bank for a period of 5 years,’’ FMO said in a statement.
The facility will enable Access Bank to roll out its strategy of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world even after the unexpected simultaneous surfacing of two Black Swans in 2020: Covid-19 and the international oil crisis. Part of Access Bank’s strategy is also to deepen the footprint in the retail segment as well as increasingly support local Micro, Small, and Medium-size Enterprises, thereby supporting job creation in the Nigerian economy.
Speaking on the transaction, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Access Bank Plc, said, “The need to boost capital is extremely important today in the context of the negative socio-economic impact of COVID-19. The USD93.8 million Tier II capital eligible loan will help us to continue to sustainably support businesses that need finance. These businesses will be able to continually provide essential products and services thereby achieving sustainable and inclusive growth.’’
Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO said: “Once a very small player in the Nigerian financial services sector, whereas today, Access Bank is the largest bank in Nigeria with a wide array of financial services, including some very exciting gender finance work. We have been proud to support the team at Access Bank all those years, during good times and more challenging ones, like today. We are grateful for the opportunity to support our partners at Access Bank again, helping them weather the impacts of COVID-19 and the international oil crisis.”
Gregory Clemente, PROPARCO’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are thrilled to further strengthen our partnership with Access Bank, a top tier African financial institution committed to mainstreaming sustainable business practices in its operations. This transaction illustrates both Proparco’s commitment to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa thanks to its partnership with African financial institutions within the Choose Africa initiative as well as our renewed support to our existing clients in a challenging economic environment. This additional Tier II capital will give Access Bank the needed flexibility in the current context.”
Daniel Schriber, Head of Investments at Symbiotics said: “We are delighted to partner with Access Bank in a crucial time when support to micro, small and medium enterprises is critical to maintain jobs and strengthen livelihoods in Nigeria.”
Recognition of commitment to women empowerment through 2x Challenge qualification
During the signing ceremony Access Bank Nigeria was also recognized for its significant commitment to advancing women’s economic empowerment, strategic priorities for FMO and Proparco. Both organizations joined the 2X Challenge, an initiative founded by the G7 Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). The 2X Challenge is a commitment to mobilize investments advancing women’s economic empowerment.
‘’The transaction is an evidence of Access Bank’s commitment to facilitating economic growth and development in Nigeria and Africa as well as creating business opportunities for all stakeholders including women, across our entire value chain. Our unwavering commitment to women economic empowerment has recently earned us the recognition as an institution that qualifies for the 2X Challenge. We are truly inspired, and we remain committed to our goal of being Africa’s gateway to the world,” Herbert Wigwe concluded.
Access Bank Nigeria was qualified as a 2X Challenge institution, based on 2X Eligibility Criteria on Employment, Leadership and Consumption. As a qualifying 2X Challenge institution, Access Bank can be featured on the 2X Challenge website as an example of good practice in the financial sector.