Tier one lender, Access Bank and Diamond Bank, yesterday, gave an update on its merger plans as well as key issues pertaining to the individual banks. The banks disclosed this during a press briefing held yesterday.
Present at the event were Victor Etuokwu (Executive Director, Personal Banking at Access Bank), Robert Giles (Head, Retail Diamond Bank), Chioma Afe (Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank), and Amaechi Michael Okobi (Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank).
Etuokwu outlined the progress made so far and steps left
Progress so far
“So far, we have gotten approvals up to approval in principle. There are three approvals that we need for this process. The first one is the premerger approval which is like the first approval. The next approval is the approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is the approval in principle. The final approval comes after that. The final approval comes after you have convened your shareholders meetings.”
The next steps
“Based on our receipt of the CBN approval in principle, we are going to convene the shareholder meetings in February. Once that meeting holds, and shareholders endorse the transaction, all we will do is to take that approval of shareholders to the courts. Once the court approves it, it becomes a part of the laws of the land. What we will do is to go and gazette it.
“Based on that, we get the final approval from the CBN and SEC. All these things will happen in the next 60 days. Hopefully that process will end by the end of this quarter.
Respective banking apps will be maintained
In response to a question from Nairametrics regarding the continued use of the Diamond Bank app, Etoukwu and Charles maintained the two apps would run side by side.
“The guiding principle with this integration planning is customer focus. Whatever thrills the customer. Whatever the customer loves in both brands, we want to retain as is. We have known that the Diamond mobile app is a market leader, and we will leave it that way.”
“We have been around the country since we announced this, and this kept coming up time and time again. Both Hebert and Uzoma have clearly said (Diamond Mobile App, you will not see a change when the legal merger happens. Anything we will do, will only be to enhance.”
David also stated that other beloved products such as Diamond Extra, and Diamond Exclusive Plus would not be changed.
Peace with Carlyle Group
Etoukwu also stated that the Carlyle Group was okay with the merger, without which it would not have gone through.
“Staff will be retrained for new roles. Where there are overlaps, one of the branches can be converted to an e-branch or atm gallery.
“We are not about to make certain mistakes that we have done from the past. You will see some branches next door for the next year. Nothing will happen. We want customers to choose where Is convenient for them. There is no rush. We don’t want any service disruption.”