The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted Diamond Bank a national operating licence.
Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s chief executive officer, confirmed the development in a statement released on Friday.
The statement, which was signed by Ezechinyere Anyanwu, the bank’s head of media, said the move is part of its strategy to focus on the opportunities present in Nigeria.
“With this approval, the bank will cease to operate as an international bank,” Dozie said.
The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond Bank’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and the economy as a whole.
“The move follows Diamond Bank’s decision to sell its international operations, which included the disposal of its West African Subsidiary in 2017 and Diamond Bank UK, the sale of which is currently in its final stages.
“The change to national bank status also enables the bank to maintain a lower minimum capital requirement of 10 per cent, as against 15 per cent required for international banks.
“The reduction in minimum capital requirement also increases our capacity to expand the quantum of business and product services we can offer consumers.
“This development does not affect the bank’s ability to offer services to its clients in international locations.
”Rather, with focus on its domestic business being priority, the bank also intends to pay down in full, the Eurobond loan of $200m at maturity in May 2019.”