Access Bank Plc, reputed as "Africa's Bank of Best Practice", was incorporated in February 1989 as a privately owned financial institution. It commenced banking operations in May 1989 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1998. Access Bank has ordinary shares and three-year convertible bond listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and also an Over the Counter (OTC), Global Depository Receipts (GDR) traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The Bank is licensed to carry out universal banking services; providing a comprehensive bouquet of financial and non-financial services. The key business segments of the Bank are Institutional Banking, Commercial & Consumer Banking, Investment Banking and Private Banking while the key customer segments include Telecommunication, Beverages, Manufacturing, Construction, Oil & Gas, Parastatals, High Net-worth and Middle Income Professionals.
The Bank has core capabilities in Treasury, Cash Management, Trade Finance, Payment & Settlement, E-Business, Asset Management & Custodial Service and Relationship Management.
With a staff strength of about 2000 and headquartered in Lagos, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria; Access Bank is recognized as one of Africa's fastest growing banks owing to its phenomenal growth across key performance indices on year-on-year basis.
The Bank's geographical coverage cuts across Sub-Saharan Africa's three monetary zones (ECOWAS, SADC and UEMOA) and the OECD - Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Zambia, Burundi, Ghana and the United Kingdom. Access Bank's business offices are also located in all the major commercial centers and cities across Nigeria.
The Bank has three non-banking subsidiaries namely United Securities Limited, Access Investment and Securities Limited and Access Homes and Mortgages Limited. It also has one associated company, Marina Securities Limited.
Access Bank has a well diversified shareholders base with ownership residing with individuals and institutional investors, both local & international. The Bank's shareholders are in excess of 500,000 (five hundred thousand) investors.
The Bank's shareholders' fund is in excess of $1.2 billion and its strategic intent is to rank amongst the top 3 Nigerian Banking Groups by 2012 and also to become a major catalyst for growth across the African continent.
At Access Bank, the HIV/AIDS workplace policy creates a platform to minimize the possibility of HIV infection for staff and their partners and dependants; ensure a supportive work environment for staff infected and affected by HIV/AIDS; manage and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS and eliminate stigma and discrimination in the workplace on the basis of real or perceived HIV status, or vulnerability to HIV infection.
The Bank also strongly believes that adequate and accurate information will empower employees to understand the HIV infection phenomenon, prevent transmission and ultimately engender a non-discriminatory attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS.
Highlights of the Access Bank's workplace policy include:
Equal opportunity: HIV positive individuals are treated in the same manner as those with any other progressive or debilitating illness and ensure that necessary precautions are taken to prevent the transmission or spread of HIV to other staff.
Testing: Testing will be done with the informed consent of the staff accompanied by pre and post test counselling. Test results are confidential and are not disclosed to a third party.
Discrimination: No employee is allowed to be isolated or segregated within the Bank's premises; on the grounds of being infected with HIV.
Awareness: The Bank regularly provides information and facilities to staff on the various aspects of HIV/AIDS with a view to preventing and ensuring maximum containment of the spread of the disease.
Workplace Behaviour: Employees are given adequate education in order to ensure that there will be no grounds for refusal to share a workplace with an employee living with HIV. The Bank will also make the necessary adjustment in the workplace to ensure that employees living with HIV remain in the system as long it is medically and functionally feasible.
Support: The Bank offers counselling and support services to help employees and their families cope with social, emotional and other concerns associated with HIV/AIDS. We assist employees with HIV/AIDS obtain proper medical care and supervision of their condition within the scope of the existing health policy.
Confidentiality: Strict confidentiality is maintained during and after testing. This confidentiality applies to medical counselling and support services extended to employees living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Working with partners is a key element of our HIV/AIDS programme as they play a vital role in the implementation of the Bank's Workplace Policy and its allied prevention and enlightenment programmes.
Access Bank partners with key stakeholders such as Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA), Network of People Living with HIV (NEPWHAN), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), State AIDS Control Agencies (SACA), Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) and Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA).
Representatives from these organisations are invited as facilitators to sensitization workshops, seminars and training sessions. Linkages and referrals for testing, treatment and support services are provided by Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA) for staff and family members who require such services.
PREVENTION AND AWARENESS
The following programmes have been designed to facilitate HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention among employees:
SME WORKPLACE POLICY PROGRAMME
Access Bank is currently working with the Friends of the Global Fund Africa (Friends Africa) to implement a Workplace Policy Programme for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa. The overall objective of the SME Workplace Policy Programme is to promote consistent and equitable approach to the prevention and treatment of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria among employees and their families.
The workshops will provide a forum for participating organizations to acquire necessary skills to develop and implement a world-class workplace policy for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Broad spectrums of SMEs from various sectors of the economy are target participants. The enhanced capacity of these different organizations to scale up on health programs through the Workplace Policy Programme will consequently impact the health and lives of a wide-spectrum of end beneficiaries who are affected directly and indirectly with HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
To support global efforts at curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, Access Bank engages in advocacy programmes for the community. The essence of the outreach programme is to sensitize people in the immediate communities of the Bank's operating environment and encourage them to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS through preventing new infections; up-take of voluntary counselling and testing; and the fighting of stigma and discrimination.
Access Bank peer educators and other key stakeholders engage members of the community (both the highly literate and the unlearned), in supporting efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS; distribute IEC materials to them and involve them in the Interactive Talkshop held in conjunction with the Bank's partners.
To reinforce the messages by the peer educators, and stimulate involvement at all levels - from individuals to groups, institutions and governments - HIV/AIDS advocacy messages were deployed across the Bank's ATMs nationwide and also posted on the Bank's Group website.
Promoting Gender Equality:
Access Bank is interested in women’s economic empowerment and has therefore made it one of its key focus points.
Gender Empowerment Programme (GEM): The GEM programme is an initiative developed to support women and aspiring female entrepreneurs. Access Bank through this initiative provides women with the needed resources to grow their businesses, including capacity building, networking, advisory services, finance, and market collaboration. Access Bank also trains female entrepreneurs throughout the business development cycle.
GEM-appointed consultants work one-on-one with GEM members to provide professional advice in a variety of business areas, including management, marketing, human resources, procurement, and more. Access Bank’s GEM programme also works with different stages of business, from inception to maturity. The consultants advise appropriate programmes for each stage.
Under the GEM programme, Access Bank has provided over
N2.7 billion (US$18 million) to several female entrepreneurs and corporative societies such as the Catholic Institute for Democracy, Justice and Peace (CID-JAP) in Enugu State to finance microenterprises.
Access Bank is changing the financial landscape for businesswomen in Nigeria and beyond. Since partnering with IFC in June 2006, the following has been achieved: