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What customers will benefit from Diamond Bank, Access Bank merger

Just weeks left before the biggest merger Nigeria has ever witnessed finally takes effect, the management of Diamond Bank Plc has assured its customers that the move will serve to their advantage.

A statement by the company today disclosed that the need to guarantee customers’ satisfaction is one of the factors that informed the decision to merge with Access Bank Plc.

To this end, therefore, customers will have nothing to worry about as Diamond Bank joins forces with Access Bank to create one of Africa’s biggest banks. Instead, the customers should get ready to enjoy much more efficient services and benefits.

According to the statement, Diamond Bank customers will continue to enjoy all the bank’s current unique products and services even after the merger. And there is more — these products and services will become better improved, thanks to the combination of expertise between the leading banks.

A closer look at what the customers will enjoy
Diamond Bank’s customers will continue to enjoy DiamondXtra because the reward scheme of the scheme 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, The 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 banks’ 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 banks, 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.

“Customers are at the heart of our decision to create one of nigeria’s leading banks. The combination of access bank and diamond bank will result in real benefits.

“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”, the statement said.

Both banks are poised to offer the best banking experience in Africa.

When the highly anticipated merger eventually takes effect by the end of Q1 2019, 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. Much emphasis will be on the need for speedy and secured service delivery.

Also, 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 announcement, the banks proceeded to secure the necessary regulatory approvals and is currently waiting for the due date in order to make the deal official.

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Easter: FAAN assures Nigerians of safety

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured passengers and other airport users of safety during the Easter celebration.

FAAN gave the assurance in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, in Lagos on Wednesday, NAN reports.

Yakubu noted that all necessary facilities, infrastructure and manpower had been deployed to ensure seamless facilitation at the airports.

She added that the relevant security agencies had been mobilised to beef up security at all airports during the period.

Yakubu also advised intending travelers to endeavour to leave for the airport early enough, so as to ensure that check-in formalities are conducted in good time.

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Court takes decision on sale of 9mobile

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday dismissed a suit filed by Spectrum Wireless Communications Limited against Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), owners of 9mobile, challenging the sale of the company.

NAN reports that the court, Presided over by Justice CJ Aneke, in a ruling on the preliminary objections filed by counsel to EMTS, upheld that the defendant’s prayers in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/153/2018 that there was no direct shareholding relationship between Spectrum Wireless and EMTS, thereby vesting on Spectrum the right to sue EMTS to protect its alleged shareholding in EMTS.
The Court also upheld the defendant’s position that there was no privity of contract between EMTS and Spectrum as Spectrum was not a shareholder in EMTS and could not be said to have been directly affected by the actions of its shareholders – Mubadala Holdings Cyprus Ltd, Myacynth and Etisalat International Nigeria Ltd.

The court further upheld the defendant’s position that if at Spectrum had a right of action, its action should be against PTHNV, the company it originally invested in and not EMTS.

The court, therefore, upheld the submission of counsel to EMTS that not being a shareholder of EMTS, Spectrum lacked the locus standi to bring the suit against EMTS on the basis of any decision taken by the shareholders of EMTS.

The court, therefore, upheld the defendant’s prayers saying that Spectrum lacked the locus standi to sue, adding that the concept of “indirect shareholding/economic interest” claimed by Spectrum was unknown to Nigerian law, which only recognized members of a company as those named in its Register of Members.

Justice Aneke also held that Spectrum is not a party to the credit facilities which it claimed were unlawfully obtained, and its elementary law that only parties to a contract can make judicial claims in respect thereof.

The court, therefore, dismissed the suit in its entirety.

In his reaction to the ruling, the Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, 9mobile, Ore Olajide, said “this was victory for democracy, victory for the rule of law in Nigeria, victory for company law, victory for legal practitioners, victory for corporate lawyers, academia and students of law.

“9mobile will continue to focus on satisfying our numerous customers and stakeholders who have faith in us and have stayed the course with us”.

It is recalled that Spectrum Wireless Communications sued EMTS and 16 other defendants including United Capital Trustees Limited (‘the Lenders’), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the sale of the telco.

The company claimed that it acquired indirect holding of 30 per cent of the shares of EMTS after a private placement and was allotted 4,041,096 Class A shares of Premium Telecommunications Holdings NV (“PTHNV”) which owns 99% of the shares in MyaCynth Coperative UA (“MyaCynth”).

The plaintiff also claimed that MyaCynth holds 30 per cent of the shares of EMTS BV
and EMTS BV, holds 99.9 per cent of the shares of EMTS and that EMTS’ syndicated loan from the 2nd to 4th defendant’s and was granted without the requisite statutory approval of the CBN, and can, therefore, not be enforced through the sale of EMTS’ shares and assets by the 2nd to the 14th defendants.

Spectrum also claimed that its investments in EMTS would be lost if 15th to 17th defendants were allowed to effect the sale of EMTS.

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FG moves to have Innoson boss arrested

The Federal Government, on Monday urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to issue a bench warrant against Innoson Nigeria Limited’s chairman Mr. Innocent Chukwuma and some of his employees.

They were charged in a fraud case before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The Police had earlier charged them with an alleged N2.4billion shipping fraud, but the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), later took over the case.

Others named in the charge are Charles Chukwuma, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.

The prosecution is praying the court to order the arrest of Innoson Motors Chairman and his staff for failing to turn up to take their plea in the criminal charge.

On Monday, Chukwuma and his staff were absent in court.

Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Julius Ajakaiye moved an application urging the court to order the absent defendants’ arrested.

He said the charge was served on them through a court-ordered February 8, 2016 substituted service following the AGF’s take-over of the case.

Consequently, he said the defendants were yet to take their plea and should therefore be compelled to appear.

He added that an April 12, 2016 amended charge could not be served on the absent defendants.

Ajakaiye urged the court to grant his application by ordering their arrest.

But defence counsel Chief George Uwechue (SAN) and Prof. C. Mbadugha prayed the court to dismiss the application.

They argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant against the defendants “because they were not properly summoned before the court”.

They said the application offends Order 6 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, adding that there was no proper service on their clients.

Justice Faji adjourned until July 3 for ruling.

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