THE Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank PLC, Herbert Wigwe, has been recognised as the African Banker of the Year at the 2021 edition of the African Banker Awards.

A winner of one of the most prized categories at the Awards ceremony for the second consecutive year, Mr Wigwe was recognised for his stellar leadership in the market expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest bank despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last 12 months, Access Bank has established a presence in South Africa following its acquisition of Grobank.

Accepting the award, Mr Wigwe said Access Bank is focused on promoting corporate discipline, adding that the Bank wants to be in key markets on the continent, building a payment gateway and providing trade finance support.

“We want to be seen as the best bank supporting the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA). In terms of diaspora remittances, we are present in key areas in the continent,” he said.

The African Banker Awards have become the most respected and recognised industry event celebrating African banking achievements.

The organisers this year, put emphasis on recognising and rewarding institutions that contributed to the real economy which has suffered from the impact of Covid-19 as well as contributed to women empowerment on the continent.

Commenting on the award, Group Publisher of African Banker and Chair of the Awards Committee, Omar Ben Yedder said, “Herbert is one of the most respected bankers on the continent, without a shadow of a doubt. The Bank has gone from a lower ranked Nigerian bank when he joined the group as Deputy CEO to become one of Africa’s leading financial services groups. He has shown a relentless pursuit for growth, but has done so in a measured and calculated manner. What he and his team have done at Access Bank is nothing short of remarkable.”

The Awards ceremony held virtually during the Annual meetings of the African Development Bank.

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