By Dipo Olowookere
Mid-tier lender, Diamond Bank Plc, has announced selling 100 percent equity in its subsidiary in the United Kingdom.
The bank, in a statement issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), explained that the decision was to streamline its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market.
Already, the financial institution has signed a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with a member of GFG Alliance.
The disposal of Diamond Bank UK followed the bank’s divestment from its West African business, Diamond Bank SA, which was completed in November 2017.
According to Diamond Bank, it is committed to pursuing a quick completion of the transaction with GFG Alliance subject to approval of the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, which regulate banking business in the UK.
The lender noted that the sale of its international subsidiaries is not expected to cause service disruptions for customers located around the world as they can continue to enjoy enhanced and convenient banking services through its digital channels.
Chief executive of Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Dozie, disclosed that the financial institution’s strategic objective is to be the fastest growing, and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria.
This strategic intent, he said, requires the bank to optimize the use of its resources which means, where necessary, divesting from its non-core assets, and focusing on the priority area, namely Nigerian retail banking.
In recent years, the bank has laid the foundation for growth in Nigeria with acquisition of over 15 million customers, many of whom own bank accounts for the first time.
The Nigerian market has vast potential due to its strong fundamentals, including millions of people who are either underbanked or unbanked and changing lifestyles that favour the use of mobile devices to complete multiple financial transactions at the consumer’s convenience.
Mr Dozie explained that, “This is also underpinned by significant economic potential driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a growing culture of innovation.”
He said moreover, by harnessing technology and fostering a digitally led approach, “Diamond Bank will have further positive impact on the overall development of the financial system, and the Nigerian economy in general.”
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