Standard Chartered has announced its decision to sell its subsidiaries in five sub-Saharan African countries to Nigeria’s Access Bank. The move follows Standard Chartered’s plan, unveiled last year, to divest its businesses in certain markets in Africa and the Middle East (AME) to enhance profitability and focus on faster-growing regions.
The countries included in the deal are Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania, with Access Bank acquiring Standard Chartered’s shareholding in its subsidiaries. Additionally, Access Bank will take over Standard Chartered’s consumer, private, and business banking operations in Tanzania. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
In a statement released by Standard Chartered, the bank emphasised the seamless transition for employees and clients during this transaction. “Access Bank will provide a full range of banking services and continuity for key stakeholders, including employees and clients of Standard Chartered’s businesses across the five aforementioned countries,” the statement read.
Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO for AME at Standard Chartered, expressed confidence in the decision, noting, “This strategic decision allows us to redirect resources within the AME region to other areas with significant growth potential.” The move aligns with Standard Chartered’s global strategy to achieve operational efficiencies, reduce complexity, and drive scale.
The completion of the deal, subject to regulatory approvals in the respective countries as well as Nigeria, is anticipated within the next year. Standard Chartered’s withdrawal from these markets will enable Access Bank to strengthen its global presence and establish itself as a leading gateway for payments, investment, and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world.
Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Group, highlighted the bank’s ambitions, stating, “With our recent European expansion and our deepened presence in key trading corridors across Africa, we will bridge the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments.”
By divesting from these five sub-Saharan African countries, Standard Chartered aims to reallocate resources to high-growth areas. At the same time, Access Bank looks to build a robust global franchise, facilitating financial services and enhancing connectivity across Africa’s dynamic markets.
As the deal progresses, both banks will work closely with regulators to ensure a smooth transition for employees, clients, and stakeholders affected by the transaction.