Standard Chartered has finalised an agreement to sell its subsidiaries in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and its consumer, private & business banking business in Tanzania.
In a letter sent to BusinessDay, Standard Chartered said each transaction remains subject to the approval of the respective local regulators and the banking regulator in Nigeria.
The move is expected to expand the territory of Nigeria’s biggest financial services group in the African continent, where it has already ventured into strategic markets including Angola, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia in addition to Mozambique.
“Access Bank will provide a full range of banking services and continuity for key stakeholders including employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses across the five aforementioned countries,” Standard Chartered said.
It noted that the agreement with Access for the sale of the bank’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa is in line with Standard Chartered’s global strategy, aimed at achieving operational efficiencies, reducing complexity, and driving scale.
“This strategic decision allows us to redirect resources within the African and Middle East region to other areas with significant growth potential,” Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered’s regional CEO for AME, said in the statement.
Commenting on the agreement, Roosevelt Ogbonna, group managing director, Access Bank Plc, stated, “This strategic transaction represents a key step in its journey to build a strong global franchise focused on serving as a gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world, anchored by a robust capital base; a relentless focus on execution; and best-in-class customer service & governance structures.”
“Our 5-year growth plan will see us build a world-class class payments gateway leveraging the power of technology and a robust network of relationships across our operating countries,” Ogbonna said.
He added, “This will be supported by a dynamic ecosystem of local and international partnerships, enabling us to serve global payments and remittances efficiently. With our recent European expansion and our deepened presence in key trading corridors across Africa, we will bridge the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments. More importantly, we are committed to impacting our host communities positively.”
In April 2022, Standard Chartered strategically decided to divest from a number of markets, namely Lebanon, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Jordan, and to exit the CPBB (Consumer Private and Business Banking) business in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.
The Bank announced the sale of its business in Zimbabwe earlier in June and in Jordan in March this year.
With this announcement, Standard Chartered has substantially completed the divestment process from the markets announced in April 2022, except Côte d’Ivoire where it remains actively engaged in discussions with potential buyers for the sale of its CPBB business in the country.