Access Bank Expresses Sympathy With Customers Over Restriction On Accounts – Wins Best Digital Bank In Africa Award

Access Bank PLC says it is concerned over the inconvenience some of its customers are going through due to the restrictions placed on their accounts as mandated by a Federal court order.

The bank expressed its eagerness for the issue to be resolved as soon as possible, stressing that it is ever committed to delivering superior service to its customers.

In a statement in Lagos, the bank said it would play its part to ensure that such customers have access to their accounts as quickly as possible.

It declared: “It is common knowledge that we and the entire banking industry are regulated entities and therefore operate under the authority of our regulators and law enforcement agencies. As such we are compelled to comply with regulatory directives. While acknowledging the concern of all well-meaning parties, we urge that enquiries and views be channeled to the relevant regulatory and judicial agencies where the matter is receiving attention”.

The statement said Access Bank has always been in the forefront of innovative efforts in support of the development of Nigeria and it embraces this role as it is also the largest employer of labour, a sizable number of which are youth.

The bank said it has always led the way with regard to support for young Nigerians in terms of capacity building and development of SMEs, recalling that it launched an initiative to boost the creative industry with loan facilities aimed at capacity building and employment for individuals and businesses in movie production and distribution, fashion, IT and music.

This commitment, it continues, also extends to the support of small business owners through initiatives that provide access to finance for growth and expansion.

“We continue to be concerned by the inconvenience that our affected customers are experiencing. We stand ready to play our part to remedy the situation and have them using their accounts as quickly as possible”.

Eight customers of Access Bank are said to have had their accounts restricted following a recent court order.

Meanwhile, for its continued investment in digital innovation, Access Bank has been recognized as the ‘Best Digital Bank in Africa’ by The Asian Banker.

The announcement was made at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional 2020 Awards virtual ceremony.

Access Bank, easily Africa’s largest retail bank, has over the years, leveraged technology including advanced analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics process automation to reform business operations and drive performance.

Speaking on the award, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “We are delighted to receive this award, which recognizes our contribution towards revolutionizing the practice of digital banking in Africa. This award serves as an encouragement for us to consolidate our efforts towards becoming a truly digitally-led bank. We always ensure that customers enjoy secure, seamless and convenient services across multiple channels.”

Access Bank has invested heavily in leading technological evolution in the African banking sector through its strategic partnership with the Africa Fintech Foundry to nurture the next generation of innovative fintech startups. The Bank has also employed the use of technology to help achieve its sustainability targets. It has developed a portal that helps to monitor its environmental footprint, especially its carbon emissions.

In his comments, Ade Bajomo, Access Bank’s Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations, said that, “The peculiarities of the global community today, have called for more digitally-driven banking services. Through our multiple offerings including our USSD *901#, advanced mobile banking application ‘Access More’ and our recently unveiled facial biometric payment solution, Access Bank has continued to offer best-in-class technology-driven solutions to all customers. Access Bank will continue to defy the negative stereotypes attributed to Africa, and make strides toward becoming ‘Africa’s gateway to the world’.”

Bajomo was recently appointed President of the FinTech Association of Nigeria (FintechNGR). The appointment is seen as a further reinforcement of Access Bank’s thought leadership in digital transformation, use of advanced analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics process automation to sustain banking and improve customer experience.

Prior to his appointment as President of FintechNGR, Bajomo served as the Vice-President of FinTechNGR in the last two years.

Speaking after his inauguration, Bajomo thanked the outgoing president, Dr. Segun Aina and the Governing Committee, “for the remarkable accomplishments during the last two years. This appointment is a responsibility that I take very seriously and I am humbled by your vote of confidence. With your help, I believe we can position Nigeria as a leading market for global FinTech Innovation and Investment.”

“In my capacity as the president, I will ensure FinTech Association of Nigeria works collaboratively as a team to position Nigeria and ultimately, Africa, as a force to be reckoned with in the global community. Nigeria has all the human resources it needs to be competitive in the global marketplace and this administration will strive to accelerate the growth of the industry and help create job opportunities and wealth,” Bajomo said.

He acknowledged that FinTech offerings will be one of the key performance drivers for the Nigerian banking sector post-COVID-19, while also affirming that, “The possibilities are endless for a sector that has been responsible for over N700 trillion worth of transactions over the last 12 months. This trend is expected to continue even in a post-COVID-19 world.”

Bajomo disclosed that an appreciable number of innovative solutions will be introduced in the payment sector. The key drivers of these innovative solutions will include contactless payments, biometric solutions for financial inclusion and the acceptance of Blockchain technology as a viable payment option.

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