As part of its continued support of UNICEF, Access Bank Group, along with 5th Chukker, The Access Bank UK and Access Private Bank hosted the ‘Access Bank Polo Day’ at the Guards Polo Club, Windsor on Saturday June 13.
Under the wonderful sunshine at the spectacular location of Guards Polo Club, over three hundred esteemed guests of Access Bank and Fifth Chukker were in attendance. The distinguished dignitaries included HRH, Emir of Kano – Muhammadu Sanusi II, Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe, Chairman of Access Bank Gbenga Oyebode, former Access Bank CEO Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman Forte Oil – Femi Otedola, MD Yinka Folawiyo Group – Tunde Folawiyo, Senator Daisy Danjuma and Senator Sabo Mohammed Nakudu.
During the lunch guests were formally welcomed by Jamie Simmonds, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of The Access Bank UK Limited.
Access Bank Plc Group’s Managing Director Herbert Wigwe highlighted that the objective of the event was to raise further awareness around the issues and support required to continue the development and initiatives to help orphaned and vulnerable Children in Nigeria. Mr Wigwe explained: “Our support for the Fifth Chukker UNICEF initiative comes from the fact that we are conscious of our role as a change agent in Nigeria that can help support socio-economic development through responsible business practice and environmental considerations. In addition, we are continually seeking ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting the children. We are part of the community and as such should support its well-being”. The polo match was watched with interest and excitement. The High Goal polo match for The Access Bank Cup was won by Fifth Chukka/ Access Bank team represented by Ali Saeed Albwardy, Pablo MacDoonough, Guillermo Caset and Adamu Atta against Kangimi Resort. Adolfito Cambiaso, son of the world number one Adolfo Cambiaso, played with both Fifth Chukka/ Access Bank and Kangimi Resorts and was named the Most Valuable Player of the day. For the UNICEF Charity Shield, Damian Duncan teamed up with Juan Cruz Merlos, Agustin Merlos and Mat Lodder in Delaney colours and won against the Power Horse team featured by Walter Scherb, Ahmed Wadada, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario and Michel Del Carril. After the prize giving, guests adjourned to Dukes Pavilion for an enjoyable celebration accompanied by performance of The Compozers.
The event was a huge success and its sponsorship provides a platform for supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Nigeria. It was organised by Access Private Bank, a division of The Access Bank UK Limited which has just published its Report and Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2014. These show impressive growth indicators including an increase in operating income of 37% from 10.9-million in 2013 to £15-million. The Bank’s profit before tax grew by an outstanding 138% to £5-million. The latter reflects the growth in trade finance and also asset management activity by Access Private Bank. Assets under management for 2014 were £34-million, which is a year on year rise of 12.2%, while total Private Bank customer funds were £46-million, a rise of 16% on the previous year. The Bank also saw a significant increase in net interest income of 94% to £6.4-million as a result of the growth in loans to correspondent banks and customers. As The Access Bank UK’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Jamie Simmonds, highlights “this has been achieved while still operating within the moderate risk appetite set by the UK Board”.
Further new products, such as UK fixed term deposits, were also introduced by the Bank in 2014. Commenting on the figures, Jamie Simmonds adds:
“Our second five-year plan began in 2014 and we achieved our aims and outperformed projections for the year. As at 31 December the Bank had a high capital adequacy ratio and liquid buffer assets significantly in excess of the minimum regulatory requirements. It is our intention that these will continue to be maintained at satisfactory levels in the future. This has been a transformational year for the Bank as we have continued to grow the business based on the firm foundations that we have established and also diversify our income streams to ensure sustainable performance. We believe we have succeeded in the current financial climate where others have failed through our focus on establishing strong relationships with all our customers. Our achievements owe a great deal to the strong partnership that we have with our parent company, as evidenced by our joint support of the fourth Access Bank Day in the UK at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor.”