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Sub-Saharan Africa


IFC Supports Access Bank Nigeria in Quest to Become National Bank of Choice for Women



In Nigeria and most African Countries, access to financial services for women is limited by a range of issues: limited financial knowledge, weak business management skills, limited access to information and markets, and lack of financial records.

Banks and staff of other financial institutions also lack the tools, knowledge and experience to profitably serve the women segment market.

“Since we started focusing on financing the women segment market in 2006, we have been faced with the reality of the knowledge gaps among the women as well as the financial service providers themselves” said Victor Etuokwu, ED personal banking, “and this gap has affected the productivity of the segment”.

To address these issues, IFC organized training for 95 Access bank staffs  in January to help them acquire critical selling and customer management skills and facilitate understanding of the gender biases that influence attitudes and service delivery for its existing female customer base of more than 2.6 million.

The training focused on customer acquisition, retention strategy and gender awareness. Gender champions and staffs, representing all departments (retail, operations, call center officers, business banking, marketing and PR) were among the participants.

“This training was very insightful as it exposed us to certain biases along gender lines that we did not realize could affect our relationships with our female clients. With this training, Access bank is better positioned to adopt global best practices in serving the women segment market and become the banker of choice for women in Nigeria” Etokwu concluded.

Solomon Quaynor, Country Manager Nigeria said, “Supporting women entrepreneurs is part of IFC’s strategic focus and IFC is set to support financial institutions in providing global standard services to the women segment market. We expect that the outcome of the training will lead to sustained entrepreneurship, foster job creation and promote wealth creation for Nigeria.”

Access bank is Nigeria’s first full service bank, established in 1989. The bank provides wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products. The bank employs 2,767 staffs and has 323 branches across Nigeria. Access Bank Nigeria aims to be the bank of choice for women and has a clear target of capturing 50% of all women markets in Nigeria by 2017.

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