Reports, in the evening of Sunday, December 16, claim insiders confirmation that the Access Bank has acquired one of Nigeria’s financial houses, Diamond Bank, with the official announcement of the transaction being awaited.
The insider, according to The Cable, said the official announcement of the deal would be made by the CBN very soon.
The report said the acquisition of the Diamond Bank was anchored by the CBN in a bid to further consolidate the banking industry.
The report added that recently, Diamond Bank announced its decision to drop its international operating licence to focus on national operations following capitalisation issues.
The report also quoted an official of Diamond Bank as saying there was no need to panic, adding that all accounts with the bank remain in safe hands.
Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s chief executive officer, reportedly confirmed the development in a statement released on Friday, December 14.
“With this approval, the bank will cease to operate as an international bank,” Dozie had said.
“The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond Bank’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and the economy as a whole.
“The move follows Diamond Bank’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 per cent, as against 15 per cent required for international banks.”