Access and Diamond Bank Plc Shareholders have approved the merger of both financial institutions aimed at creating a formidable force.
They gave the approval at an Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) of both banks held in Lagos State.
Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe told the shareholders at the EGM that the merger with Diamond Bank enables Access Bank to acquire a bank with 17 million retail customers and the most viable mobile payment platform.
Wigwe said that the expected revenue and cost synergies were material and promise significant long term value.
He said the bank, after the merger, would attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners.
“With the final merger of both banks and the status of the resulting entity as ‘the largest bank in Africa’s largest economy,’ this greatly bolsters the bank’s brand, opening doors of opportunity both in local and international markets,” he said.
Wigwe said the merger was expected to produce the largest banking group in Africa based on its number of customers with more than 29 million customers.
“The resulting entity which will maintain the brand name Access Bank, but with Diamond Bank colours, will have more than 29 million customers, 13 million of which are mobile customers,” he said.
Wigwe said the bank would be a continental force with the presence in 12 countries, 3,100 ATMs and nearly 32, 000 Point of Sale.
“As a continental financial force, it is set to attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners seeking multinational lenders with local intelligence,” he said.
He said Diamond bank merging with “Access Bank also means, the former’s customers can enjoy access to the latter’s strong balance sheet, ubiquitous presence and solid operational structure.”
“Diamond Bank has a formidable retail business with the largest retail customer base in Nigeria – over 17 million customers. Diamond Bank also has a track record of customer acquisition and low-cost liabilities generation.
“The enlarged Access Bank will serve 27 million retail customers, almost double the number customers of any other bank in Nigeria and more than any other bank in Africa, “ Wigwe said.
He noted that the enlarged Access Bank’s breath scale and product range will further accelerate the financial inclusion agenda that Access Bank and Diamond Bank had pursued separately.