The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank Plc, Ademola Adebise, has disclosed that the lender does not need a merger or acquisition to achieve its long term target of the N1 trillion capital base.
How Wema Bank Plc will achieve its plan: Adebise said Wema Bank‘s expansion drive and innovations are aimed at ensuring that company attains a N1 trillion capital base target it has set out for itself. According to him, the company’s growth plan is organic, ruling out any consolidation plan in the short term.
His comment comes in the wake of the merger between Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc consolidation which took effect in March. Nairametrics had earlier reported that the two lenders were merging to form the biggest bank in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Note that Wema Bank‘s expansion drive will focus on the downstream oil and gas sector, the agriculture value chain, and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) space.
“THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO GROW – YOU GROW ORGANICALLY OR YOU GROW INORGANICALLY. WHAT WE ARE SAYING IS THAT IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS, WE WANT TO DOUBLE OUR INDICES THROUGH ORGANIC GROWTH. AFTERWARDS, IF THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR M&A WE WILL CONSIDER IT.
“M&AS ARE CREATED BY OPPORTUNITIES, IT’S NOT THAT YOU WILL GO AND SUBMIT YOURSELF TO M&A. TODAY, WE ARE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF N400 BILLION IN ASSETS, SO WE WILL BE SHOOTING FOR ABOUT N800 BILLION BY THE TIME WE DOUBLE THAT. WE WANT TO GET INTO THE TRILLION NAIRA MARK IN TERMS OF ASSET BASE, AND NOT THAT WE WILL GET THERE THROUGH M&A.
“LAST YEAR, SAW THE BANK DECLARING DIVIDEND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS. THE LAST TIME WAS IN THE ERA OF MR TUNDE LEMO, ALSO A FORMER CBN DEPUTY GOVERNOR. WE SEE THIS AS A DEMONSTRATION OF ALL THE EFFORTS OF MANAGEMENT OVER THE LAST NINE YEARS, WHICH CULMINATED IN THE PAYMENT OF DIVIDEND.
“FROM HERE, WE INTEND TO BE A STRONG RETAIL BANK, LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION. ALSO, THE NEXT TWO YEARS, WE WILL TRY TO DOUBLE OUR KEY INDICES INCLUDING ASSETS, DEPOSITS, PROFITS ETC, AND TO PLAY BIG IN THE RETAIL SEGMENT. AT THE END OF THE DAY BY 2020, WE WOULD HAVE DOUBLED OUR NUMBERS. BY THIS, WE WOULD THEN EMBARK ON OPPORTUNITIES IN M&A FOR INORGANIC GROWTH.
“WE HAVE KEY SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY THAT WE HAVE MAPPED OUT TO ACHIEVE THIS GROWTH. ALSO, WE ARE TRYING TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE WELL-TRAINED AND WELL-MOTIVATED STAFF THAT WILL ALSO BE WELL-REMUNERATED.”
Technology’s threat to workforce: Adebise also doused worries that technology will erode the growth of workforce if fully incorporated in all the operations of financial institutions. According to him, Wema Bank Plc has a plan that will prevent the loss of jobs to technology.
About Wema Bank Plc
Wema Bank Plc offers a range of retail, SME banking, corporate banking, treasury, trade services, and financial advisory to its customers. The bank operates with a National Banking Licence and has a network of over 136 branches and service centres across the country.