This article was sponsored by Vista Bank Group
Vista Bank is proud to have been named Regional Bank of the Year for West Africa in the African Banker Awards 2023.
The Vista Group’s main objective is to contribute to economic and financial inclusion in Africa through its subsidiaries and branches and prides itself in providing a full range of innovative and accessible banking services to everyone, especially women and SMEs, to generate economic growth and prosperity in its countries of operation.
Following the recent acquisition of some Société Générale subsidiaries and Orabank, the Group now has a presence in 16 West and Central African countries.
With a multi-channel approach straddling digital, branch, agency and ATM services, Vista’s focus is on the mass-market retail, SMEs and corporate markets.
For businesses, we provide trade finance, supply chain finance, meso-finance, leasing, bancassurance, women’s business banking and advisory services including training, insurance and support services.
There has been a heavy and ongoing spotlight on the constraints to SMEs’ growth and business opportunities caused by their lack of access to finance. Vista is addressing this through strategic partnerships with global financial institutions, through which we establish sizeable lines of credit.
With this approach, Vista is making a real difference to business activity, enabling faster development, diversification and growth for SMEs. It also has a multiplier effect on commercial activity and will play an increasing role in building the continent’s national economies with sustainable growth.
At Vista, our ethos is heavily grounded in our core values of service, integrity, innovation, excellence, respect, performance, governance and accountability.
These values further extend to Vista’s modus operandi across:
• Service – we place customers at the centre of everything we do. We want to exceed customer expectations and build relationships that last a lifetime.
• Ethics – we are conscious that our actions affect the lives of people daily. We believe in acting ethically, honestly and with integrity. It is ingrained in all we do as an organisation and how we interact with our customers and business partners.
• Innovation – we constantly research to anticipate customers’ needs and use our deep market knowledge to provide innovative products and services to satisfy the unique needs of our customers.
• Talent – we recognise that our most significant asset is our people; we endeavour to help our employees reach their full potential, respect them and value their skills, style and experience.
• Business orientation – we take essential steps to achieve our strategic objectives to enable the vision and financial goals of our customers, strengthen the company and maximise return for the various stakeholders.
Vista’s operations started following its purchase of Fi Bank’s subsidiaries in The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. That was the first stage in our ongoing journey to be operating in 25 African countries.
Next up Vista acquired BNP Paribas’ banks in Guinea and Burkina Faso, with the latter providing Vista with a springboard to expand into the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) region.
This year Vista further accelerated the growth strategy with the announcement of the agreement to buy 61.4% of Oragroup SA, the holding company of Orabank, which operates in 12 West and Central African countries, 10 of which Vista isn’t currently serving.
The purchases from BNP Paribas and Oragroup also catapult Vista into operating in all of the WAEMU countries and entry into several of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) countries.
Upon completion and the necessary regulatory approvals, the Vista Group will become a Tier 1 banking group covering 14 countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo – with over 270 branches and total assets in excess of $10 billion.
Africa’s unique factors
Despite the challenging global geopolitical challenges, Africa is at a transformational point in its history with many unique factors in its favour.
The African Continental Free Trade Area’s creation of a single continental market, the continent’s immense reserves of natural resources, the rapidly growing and predominantly young population which in turn heralds an explosion in consumer demand, the growing middle class and, of course, the highly attractive investment opportunities across multiple sectors including growth and trade enabling infrastructure.
These and more illustrate a forthcoming golden era for Africa of industrialisation, economic growth, development and prosperity.
Vista is well positioned to capture the growth and opportunity presented in Africa and will continue to strengthen its position to play its role in promoting trade and intra-Africa trade.
It’s a particularly exciting point in history to be African and to be an African Bank. Vista Bank is intent on playing a growing and catalytic role in Africa’s future, and like Africa, is very much on a growth trajectory.