Diamond Bank Plc, Nigeria’s fastest growing retail bank, has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria following its application to operate as a National Bank with immediate effect (subject to conclusion of the sale of Diamond Bank UK- DB UK Plc).
With this approval the bank will cease to operate as an International Bank.
The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and economy as a whole.
The move follows Diamond’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% as against 15% required for international banks.
This creates room for the bank to deploy more capital for stronger growth in the quarters ahead through additional investment in technology platforms, customer acquisition and expansion of loans to the critical sectors of the economy.
Uzoma Dozie, CEO, said: “The move to a national banking license marks a continuation of our strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant fundamental trends, including a large underbanked population and Africa’s biggest economy.
“By focusing and optimizing our resources towards Nigeria and the priority area of retail banking, we will be better positioned for longer term growth and greater profitability.
“The reduction in minimum capital requirement also increases our capacity to expand the quantum of business and product services we can offer consumers, as well as representing a key step in strengthening our financial position.”