Access Bank Opens Subsidiary In Paris

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Access Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, launched a subsidiary in the French city of Paris, extending its reach into Europe.

“The objective is to support trade between France and Africa,” Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings PLC told local French media.

In order to capitalise on flows between France and countries in Africa, especially those who speak French, Access Bank operations would initially be centred on trade finance.

“Most people would cite francophone Africa as the first port of call for everything in the UEMOA [West African Economic and Monetary Union] zone, CEMAC [Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa], which also includes central Africa, and of course places like Rwanda and so on,” Wigwe said.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, established the French-Nigerian Business Council in 2021 to strengthen links between businesses from the two nations. 

According to Wigwe, the Access Bank Paris operations will be managed by the group’s British affiliate, “so it’s a start in terms of support and direct facilitation of business coming from France to Africa.”

While the bank now has a substantial presence in the United Kingdom, Brexit required a reconsideration, including the necessity to have a presence in a European Union nation.

Wigwe said that “Brexit has created a lot of opportunities for France” in addition to providing that platform.

Access Bank is one of Nigeria’s five largest banks, with “a presence in over a dozen countries across four continents,” according to Roosevelt Ogbonna, managing director of Access Bank PLC, during the company’s Paris launch on Thursday.

According to Ogbonna, the opening of operations in France is an essential step towards accomplishing the objective of linking worlds and connecting possibilities for African enterprises.