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Access Bank, Diamond Bank Shareholders Approve Merger

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Shareholders of Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc on Tuesday unanimously approved the merger of both financial institutions aimed at creating a formidable force.

The shareholders gave the approval at an Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) of both banks held in Lagos.

Mr Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank Chief Executive Officer, told the shareholders at the EGM that the merger with Diamond Bank enables Access Bank to acquire a bank with 17 million retail customers and the most viable mobile payment platform.

Wigwe said that the expected revenue and cost synergies were material and promises significant long term value. Wigwe said the bank, after the merger, would attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners.

“With the final merger of both banks and the status of the resulting entity as ‘the largest bank in Africa’s largest economy,’ this greatly bolsters the bank’s brand, opening doors of opportunity both in local and international markets,” he said.

Wigwe said the merger was expected to produce the largest banking group in Africa based on its number of customers with more than 29 million customers.

“The resulting entity which will maintain the brand name Access Bank, but with Diamond Bank colors, will have more than 29 million customers, 13 million of which are mobile customers,” he said.

Wigwe said the bank would be a continental force with presence in 12 countries, 3,100 ATMS and nearly 32, 000 Point of Sale.

“As a continental financial force, it is set to attract more opportunities such as trade finance from international partners seeking multinational lenders with local intelligence,” he said.

He said Diamond bank merging with “Access Bank also means, the former’s customers can enjoy access to the latter’s strong balance sheet, ubiquitous presence and solid operational structure.”

“Diamond Bank has formidable retail business with the largest retail customer base in Nigeria – over 17 million customers. Diamond Bank also has a track record of customer acquisition and low cost liabilirties generation.

“The enlarged Access Bank will serve 27 million retail customers, almost double the number customers of any other bank in Nigeria and more than any other bank in Africa,

“Wigwe said. He noted that the enlarged Access Bank’s breath scale and product range will further accelerate the financial inclusion agenda that Access Bank and Diamond Bank had pursued separately.

Wigwe, however, assured enlarged shareholders of the bank that dividend would be more robust and consistent after the exercise. Mr Adebayo Adeleke of Independent Shareholders Association (ISAN) commended the management of Access Bank for not shortchanging shareholders on the scheme of the merger.

“Quiet a lot of commendable things have been put in place and we hope court will have no other reason not to agree on the merger,” Adeleke said.

Adeleke said that the shareholders were in support of the plan that would give birth to one of the largest bank in Africa.

“We are here to make sure we sanction this wedding and hope to see a marriage of a formidable force,” he said.

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E-Financial

Zenith Bank Partners Facebook on SME Empowerment

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Zenith Bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook is organising a free one-day workshop for operators of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

Zenith Bank Partners Facebook on SME Empowerment

The capacity building programme is focused on how Facebook, Instagram, WhatApp and other digital channels could be used to engage potential prospects, market offerings and grow business volumes.

The workshop is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, January 29th and Thursday, January 30th, 2020 by 08:30 a.m. at Zenith Bank branches at 23, Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos; 201, Ikorodu Road, Obanikoro, Ilupeju, Lagos; and 2, Aromire Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

“The workshop is open to customers and non-customers of the bank. To register attendance, please send an e-mail titled: Zenith Bank SME Digital Workshop to smepartners@zenithbank.com. The e-mail should contain the following information: Name of participant, preferred venue of attendance and date,” the bank stated.

Zenith Bank last month supported and sponsored various technology start-ups and innovative ideas at its Tech fair.

Speaking at the event, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, MD/CEO, Zenith Bank, pledged the bank’s continuous support for small businesses.

 

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Female Banker Accused of Stealing N42m

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Aghata Igwe, a former banker,  who allegedly obtained N42 million from a businessman under false pretences, on Monday appeared at an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

Female Banker Accused of Stealing N42m

Igwe, 42, whose residential address was not given, is standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.

She however pleaded not guilty to all the counts preferred against her by the police.

Earlier, , SP George Nwosu, prosecutor, told the court that the defendant and others at large committed the alleged offences from March to May 2017, at Ilupeju area of Lagos.

Nwosu said that the defendant fraudulently obtained the sum of N42 million from Maydom Pharmaceutical Ltd., under the pretext of assisting the company to facilitate a grant of one million US dollar import finance loan from Fidelity Bank Plc.

“The defendant convinced the complainant that she will use the said N42 million to lobby the bank to grant the company a loan of one million USD for importation purposes.

“The defendant did not facilitate any one million USD loan and did not refund the money she obtained from the complainant,” Nwosu alleged.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Mrs O. O. Oshin, magistrate, granted the defendant N500, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

She ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and must have at least N1 million in their bank accounts.

She also said that the sureties must also show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until Feb. 24, for mention.

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First Bank Wins Best Mobile Banking App, Fastest Growing Retail Bank Awards

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has been named 2019 “Best Mobile Banking App” and “Fastest Growing Retail Bank” winner by Global Business Outlook.

First Bank Wins Best Mobile Banking App, Fastest Growing Retail Bank Awards

The Global Business Outlook Award recognises and rewards excellence in business in companies across the world, both in the public and private sectors.

The award rewards innovation, creativity and the drive to create value.

FirstBank earned the Fastest Growing Retail Bank recognition because of its leading role in promoting financial inclusion in the country, a drive which has resulted in its 44,000 Agent Banking network designed to complement the provision of bespoke financial services at its over 750 branches nationwide.

It also won the Best Mobile Banking App award thanks to its Firstmobile banking app’s capability at performing a wide range of financial transactions in a safe, adaptable, futuristic and efficient manner.

The user-friendly app is widely renowned for its ease of navigation and state-of-the-art security features to mitigate risk against fraud.

In the course of 2019, FirstBank bagged numerous awards across various areas of its business operations.

The awards comprise Women Empowerment Category – Sustainable Banking Awards by CBN Bankers Committee, Best Private Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Global Finance Magazine and World Finance Magazine respectively; Best Process Automation Initiative, Application or Programme by Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services; Best Banking Brand Nigeria 2019 by Global Brands Magazine; Best Retail Bank in Nigeria by Global Banking and Finance Review and Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards respectively; Cashless Driver: Highest Volume in Bill Payments and Highest Transaction Volume in Real-Time Payments by CBN Electronic Payments Incentive Scheme – Efficiency Awards; Long Service Corporate Award by Nigerian Economic Summit Group; Best Financial Inclusion Program – Nigeria 2019 and Bank of The Year – Nigeria 2019 by International Investor, amongst many others.

Speaking on the awards, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Bank’s group head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “We appreciate the recognition of these awards by the respective awarding bodies. The awards are dedicated to all our customers across the globe as their continued patronage of our services is appreciated. We remain steadfast and would not rest on our laurels at rendering bespoke financial services tailored to meet the financial needs of our valued customers, irrespective of where they may be.”

 

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