Diamond Bank has acquired ownership of Intercontinental Bank (UK), and in doing so, is now able to own and operate a bank in the UK.

Group managing director and chief executive officer, Alex Otti, comments on the approval by the Financial Services Authority (FSA): “We at Diamond Bank are delighted to secure the affirmation of the FSA for our bid to set up a UK subsidiary to enable us to offer wholesale financial services, including facilitating international trade to new and existing clients.”

Richard Parrett retains his position as head of trade finance.

Access Bank acquired Intercontinental Bank – one of eight banks bailed by the Nigerian central bank during the debt crisis – in February last year, and the next month announced its intention to sell its entire stake in the UK unit.

Diamond Bank confirmed in October last year that it was in talks to buy a niche European bank to tap into direct investment and trade flows between Europe and Nigeria.

Diamond Bank first opened its doors for business in 1991 with two locations in Lagos. In addition to the UK, it now has international offices in the Republic of Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.