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Diamond Bank to sell its West African banking operations to focus on Nigeria

imageedit 2 4865397162Diamond Bank serves more than 15mn customers in Nigeria. (Image source: Diamond Bank)Diamond Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing retail banks, has announced to sell its West African banking operations in order to focus on Nigeria’s retail banking opportunity

Diamond Bank said that it will sell its operations in Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal to Manzi Finances SA, a Cote d’Ivoire-based financial services holding company.

Regulatory approvals have been obtained in all jurisdictions for the transaction, which is anticipated to close before 31 December 2017.

By focusing its resources exclusively on Nigeria, Diamond Bank aims 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,” said the bank.

Commenting on the transaction, Uzoma Dozie, CEO of Diamond Bank, remarked, “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.”

“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,” Dozie explained.

According to the bank, some of the important initiatives include supporting 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 and the roll out of its Diamond Y’ello mobile banking app, which has more than 8.6mn users.