With the knowledge and influence of the UK mortgage market, we saw how easy it was for people on a steady income to apply for mortgages. All to suit their means and need. Then we watched how they would progress up the “property ladder” as wages went up. This observation brought about the conceptualization of the bank in 1992 – that we now all know as Abbey Mortgage Bank.
Homeownership and housing deficit in Nigeria, a long-standing struggle for the average worker, the mortgage banking industry, flourished in the early 90s. Abbey was established to make people’s dreams of owning a home to become a reality.
Abbey adopted its mission to provide affordable housing to hard-working Nigerians who save responsibly.
The MD/CEO, Rose Ada Okwechime worked for the Bank of England for nine years, before returning to Nigeria to continue her illustrious banking career in 1980. She firmly believed this mission to be possible and not only to support home buyers but also to make a difference in the educational sector. So, schools were started up from scratch with funds from Abbey. These schools range from primary, to tertiary levels are thriving today, thanks to Abbey’s belief.
Why do we believe that homeownership is important? It is because having a home means having a safe place, a place to start, grow, and strengthen families, which builds secure communities and ultimately, a great nation, Abbey makes homes happen.
Starting with a small team of passionate individuals in a small office space in the suburb of Lagos “Eleganza Plaza, Apapa”, the dream team kicked off, promoting the concept of saving regularly to inculcate the habit and culture. This idea would become the basis of becoming eligible for a mortgage loan. “Pay small, small”. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean! We had all the slogans, which customers appreciate and understood and still do. Explains Rose Ada Okwechime
Who knew Abbey? Little or no one did, so we had to spread the word out; I remember after church service every Sunday, standing at the gate with my family, sharing flyers and making an announcement of the bank, and encouraging friends and prospects to be a part of our dream. As much as my family believed in me and my dream, my children would always find a way of escaping the “embarrassment” of standing by the church gate with me, but like they say “children will be children”.
The collective efforts of family, friends & a formidable team of workers, took Abbey to the next level when Abbey was incorporated in 1991 to becoming licensed as a Primary Mortgage Institution by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in March 1992.
Fast forward to 28 years on:
- Abbey is a strong brand in the Nigerian mortgage sector, not just offering mortgage services but also retail & investment banking services, to serve as a one-stop-shop for all domestic banking needs.
- Award-winning; “Best Mortgage Bank in Nigeria”
- Abbey Mortgage Bank has ten branches nationwide, with the head office in Victoria Island Lagos.
- Abbey holds the welfare of children close to heart but pays special attention to vulnerable children in particular as the MD/CEO ensures annual parties for the sick children in hospitals and a matron of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria.
- Making your dream of becoming a homeowner and seeing that dream become a driving force for success and growth, is what spurs Abbey on, to want to be even more significant to your journey.
Abbey is now in a strategic partnership with VFD Group, a formidable team of innovators and energetic trailblazers. They believe in leading-edge technology to provide bespoke banking products and services to suit the most discerning of customers.
To mark this momentous alliance, Abbey was invited by the Nigerian Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell on February 25th, 2020. It was the start of great things to come, so WATCH THIS SPACE!
What makes us so unique? As much we would like to think it is our mortgage business expertise, empathy, and resilience in tough times, we truly know it is YOU!