The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved Diamond Bank’s re-licencing as a National bank.
The bank had applied for changes in licencing as part of their strategy to expand product offerings in the Nigerian retail banking market.
The bank will terminate its international operations and operate as a national bank when all the necessary formalities regarding the sale of its UK subsidiary, Diamond Bank UK are completed.
Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Uzoma Dozie, 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 under banked population and Africa’s biggest economy.”
National banks in Nigeria are authorized to maintain a lower minimum capital requirement of 10% as compared to 15% for international banks.
Diamond banks views this as means to invest in updating its technology platforms, domestic customer acquisition and lending models as well as clear its Eurobond loan of $200m by May 2019.
“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,” added Uzoma Dozie.
“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.”
The bank plans to make use of its digital channels and correspondence banks to offer services to its international customers.