In less than three months, Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc, will conclude their planned merger, making the two financial institutions, Nigerian bank with the largest customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa, a move which has been applauded by many stakeholders in the economy.
These stakeholders that cut across shareholders, depositors, employee, and suppliers among others strongly believe that they will benefits from the merger. For instance on the part of Diamond Bank, their shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two new Access Bank ordinary shares for every seven Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the implementation date.
According to the scheme of arrangement, the offer represents a premium of 260 percent to the closing market price of N0.87 kobo per share of Diamond Bank on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as at December 13, 2018, which was the date of final binding offer. On customer side which is key to Diamond Bank, customers of the bank will continue to enjoy all the bank’s unique products and services even after the merger.
Interestingly, these products and services will become better improved under the new entity, as explained by the integration exporters “Together, we will bring the power of banking to millions across Nigeria, focused on speed, service and security. We are determined to ensure that both Access Bank and Diamond Bank customers will experience no disruption to normal banking services while we join forces to create Nigeria and Africa’s largest retail bank by customers. While there may be some changes in due course, we are committed to inform you ahead of time and in a way that is most convenient for you,”
Customers will continue to enjoy DiamondXtra, one of Diamond Bank flagship product, an interest yielding hybrid account which allows deposit of both cash and third party cheques, meaning a combination of both savings and current account features. The account which has a reward scheme since 2008 till date will remain unchanged, even as new winners will continue to emerge and be paid.
Needless to emphasize that the merger with Access Bank will ensure that DiamondXtra becomes bigger and better because the scheme will be opened to Access Bank customers as well, Secondly, Diamond Bank customers will enjoy instant, borderless banking from any Access Bank branch. In other words, whenever they walk into any Access Bank branch and initiate payment in their local currency, the beneficiary will receive an instant direct credit to their account or cash in their local currency.
This service will be available in all Access Bank subsidiaries in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Sierra Leone. Also, any Diamond Bank or Access Bank cards that get trapped in either bank’s Automated Tellers Machine (ATMs) will not be destroyed. Instead, such cards will be released to cardholders upon validation of ownership.
In addition, customers of both banks will have access to over six hundred branches, where they can enjoy same day clearing of cheques in either bank, just as they will get rewarded for using any of the two banks POS terminals. Meanwhile as parts of the regulatory requirement, shareholders will meet on March 5, 2019 in Lagos to ratify the proposed merger at a court ordered meeting.