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
“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
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
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.