The drive for greater efficiency to withstand the effects of Coronavirus pandemic on businesses underpinned recent decisions by Access Bank Plc.
As the pandemic ravages business world-wide, Access Bank is taking proactive steps to keep operating costs under control.
Indeed, the Bank’s GMD/CEO, Dr Herbert Wigwe on Thursday informed shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that they are already addressing the issue high operating expenses and taking drastic measures to ensure that expenses are reduced significantly. This is to ensure that Access Bank remains strong and profitable when this is over.
Going into these difficult times, several companies across the world are taking cost-cutting measures including staff rationalization, some adopting furlough to remain in business. The Nigerian economy is not insulated from the threat of another recession arising from a crash in oil prices and the Covid-19 pandemic that has shattered businesses.
Recall that at the merger with the defunct Diamond Bank, Access Bank said there would be no downsizing. It kept to its promise. In these turbulent times, the bank has decided again not to downsize because it values its people.
The merger with Diamond Bank has produced a truly diversified institution with a remarkable retail presence and solid wholesale market share. The merger has propelled Access Bank towards achieving its five-year strategic objectives to create the largest bank in Nigeria by total assets as well as largest in Africa by customer base with over 40 million unique customers across the network.
To remain accountable to the shareholders and keep the business running, it has become imperative to rationalize cost structure including salary and even service providers.
Speaking on how Access Bank is running its business in the COVID-19 period, Wigwe assured that Access Bank has put in place a robust business continuity process enough to sustain the Bank’s performance going forward.
“Access Bank was well prepared for the COVID-19 early enough and created ways of working from home and working with our customers. We set up links with our customers and devise ways of reaching out to them three or four times a day. This happened even before we started working with the larger society and enabled us to start fighting this pandemic,” he said.