Friday, May 20, 2022

Access Bank profits take a hit

Shareholders of Access Bank, formerly BancABC have been informed that the banker’s profit before tax for the year ended 31st December 2021 might reduce by about 75 to 85 percent. This is in comparison with the previous period last year according to a cautionary statement issued by the Botswana Stock Exchange quoted banker last week.

The pending results projections translates to an expected Profit before Tax for the year ended 31st December 2021 of P18 million to P30 million. For the corresponding prior period, the banker registered a restated P119 million profit.

The acquisition of BancABC Botswana by Access Bank PLC was first made in during the second quarter of 2021. Access Bank is classified one of the largest banks in Nigeria and one of Africa’s leading banks by customer base. The bank boost of a vast network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning across three continents, in over 10 countries.

Its arrival in the local banking scene, however, comes at a time when the commercial banking industry in the country is moderately becoming concentrated, with lenders restructuring and moving more towards digital channels and in the process cutting jobs.

In the recently released Bank of Botswana’s bank supervision report for 2020, the central bank which uses the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), which is commonly used to measure of market concentration and assess the degree of competition in the Botswana banking industry, says the HHI marginally increased from 0.1756 in 2019 to 0.1770 in 2020, remaining lower than 0.1800, indicating continuance of a moderately concentrated market.

With a number of nine licensed commercial and three statutory banks, the four large banks (FNBB, ABSA, Stanbic and Stanchart) continued to dominate the banking sector and accounted, in aggregate, for 79.1 percent, 79.2 percent and 77.4 percent in total assets, total deposits and total loans and advances, respectively in 2020, compared with 78.7 percent, 78.6 percent and 76.7 percent of the same in 2019.

The Access Bank Group however says it has designated Botswana a key market it intends to succeed in and will fully support the local banker to achieve its stated business objective in the shortest space of time. “The Company expects these developments to become immediately visible within the first half of 2022 and to begin being accretive to earnings in the second half of 2022”, reads part of a statement from the bank.

Meanwhile Access Bank’s full-year financial results for the period ended 31st December 2021 are expected to be released on or before 31st March 2022.

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