Leading Nigerian lender and largest bank by asset, Access Bank Plc, has announced a binding agreement to merge its Zambian subsidiary (Access Bank Zambia) with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (Atlas Mara Zambia).

This is according to a notice signed by Access Bank Plc Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

According to the disclosure, upon the completion of this prospective transaction, the Bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in its Zambian subsidiary-Access Bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, with about approximately $1 billion in total assets and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.

It is imperative to note that the transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfilment of statutory requirements in both Nigeria and Zambia. In addition, the transaction will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the Bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia and Cavmont Bank in 2020.

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Commenting on the recent development, the GMD/CEO of Access Bank Plc, Dr Herbert Wigwe said:  ‘’This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives. The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.

‘’We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the Bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation.

‘’Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long term prospects for the Zambian economy.’’