Diamond Bank has been acquired by Access Bank according to insiders, who further revealed that the official announcement of the transaction will be made in the course of the week by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Sources told TheCable that the acquisition was conducted with the full knowledge of the CBN in a bid to further consolidate Nigeria’s banking industry.
A Diamond Bank official also confirmed to TheCable that there was no need for the public to panic as “the bank is in safe hands”.
Recall earlier in November as reported by Naija News, both Diamond bank and Access Bank denied the two organizations were in talks over any form of merger, acquisition or takeover.
The initial denial from both banks, followed rumours on social media and certain media sources that Access bank and Diamond bank are in talks for Access to take over Diamond bank.
The denial now seems not to have been entirely true following the new revelations made.
Last week, Diamond Bank announced its decision to drop its international operating licence to focus on national operations following capitalisation issues.
Uzoma Dozie, chief executive officer of Diamond bank, had confirmed in a statement released on Friday that it would cease to operate as an international bank.
“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.”
Naija News reports that another issue the bank has had to deal with is a recent fine from the Central Bank of Nigeria in August for allegedly aiding MTN Nigeria to illegally repatriate $8.1 billion.
“Your bank issued three CCIs in favour of Dantata Investment for the sum of $5million without converting the foreign exchange received into Naira as required by our regulations. On the basis of these illegally issued CCIs, your bank repatriated the sum of $102,545,336.77 in respect of these CCIs,” CBN’s letter read.