Shareholders back Access Bank’s divestment from Wapic

Access Bank’s shareholders have expressed satisfaction with the divestment of its shareholding interest in Wapic Insurance Plc.

A statement by the bank said the shareholders met in Lagos on Wednesday to approve the unbundling of the bank’s equity interest in Wapic Insurance to the bank’s shareholders.

According to the statement, the divestment of the bank’s shares in Wapic Insurance is in compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new licensing regime.

In 2010, the CBN repealed universal banking licences and issued the Regulation on Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters, No. 3, which became effective on November 15, 2010; prohibiting banks from undertaking non-banking activities.

The regulation established three banking licence regimes, namely: commercial banking, merchant banking and specialised banking.

Following this, Access Bank said it opted to operate as a commercial bank with international authorisation.

Consequently, the bank said it had embarked on the divestment of its equity interest in its non-banking subsidiaries, including Wapic Insurance.

The statement quoted the Chairman, Access Bank Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, as explaining that the Board of Directors believed there were significant merits to the bank’s shareholders retaining exposure to the insurance subsidiary.

The statement also quoted the President, Nigerian Shareholders Solidarity Association, Chief Timothy Adesiyan, as saying, “We, shareholders, laud the unbundling of the bank’s shareholding in Wapic to us and commend the bank for this impressive level of transparency that will create value for us.”

He commended the board for not choosing to sell the investment to an opaque core investor.

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