Accion Microfinance Bank has been given approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as a national license microfinance bank.
This is said to be necessary and timely for the bank as it looks at increasing its presence in over five states in the country, thereby creating more branches to enable customers gain access to financial services.
Speaking at the Accion Microfinance Bank annual customer forum for 2014 held in Lagos, Bunmi Lawson, managing director, Accion Microfinance Bank, says the bank currently has 25 branches, but intends to grow into 100 branches within the next five years.
For the year 2015, the bank intends to repackage its products and increase the number of ATM machines as well as increase its branches nationwide, she says.
According to Lawson, “in order to give back to our society, we will be focusing on schools by providing school bags, writing and learning materials to community schools around. We also intend to fund people with disabilities and get them back on their feet.”
The challenges facing the bank has continued to be poor infrastructure and poor internet services among others, she says, adding that these areas need to be enhanced to ensure smooth running of banking operations.
Nwanna Joel Ezeugo, chief commercial officer, Accion Microfinance Bank, while stating the future plans of the bank for the year 2015, says the bank intends to make ATM machines readily available in AMFB, Stanbic IBTC and Ecobank with no charges so as to reduce the queue in the banks.
“This year, we intend to increase Lagos branches from 25 branches to 31 branches, create four cash centres and make available POS and agents so as to bring banking closer to our customer,” Ezeugo says.
Many customers were given prizes for their loyalty to the bank. Olufelo Kehinde was rewarded as the Best Loan Client of the year for the second year running. “I feel honoured to be recognised for a second year. Accion is really great,” she says. Several customers also expressed their satisfaction with the bank for giving them easy access to loans and other financial services.