By Eric Elezuo
The Chairman of Diamond Bank, Mr. Seyi Bickerstheth and other non executive directors of the bank have lamented the dwindling performance of the bank, saying that since 2013, it has neither declared nor paid any dividend to stakeholders.
In a letter written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, signed by the Chairman, and copied to various financial institutions and regulatory agencies, the directors observed that Diamond Bank has survived over the years in meeting the CBN Capital Advocacy Ratio (CAR) by the grace of CBN forbearance, stressing that ‘the current financial position of the Bank does not show any signs of improvement’. It further observed that current trend indicates that bank will end the year at a loss or at most with a ‘significantly lower profit’.
The letter read in part: “DIAMONDBNK’s performance has continued to decline. Current forecasts indicate the bank will close 2018 on significantly lower profit (or even a loss situation) than planned. Management was not able to attend the Q3 Analysts call and we are aware that S&P has downgraded the bank’s credit rating. The bank had neither declared nor paid any dividend since 2013 and the Bank was only meeting the CBN Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) by the grace of CBN forbearance and the current financial position of the Bank does not show any signs of improvement.”
The letter also identified the need for the bank to seek recapitalisation urgently, noting that however, such a move will be require the ‘consideration and approval’ of a full board.
“The Bank is in dire need of recapitalization. Nonetheless, the Board remains the foremost governing body of the bank with the fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of all shareholders, thus, all recapitalization proposals including potential acquisitions can only be by a full Board for consideration and approval,” it said.
It was reported in the media last month that the bank has been acquired by Access Bank, a move Access Bank however, denied.