DIAMOND-ACCESS BANK MERGER: GOOD DEAL FOR STAKEHOLDERS

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In less than three
months, Diamond-Access bank will hold the record as the Nigerian bank with the
largest customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa through its merger which will
largely benefit its stakeholders.

Through the merger,
the employees, customers, depositors and shareholders of Diamond, Nigeria’s
largest retail bank will reap from the bank’s operations.

Diamond Bank
shareholders will receive a consideration of N3.13 per share, comprising of
N1.00 per share in cash and the allotment of two (2) New Access Bank ordinary
shares for every seven (7) Diamond Bank ordinary shares held as at the
implementation Date.

The offer represents a
premium of 260 percent to the closing market price of N0.87 per share of
Diamond Bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (“NSE”) as of December 13, 2018,
the date of the final binding offer.

According to Diamond
Bank, customers are at the heart of its decision to create one of Nigeria’s
leading banks; therefore, customers of the bank will continue to enjoy all the
bank’s unique products and services even after the merger.

The products and
services that Diamond Bank’s clients enjoy, including its commitment to digital
innovation, will continue unchanged and will be backed by Access Bank’s own commitment
to customers, financial inclusion and sustainability, and the bank’s corporate
expertise and strong balance sheet.

Interestingly, these
products and services will become better improved under the new entity, thanks
to the combination of expertise between the leading lenders.

“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,” Diamond
Bank said.

Diamond Bank’s
customers will continue to enjoy DiamondXtra, an interest yielding hybrid
account which allows deposit of both cash and third party cheques. Hybrid means
a combination of both savings and current account features.

According to the bank,
the reward scheme, which was launched in 2008 and has continued to run till
date, will remain unchanged, even as new winners will continue to emerge and be
paid. As a matter of fact, 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 Plc 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, following the
merger, any Diamond Bank or Access Bank cards that get trapped in either bank’s
ATMs will not be destroyed. Instead, such cards will be released to cardholders
upon validation of ownership.

In the same vein,
customers of both Diamond Bank and Access Bank 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 either Diamond Bank or Access
Bank POS terminals. In the meantime, more lounges for the Diamond Bank
XclusivePlus subscribers will be created.

According to Diamond
Bank’s statement, when the highly anticipated merger eventually takes effect,
Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc would have successfully combined efforts
to bring the power of banking to millions of account holders across Nigeria and
beyond. The new entity will have 29 million customers with 13 million mobile
customers, with a wide spread of over 3,000 ATMs and over 13,00 digital/financial
inclusion customers.

Also much emphasis
will be on the need for speedy and secured service delivery, the partnership
will ensure that customers of both banks continue to experience the best
banking experience, with zero disruptions to normal banking services.

Diamond Bank also
noted that although there may be some changes in the future, any such changes
will be duly communicated to the customers ahead of time.

Recall that both
Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc announced late last year that they plan to
combine resources in order to create the biggest retail bank in Sub-Saharan
Africa.

Following the
announcements, the banks proceeded to secure the necessary regulatory approvals
from the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission. The
court has also given its green light for the management of the two banks to
convey an Extra Ordinary General Meeting where the shareholders of the two
banks will ratify the proposed merger.

Since the announcement
of the merger in 17th December 2018, the share price of Diamond bank has
rallied by 132.69 percent from its trading price of N1.04 in December last year
to N2.42 in February 2019.

Post consolidation,
the new entity is expected to combine on the individual strengths, particularly
that of Diamond Bank which is more retail-focussed, and create a competitive
edge in terms of total assets, loan book and total deposit when compared with
other lenders operating in the nation’s banking industry.

Diamond Bank sees
potential in Nigeria’s large unbanked population, and with increasing calls for
financial inclusion in the country, the lender hopes to leverage its robust
digital and mobile platforms to expand frontiers and break new grounds in the
industry.

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