Business and Economy

Access Bank Acquires African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited

Access Bank Zambia Limited has successfully completed the acquisition of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, trading as Atlas Mara Zambia, making Atlas Mara a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Bank Zambia. The two banks will operate separately until all integration processes are finalized. Once the merger is complete, the combined entities are expected to be among Zambia’s top five banks by revenue, aiming for a top three position by 2027.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, expressed that this acquisition is a significant milestone towards achieving the vision of becoming the world’s most respected African bank. The harmonization of brands, heritage, values, and practices of both companies will create opportunities for stakeholders in Zambia and the SADC region.

Lishala Situmbeko, CEO of Access Bank Zambia, also shared his satisfaction with the completed transaction, emphasizing the creation of a stronger and more competitive financial institution that will contribute to Zambia’s economic recovery. The alignment of products and services will ensure that customers benefit from an enhanced product suite in the future.

Upon the complete integration of the two banks, customers will gain access to a total of more than 60 branches, 5 cash centers, 8 agencies, over 5,300 Tenga Express Agents, and a network of over 240 ATMs throughout the country. Corporate customers will enjoy the advantages of a larger combined balance sheet, a wider international presence, and increased access to trade finance, treasury services, international payments, and loans through the expanded bank’s distribution network, which spans three continents and 21 markets.

Additionally, stakeholders will benefit from Access Bank’s presence in key trade corridors that connect Africa with the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, China, Lebanon, France, Hong Kong, and India. SMEs will benefit from the existing banking proposition that aims to encourage and support their growth ambitions. The public sector will benefit from a stronger focus on digitalization and simplified revenue collection processes. The merger will also create significant opportunities for professional and career development for our employees, as they become part of a larger network both locally and globally.

Across Zambia, stakeholders will benefit from the presence of an African financial services group that is dedicated to equipping the communities it operates in with the necessary tools for success. Furthermore, the merger will allow the combined bank’s stakeholders to take advantage of Access Bank’s commitment to extending financial services to the unbanked population and enhancing its offerings for already banked customers.

Atlas Mara’s Acting Managing Director, Bobbline Cheembela, expressed that the merger with Access Bank will combine the strengths and resources of both organizations. Atlas Mara‘s extensive network, expertise in global markets and treasury, along with Access Bank’s focus on SMEs and providing financial services to Zambian MNCs and SMEs, has established them as an industry leader and a champion for the country. The combined business now possesses a more comprehensive skill set to better serve customers and stakeholders.

Cheembela further stated that the goal is to provide a holistic service offering that emphasizes financial inclusion and digital banking.
Following the legal acquisition, both banks will work together to ensure a seamless transition post-merger. During this period, customers will continue to be served by their respective banks, either Access Bank or Atlas Mara. The immediate focus is on integrating the two entities to operate as a unified organization with a consolidated staff, as well as aligned products and services.

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