Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, has disclosed that it is set to consolidate its pension holding its acquire majority stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited. This was contained in a letter signed by the Group Company Secretary of Access Holdings Plc, Mr Sunday Ekwochi, dated 19 May 2022.
Access Holdings Plc said it has entered into a definitive agreement with First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) regarding the potential acquisition of majority equity stake in FGPL.
Access Holdings Plc further disclosed that the acquisition is a consequential step in the Corporation’s evolution from a narrow banking business into a financial service holding company positioned to gain relevant scale across Africa, global monetary centres, and beyond-banking verticals.
Speaking on this landmark transaction, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Corporation, said:
“This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape, focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.”\
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“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk Management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”
Access Holdings Plc further said that, the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their “no objection” approval to the acquisition, but the completion is subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.
With Access Holdings Plc and Guaranty Trust Holding Company PLC in the pension business, the pension industry in Nigeria might be entering a new competition dimension. PensionNigeria will continue to update you as the event unfolds.
In the same vein, Access Holding Plc disclosed that its banking subsidiary, Access Bank PLC has divested from Pension Custody business, Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited.
According to letter signed by its Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwechi and dated 18 May 2022, stated that Access Bank PLC has sold the entire share capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited held by Access Bank Plc to First Pension Custodian Nigeria Limited.
Access Holding Plc further noted that it has received approval from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Access bank ended by saying that it will update the market as appropriate, which could mean that there are more information coming.
In a related manner, FBN Holdings Plc has also disclosed via a letter signed by its Company Secretary, Adewale L.O Arogundade, dated 18 May 2022, that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Access Bank Plc for First Pension Custodian to acquire 100% Share Capital of Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited, held by Access Bank Plc.
This is clearly a divestment and even though the new minimum N5 billion capital requirement for Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) does not affect Pension Fund Custodian (PFC), Access Holding Plc could be using the opportunity to divest from pension custodian business to move into pension fund management properly.
In addition, Access Holding Plc clearly has the capital requirement for a PFC. A company applying for license as a PFC must have a minimum paid up capital of N2,000,000,000 and shall be a licensed financial institution with a minimum net worth of N5,000,000,000 unimpaired by losses and has total assets of N125,000,000,000 or is wholly owned by a licensed financial institution with similar financial resources.
Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) are responsible for keeping safe custody of pension assets on trust on behalf of contributors. The main functions of PFCs are to receive pension contributions on behalf of PFAs; settle transactions and undertake activities relating to the administration of pension fund investments on behalf of PFAs and to notify the PFA within 24 hours of the receipt of pension contributions from employers.
There are just four (4) Pension Fund Custodians (PFCs) in Nigeria and once this acquisition is completed, we will have only 3 PFCs remaining. Check out the PFCs in Nigeria HERE. Access Pension Fund Custodian Limited will be removed from the list once the acquisition is completed.