Access Bank combination with Atlas Mara legally complete

6 May 2024
Access Bank combination with Atlas Mara legally complete

Merged bank will have the ability to support customers across all phases of their lives.

Access Bank Zambia Limited (“Access Bank”) today announced that it has made significant progress in its combination with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, trading as Atlas Mara Zambia (“Atlas Mara”) following completing its acquisition earlier this year. The merger, which is legally complete effective 30 April 2024, will position Access Bank as a Top 5 bank in Zambia by revenue with ambitions to be in the Top 3 by 2027. All rights and obligations of Atlas Mara have now been assumed by Access Bank. 

Following our initial announcement, customers across the country have already started to benefit from the widest branch network in the country; supported by a comprehensive agency and ATM network. Commenting on the progress made, Access Bank Zambia CEO, Lishala Situmbeko said: “I’m pleased at the strides we have made to get to where we are today. The teams in both institutions, which are now by and large a single entity - Access Bank – have been working very hard to ensure that we are able to make these changes seamlessly. While the legal combination has been achieved, cards, cheque books and digital platforms for both banks will remain accessible for at least a year. Our customers can now walk into any of our branches and be supported. Our products and services on offer have taken the best of both banks and we will continue to innovate to ensure that the product suite on offer can take our customers through various stages of their lives."

Through this combination Zambians can now bank with a larger, more scalable entity which will enable them to meet their financial needs. Of particular interest is that when this process began the Access Bank group was fundamentally different and with a smaller footprint. Today, Access Bank has a footprint across 21 countries including 14 in Africa, a presence in the UAE, UK, Hong Kong, and France as well as rep offices in China, India, and Lebanon. Due to being part of a global banking group with African roots, Access Bank Zambia has the ability to draw on the international scale and expertise of the group while being local enough to understand the challenges faced by our stakeholders and the opportunities available to them.

The business will offer to the people of Zambia the expertise gained from a banking group that has over 63 million customers in Africa, representing 85% of the banking population of Sub-Saharan Africa.

From a people perspective, the majority of staff have chosen to join Access Bank. Commenting on this Atlas Mara’s Acting Managing Director, Bobbline Cheembela said: “Our employees are a critical aspect of the success of this merger as they will be the ones to deliver our services and to engage our stakeholders. To this end, I firmly believe that with the close to 1,000 staff of the combined entity, we have the relevant combination of skills to be able to take us to our next phase in this market.”

Looking forward, and supportive of Access Bank Group’s vision to be the World’s most respected African Bank, Access Bank Zambia will be the most agile market leader in the financial services sector, delivering consistent value for customer and other stakeholders. 

Situmbeko concludes: “I look forward to what the future holds and how, as a business, we can make a positive contribution to Zambia’s development. Our areas of focus are aligned to those of Zambia and the continent of Africa. We will continue to play a central role in the future of the country through enhancing financial inclusion and empowering corporates, SMEs, Women and the Youth through our programs and proposition. Beyond that, through our subsidiary network, Access Bank will evolve into a leader in international trade facilitation within the continent, providing seamless person to person intra-Africa funds transfer and inter-Africa trade facilitation.“


For more information, contact the undersigned.

Kalumbu Nyikosa-Kearns
(Head Corporate Communications)
Access Bank Zambia
+260 977 754 661

Shadreck Goma
(Acting Head Marketing and Communications)
Atlas Mara Zambia
+260 966 670 056

About Access Bank Plc

Access Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Holdings Plc, is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 700 branches and service outlets spanning 3 continents, 21 countries and over 63 million customers. The Bank employs over 28,000 thousand people in its operations in Africa and Europe, with representative offices in China, Lebanon, India, and the UAE.

Access Bank’s parent company, Access Holdings Plc, has been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange since 1998. The Bank is a diversified financial institution which combines a strong retail customer franchise and digital platform with deep corporate banking expertise, proven risk management and capital management capabilities. The Bank services its various markets through three key business segments: Corporate and Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, and Retail Banking. The Bank has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last 18 years, becoming one of the continent’s largest retail banks.

As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank is focused on mainstreaming sustainable business practices into its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible, and socially relevant, helping customers to access more and achieve their dreams. 

About Atlas Mara 

Atlas Mara Zambia, a leading bank in the country formed through the merger of BancABC and FBZ banking groups, boasts over 90 years of combined banking experience. Ranked among the top 5 banks in Zambia by total assets, the bank serves a substantial customer base of over 250,000 individuals and businesses. Offering a comprehensive range of financial services, including retail and corporate banking, treasury, and public sector/NPO services.

Atlas Mara Zambia has a nationwide presence with 45 branches and 5 agencies. In addition to its physical footprint, the bank has strategically expanded its more than 5,300 tenga express agents across the country while embracing the digital age with mobile and internet banking channels. This dynamic approach ensures that Atlas Mara Zambia provides accessible and modern banking solutions to a diverse and extensive customer network across the country. 


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