As news about the impending merger/acquisition of Diamond Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc dominated business news headlines yesterday, Nigerians busied themselves talking about the development.
Interestingly, this is a deal which many people never saw coming, even though Nairametrics had consistently analysed the possibility of its occurrence.
Following the official confirmation of the merger by the concerned parties involved, our correspondent visited some branches of Diamond Bank Plc in Lagos, with the intent of finding out how Nigerians were reacting to the news.
Specifically, we wanted to know how the affected stakeholders – Diamond Bank customers, Diamond Bank employees, and Diamond Bank shareholders – were taking in the story.
Here’s what we found on ground
While some customers of the tier-2 lender were understandably concerned as to what the development could mean for their deposits, our correspondent reported that there was relative calm in all the branches visited.
Customers went about their normal business transactions, although some ATM galleries (in the Ikeja area of Lagos specifically) were said not to be dispensing cash.
At one of Diamond Bank’s branches in Victoria Island, our reporter also noticed relative calm. Once again, customers were going about their normal banking routines.
No internal communication to staff?
As at 3:30 pm yesterday, a Diamond Bank employee who spoke to Nairametrics disclosed that the management had not officially informed them about the impending merger and what it means for them as staff members. She, however, disclosed that everyone had heard about the development and the effect it could have as regards job security.
That notwithstanding, the Diamond bank employee reiterated that “everyone is just calm” and going about their businesses.
Please note that Diamond Bank Plc later sent emails to its customers confirming the merger deal.
Shareholders are fretting
In the meantime, many minority shareholders of the bank were understandably worried as they tried to understand what was happening. Here at Nairametrics, our phone line was inundated with calls from many people, all of whom sought clarifications to the Diamond Bank statement. Even our Analysts received many emails with lots of questions pertaining to the issue.
Meanwhile, on Social Media…
It is not surprising that Diamond Bank was trending on Twitter throughout much of yesterday. Both customers and non customers, as well-established shareholders, employees and spectators, were just tweeting their opinions and observations.
Some wondered why Diamond Bank kept denying this.
On Access Bank and Diamond Bank.
Another example that unnecessary denials & shady runs are as bad in the corporate world as they are in the Public Sector.
Diamond kept denying this deal till the very end. Result of unpaid/nonperforming loans largely taken by the Dozie family.
— Ayò Bánkólé (@AyoBankole) December 17, 2018
Some have chosen to live in their alternate reality world, explaining the development in way that makes zero sense.
The acquisition of Diamond bank by Access Bank refers not to Diamond bank Nigeria. It's concerns their other parts outside Nigeria. Diamond bank is relicensing themselves as a national bank only, cut out from the international bank they once were. Things stay the same in Nigeria.
— J. Archer (@CruizeEmix) December 16, 2018
Some were also amazed by the fact that Access Bank could actually “acquire” Diamond Bank.
Access Bank has been underrated all this while…
If you remembered vividly, it was Access Bank that acquired the then almighty Intercontinental Bank.
Now,they acquired solid looking Diamond Bank.
Access Bank is like that low key guy that dates the biggest girls on campus
— Tosin Olugbenga (@TosinOlugbenga) December 17, 2018
In the meantime, the deal is still ongoing. It will be subject to stakeholder approvals, after which the merger.