Diamond Bank
File: Diamond Bank Branch

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted Diamond Bank Plc, approval to operate as a national bank following its application for it.

The bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, said this in a statement signed by the bank’s Head of media, Ezechinyere Anyanwu on Friday in Abuja.

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According to Dozie, the move was part of Diamond Bank’s strategy to focus on Nigeria’s significant opportunities.

He said that the change in the license means Diamond bank can expand product services to Nigerian consumers.

Dozie said: ”With this approval the bank will cease to operate as an International Bank.

“The re-licensing as a national bank supports Diamond’s objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market, and economy as a whole.

“The move follows Diamond’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.

Dozie said that the approval would enable the bank to deploy more capital for stronger growth in the quarters ahead through additional investment in technology platforms.

He said it would also enable the bank deploy funds to customer acquisition and expansion of loans to the critical sectors of the economy.