Diamond bank has revealed its plan to sell off its banking operations in West African countries as well as the reason behind the sell off.
According to reports, Diamond bank will sell off its operations in operations in Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal to Manzi Finances S.A, a Cote d’Ivoire financial services holding company to enable them focus on the Nigerian retail banking opportunity.
The bank, in a statement on Friday, said that regulatory approvals for the transactions had been obtained in all jurisdictions anticipated to close before Dec. 31, 2017.
“By focusing its resources exclusively on Nigeria, Diamond Bank is poised to capitalise on the positive macro fundamentals inherent in the Nigerian market.
“These include Africa’s largest economy and evolving socio-economic trends driven by changing lifestyle preferences in favour of mobile delivered services and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship”, it said.
Mr Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying that time had come for the bank to fully apply its resources to Nigeria after 18 years of building franchise in other markets.
“This is aligned with Diamond Bank’s strategic objective: to be the fastest growing and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria.
“We are prioritising the Nigerian market because of its vast potential.
“A large segment of the population is underbanked or unbanked and the use of technology and mobile banking is rising exponentially.
“This provides Diamond Bank with the opportunity to reach millions of people, and facilitate financial inclusion on an exceptional scale,” Dozie said.
He said that the bank already had a foundation for growth in Nigeria with over 15 million customers.
“We also have a framework in Nigeria that will allow us to scale rapidly, efficiently and cost effectively.
“In part this is due to our digitally-led approach which has reduced the need to have a network of physical branches to service customers.
“Fundamentally this strategy stands to benefit all our key stakeholders – shareholders, customers and employees – in the immediate, medium and long term,” he added.