Access Bank Plc has emerged the winner of the 2011 Financial Times/International Finance Corporation, FT/IFC “Sustainable Bank of the Year Award” for Africa and Middle East region.
The Bank, according to a statement by Olusegun Fafore, of the Public Relations and Media Unit, was presented with the award at the Financial Times/IFC Sustainable Finance Gala Dinner in London attended by around 200 senior decision-makers in finance and sustainability.
On receiving the Award, he quoted Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, as saying, “We are delighted and honoured to receive this prestigious award, we dedicate this award to all financial institutions in the developing and emerging markets, who despite the challenges have chosen to pursue Environmental, Social and Governance Best Practices”.
Fafore stated that Access Bank’s emergence as winner of this award signals the growing commitment of Nigerian, and indeed African banks to adoption of responsible business practice and incorporation of environmental, social and governance considerations into the different facets of their operations.
He added that a number of Nigerian and African Banks numbered amongst the 187 entries received from 161 institutions in 61 countries.
“Entries,” he said, “came from institutions such as Ahli United Bank, Bank of Palestine, BMCE Bank, Doha Bank, Ecobank, Exim Bank, GT Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Standard Bank and Ned Bank (South Africa), a past winner of the award.”
“Over the past five years,” he continued, “Access Bank Plc has built a strong franchise by adhering to socially responsible goals. The Bank has continuously displayed a strong commitment to global health issues by leveraging its people and financial resources to invest in successful health programmes in Nigeria and other African countries.
The Bank has earned numerous recognitions for its commitment to adoption and implementation of responsible business practice. Notable among these recognitions and awards are the Business in Community ‘Big Tick’ Award and African Banker Magazine’s ‘Most Socially Responsible Bank’ Award.”
Speaking on the quality of entries received, Fafore quoted Martin Dickson, FT Deputy Editor and Co-Chair of the awards judging panel as saying, “This year’s shortlist reflects the very strong entries we have received across all categories.
I am also delighted at the regional diversity of the nominees in the transactional awards such as Achievement in Basic Needs Financing. It’s going to be a challenge for the judging panel to pick the winners from such a high-quality group.”