AS Access Bank aims to be among the top three banks by 2027 in Zambia after acquiring Atlas Mara, it plans on focusing on becoming the backbone of Small Medium Enterprises through the provision of Collateral free loans.
Access Bank chief executive officer CEO
Lishala Situmbeko highlighted the positive outcomes for SMEs during a press briefing today in Lusaka, after announcing that the bank had completed the acquisition of Atlas Mara.
The two financial institutions will now trade as one under Access Bank Zambia paving way for greater opportunities to grow the Zambian economy and SMEs.
The acquisition, finalized after securing all necessary regulatory approvals, positions Atlas Mara as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Access Bank Zambia.
“SMEs will benefit from the existing banking proposition that is aimed at encouraging and supporting their growth ambitions,” said Situmbeko.
Upon full integration of the two banks customers can expect access to an extensive network, boasting over 60 branches, 5 cash centers, 8 agencies, more than 5,300 Tenga Express Agents, and a network of over 240 ATMs across the country.
Corporate customers are also set to benefit from a larger combined balance sheet, expanded international footprint, and increased access to various financial services.
The merger also brings opportunities for professional development for employees and underscores Access Bank’s commitment to extending financial services to the unbanked.
Atlas Mara Acting Managing Director, Bobbline Cheembela, emphasized the creation of an industry leader that champions the country’s economic growth.
Cheembela also explained that the merger will not result in loss of jobs except for those that opt to leave due to the changes that unusually comes with such a change.
The merger is anticipated to propel the combined entities into the top five banks in Zambia by revenue, with ambitious plans to secure a spot in the top three by 2027.
The integration of the two banks promises substantial benefits for customers, corporate entities, SMEs, and the public sector.
Access Bank Zambia’s focus on SMEs through non-collateral-based loans is expected to bring positive changes to the landscape of small and medium enterprises in Zambia.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba January 8, 2024