Diamond Bank sells off West Africa interests, to focus on Nigeria market
Diamond Bank has announced that it will sell off its Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal operations to Manzi Finances SA - a Cote d’Ivoire-based financial services holding company. Reacting to this development, Uzoma Dozie (CEO, Diamond Bank) says, “After 18 years of building the Diamond Bank franchise in other markets in West Africa, the time has come to fully apply our resources to Nigeria. This is aligned with Diamond Bank’s strategic objective, to be the fastest growing and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria.” He continues: “We are prioritising the Nigerian market because of its vast potential. A large segment of the population is under banked 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.” According to the bank, some of its crucial initiatives include backing Nigeria’s future business leaders through its Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) programme, improving financial inclusion by focusing on increasing female participation in the formal economy, rolling out its Diamond Y’ello mobile banking app (with more than 8.6mn users), and supporting a general culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Regulatory approvals have been obtained in all jurisdictions for the transaction, which is anticipated to close before 31 December 2017.