Diamond Bank Plc (“The Bank or “Diamond”), Nigeria’s fastest growing retail bank, has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) following its application to operate as a National Bank with immediate effect (subject to conclusion of the sale of Diamond Bank UK- DB UK Plc). With this approval the bank will cease to operate as an International Bank.
The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and economy as a whole.
The move follows Diamond’s decision to sell its international operations, which included the disposal of its West African Subsidiary in 2017 and Diamond Bank UK, the sale of which is currently in its final stages.
The change to national bank status also enables the bank to maintain a lower minimum capital requirement of 10% as against 15% required for international banks. This creates room for the bank to deploy more capital for stronger growth in the quarters ahead through additional investment in technology platforms, customer acquisition and expansion of loans to the critical sectors of the economy.
Uzoma Dozie, CEO, said: “The move to a national banking license marks a continuation of our strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant fundamental trends, including a large underbanked population and Africa’s biggest economy. By focusing and optimizing our resources towards Nigeria and the priority area of retail banking, we will be better positioned for longer term growth and greater profitability.
“The reduction in minimum capital requirement also increases our capacity to expand the quantum of business and product services we can offer consumers, as well as representing a key step in strengthening our financial position.”
This development does not affect the bank’s ability to offer services to its clients in international locations; Rather, with focus on its domestic business being priority, the bank also intends to pay down in full, the Eurobond loan of $200m at maturity in May 2019. There will be no refinancing of the loan as the intent to pay down with foreign exchange generated from its internal operations, a reflection of the solidity of its operations and funds flow in the last few years.
Top quality services to international customers will continue through its digital channels (Diamond Mobile, Internet Banking etc.) and network of correspondence banks.
About Diamond Bank Plc
Diamond Bank Plc is a leading Nigerian financial services company, which commenced operations as a private limited liability company on March 21, 1991. In May 2005, it was listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Today, Diamond Bank is the fastest growing retail bank in Nigeria with a track record of high quality banking solutions for customers. It is the lead driver of financial inclusion, providing enhanced customer experience through innovation and technology. Regarded as supporter of lifestyle trends, its mobile banking app, “Diamond Mobile”, currently has over 2 million active subscribers on its platform. Diamond Bank has over the years leveraged its underlying resilience to grow its asset base and to retain its key business relationships.
It has also played a leading role in partnering with domestic and International bodies such as Women’s World Banking, The Gates Foundation, MTN, etc. to create easy access to financial services for the unbanked.
We have cultivated excellent banking relationships with well-known international banks, allowing us to provide a range of world class banking services to suit the business needs of our clients