CEO

Statement

Our organisation has an ambitious vision and clear mission.
This dictates all of our business strategies

CEO Statement

I am highly delighted to present a summary of your Bank’s business review in this 2018 Annual Report; my first year as Managing Director. I am equally pleased to report that most of our businesses made steady progress in delivering on their strategic targets during the past year.
 
The past year was indeed a period of growth towards the achievement of our strategy to become the leading retail bank in the Gambia by 2022. This being the first full year in our new 5-year strategic growth plan, your Bank made steady progress across key strategic imperatives as it consolidates the Corporate and Retail banking businesses to deliver more value. Today, Access Bank is stronger as reflected on all key financial ratios and our various investments in technology are making our processes simpler and more convenient for our customers.

Our performance in 2018 was exceptional; it reflects our disciplined approach to execution and commitment to strong risk management culture, controls and compliance standards. We were cautiously optimistic in growing our asset portfolio over the period as we diversified revenue sources to deepen gains across our key business segments especially the Retail business while leveraging on technology. Though the year was demanding, we witnessed a positive growth trajectory and we were able to deploy the Mobile Banking application and also the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code system, we are certain that we are moving in the right direction in creating value for all our shareholders.
 
Expanding Our Frontiers  
Growing our Corporate banking business requires that we take advantage of new and emerging market opportunities to grow our balance sheet size, this inform the decision of management to re-strategize by working towards the opening of three more branches in Senegambia, Brikama and Farafenni to harness prospective customers and tap into the emerging retail and commercial businesses occasioned by the renewed confidence in the economy with the advent of democracy. During the period under review, the Bank also introduced three innovative digital products into the Gambian market; Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD *901#), Mobile Banking App and Access Africa Money Transfer targeted at salary earners, employers and all retail customers. These innovations are helping us meet the changing needs and expectations of our customers.
 
Building Capacity  
Our people continue to remain our greatest asset and they have formed an integral part of the Bank’s growth over a decade. Given the increasingly competitive and globalised business environment, equipping our employees with the necessary skills and expertise is tantamount to our continued success. In tandem, we are continuously focused on attracting talent through our reputable Entry Level Training Programme at the School of Banking Excellence (SBE) for fresh graduates to maintain our competitive edge and continue driving performance. Our ambition is to drive a high-performance culture, putting our customers at the centre of all that we do and remaining true to our values.
 
Sustainability  
In the coming year, we celebrate 13 years of our Bank’s existence by building a truly local bank with global outreach. Our banking franchise has been embraced and accepted by so many across the country as our Bank continues to spearhead financial inclusion and provide sustainable financing options to support the economy and enhance social impact through community interventions thus reflecting our drive to accelerate our sustainability and commitments.
 
Investing in the Future  
The realities of the past year and the need to adapt to multichannel demands, particularly from younger generations, shows that no business can hope to thrive unless it anticipates and adapts to the changes around it. Our investments in digitization therefore continue to be the front runner in spite of the inevitably higher technology costs. We are combining our brick and mortar expansion with an intelligent roll-out of digital platforms to enhance our reach and promote a cashless society. Being able to invest thoughtfully will help make us become the bank for our customers and a bank for the future.
 
Exciting times Ahead  
Recently, your Bank refreshed its look as a result of the recent business combination between our parent company - Access Bank Plc and erstwhile Diamond Bank in Nigeria. Our logo, colors and brand promise have thus evolved and we are excited by the benefits that this change will have for our trade finance, payments and retail banking businesses. The synergies from this merger will provide more access to banking with an expanded footprint in 12 countries across three continents. We also expect more robust platforms as well as new and better product performance going forward.
 
Management of the Bank will continue to remain committed to safeguarding our customers and their business, as well as upholding our fiduciary responsibilities. I will like to thank the shareholders, my fellow directors, colleagues and all stakeholders for their continual support since taking up this mantle. I have every reason to believe that given the momentum of our 13 years’ milestone in the Gambia, the year 2019 will be a rewarding one for us all.
 
Thank you and God bless.

Mr. Ayokunle A. Olajubu
(Country Managing Director / CEO)