/ 9 December 2008

Nedbank and Ecobank join forces

Nedbank Group and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, have entered into a strategic business cooperation relationship.

The deal will provide customers access to a combined pan-African banking network covering 30 countries — including South Africa — with over 1 000 branches and banking outlets across the continent.

Through this relationship customers will have the convenience and benefit of a “one bank” experience across the combined footprint of both banking groups.

Ecobank, the pan-African bank that is currently operating in 25 countries, has the largest geographic banking coverage in Africa in terms of number of countries and operates mainly in West, Central and East Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.

Nedbank Group is one of the four largest banking groups in South Africa, with banking operations in five other Southern African countries.

Win-win solution
The alliance will enable the two banks to extend their coverage across Africa on a cooperative basis while managing costs and risk effectively.

Ecobank will retain its focus on expansion into less mature, growing markets, and will also enhance its service offering in Southern Africa.

Nedbank will retain its focus on banking operations in the Southern Africa Development Community, and together with Ecobank provide its clients with comprehensive banking services in West, Central and East Africa and grow its banking services in these markets.

Arnold Ekpe, ETI CEO, says: “We are excited about this strategic alliance which is designed to build a true pan-African champion.

“It represents a win-win solution for both institutions, their shareholders and particularly their customers.

“Our collaboration with Nedbank will allow us to extend our operations more effectively from middle Africa to the Southern African market in a very capital-efficient manner.”

Tom Boardman, Nedbank Group CEO, says: “We are committed to becoming Southern Africa’s most highly rated and respected bank and this alliance allows us to focus on this vision, while providing our clients access to the largest geographic banking footprint in Africa.

“In Ecobank we have a partner who shares similar values and who has extensive local knowledge of doing business across Africa.

Complementary strategies
Through the alliance both groups will be positioned to deliver country-specific tailored banking solutions across the African continent in the most convenient and simplified way to corporate and individual clients spanning day-to-day transactional banking, financing and investment banking advisory services.

Graham Dempster, Nedbank Corporate CEO, has been involved in the formation of the alliance and said the strategies of Nedbank and Ecobank are complementary.

“Both banking groups adopt decentralised business models where they base responsibility and decision-making close to the clients in the individual businesses, which operate under a standard set of policies, processes and procedures.”

This relationship will be governed by an alliance committee comprising senior executives of both banks, structured to include specialised sub-committees for execution of the alliance initiatives. — I-Net Bridge