The return of Access Bank Nigeria to top 500 global banking brands ranking for 2017 has really validated various awards the bank won last year including the award for the bank and its CEO by BusinessDay Media. The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times and Brand Finance, London, United Kingdom had last week, released its top 500 global banking brands with five Nigerian banks making the list.
The banks are First Bank, GTB, Zenith, Access and UBA. Access Bank, a tier one bank led by Herbert Wigwe which has been strategically pushing the brand to the top, re-entered the 500 top banking brands on relatively stronger position of 476 after it made 496 position in 2015. This, according to analysts, underscores the bank’s resilience, determination and focus principally born out of its desire to achieve its objective of being ‘The world’s most respected African bank in 2018’.
The bank with over eight million customers and deposit base in excess of N1.68 trillion had in mid 2013 unveiled what was regarded as ambitious 5-year transformation strategy aimed at transforming the bank from its widely regarded Corporate bank leader to “World’s Most Respected African Bank” by 2018.
Driving on this journey towards its goal, within this period, the bank had gone through socio- economic rough roads. But with determination, it has instead garnered awards by local and international rating agencies that recognized the bank’s efforts in the turbulent environment.
“Access Bank’s ambition is really being pursued; and so, the global accolades that have come to the bank in the last couple of years, suggest that it is withstanding this turbulence and forging ahead with its ambition”, says an analyst.
In addition to the several awards, its push in to the 500 global banking brands bracket is a remarkable achievement by a bank established in 1989 and now with an asset base in excess of $12.2 billion
In the ranking, First Bank with $301 million brand value, ranked 357, Guaranty Trust Bank ranked 395 with a brand value of $258 million, Zenith Bank ranked 414 with a brand value of $247 million, Access Bank ranked 476 with a brand value of $182 million and the United Bank for Africa with a brand value of $172 million ranked 487 in the world.
The chief executive of Brand Finance, David Haigh explained in a statement that the brand value is the amount a third party will need to pay in using the brand name.
As for the methodology of the ranking, the statement said “Brand Finance employs a discounted cash flow technique to discount estimated future royalties at an appropriate rate to arrive at a net present value of a bank’s trademark and associated intellectual property – its brand value”, noted Brian Caplen, the editor of The Banker.
Caplen stressed that the process involves five steps of obtaining brand-specific financial and revenue data; modeling the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors; establish the royalty rate for each bank; calculate the discounted rate specific to each bank, taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating; and discount future royalty stream (explicit forecast and perpetuity periods) to a net present value – the brand value.
He noted that the approach is used for two reasons: it is favoured by the tax authorities and the courts because it calculates brand values by reference to documented third-party transactions and it can be done based on publicly available financial information.
As acknowledged by analysts, the recent awards especially since 2014 which have global significance are indications of great efforts made by Access Bank to reach its height. BusinessDay Newspapers had in September 2016 awarded Access Bank the best bank in Nigeria for the year 2016. As a confirmation of an exceptional performance in 2015, Access Bank’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe, was also honoured as the Bank CEO of the Year.
BusinessDay’s Annual Banking Awards Programme which has become the banking industry’s benchmark for outstanding performance was introduced five years ago to recognise Nigerian banks and their officials who diligently managed their resources to attain a healthy balance between risk, safety and profitability.
Other global awards to the bank in 2015 “signpost the fact that the efforts of the management of Access Bank, in pursuit of its transformation strategy, were receiving the world’s attention. First, The Banker Africa at its West Africa Awards also rewarded Access Best Corporate Bank.
This was followed by the award of Euromoney Magazine as the Best Flow House (Africa). Both awards came from globally recognised institutions with strong pedigrees and they seemed to set the stagefor what was to come this year”, says the analyst.
“The Banker Magazine of London has last year named the bank, ‘Bank of the Year – Nigeria 2016’.
Analysts describe this as the global endorsement of what a local newspaper, BusinessDay, had done earlier in September when it also named it ‘Best Bank of Year’ and its CEO, Wigwe, ‘Best Bank CEO’ at its own banking awards”.
In responding to the award by the Banker, Wigwe who received the awards simply said: “Winning this is recognition of our commitment to delivering banking excellence to our customers.”