Posted by By Peter Egwuatu on
The Board of Directors of Platinum Bank Limited and Habib Bank Nigeria Limited have collectively approved the merger of both banks with a new name agreed upon.
The Board of Directors of Platinum Bank Limited and Habib Bank Nigeria Limited have collectively approved the merger of both banks with a new name agreed upon. The new name of the combined entity would be Platinum Habib Bank Limited while their individual culture would be retained in the short run.
Chairman of Platinum Bank Limited, Prof. Pat Utomi, disclosed this weekend, at a press briefing on its consolidation plans.
According to him, “we are indeed glad to formally inform you that the boards of the two banks have approved our plans to merge our businesses to coalesce into a formidable institution that will be in the forefront of banking post consolidation.”
He said the emerging banking group currently had a combined asset base of over N116 billion with deposit base of N60 billion.
“Both banks shareholders’ fund stands over N25 billion, gross earnings of over N14 billion, network of 104 on-line, real time branches and over one and half million customers nationwide.
"Already, we have applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for pre-merger consent which shall be followed up with the application for Approval-in-principle. We intend to conclude this merger in record time ahead of December 31, 2005,” he said.
When asked about how the new bank would cope with the different culture, Utomi said: “Both banks would maintain its individual culture for the time being until it would gradually have a new culture that would be one. We hope to invite both banks’ shareholders and talk to them so that we can share their views and get their advice as time progresses. Our strategic intent is to build a national and diversified franchise by creating superior value for our stakeholders through an unmatched superior customer service experi-ence.”
Chairman of Habib Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kola Abiola said both banks were being run on effective good corporate governance framework, executive leadership that is firm and inspirational and attaches importance to improving shareholders value.
According to him, “we are confident that the decision taken by both banks to merge will lead to the emergence of a high growth bank that will inevitably rank among top seven banks in the country.”
Abiola further dismissed the insinuation that Habib Bank is a Muslim bank, saying: “Habib Bank only introduced an Islamic product and that does not mean that it has no other products that other people who are not muslims can embrace. We have array of banking products that the Christians, muslims or even pagans subscribe to. We are only taking advantage of a window classified as Islamic banking to satisfy some muslims that believe they need no interest in their deposits. So, as a bank we are taking advantage of that window to make money for the bank.”
Describing the history of the bank, Habib Bank Chairman said: “Habib Bank commenced operations on May 16, 1993 with strategic intent to introduce and maintain a banking style with a difference, create a sound bank, and establish presence in every state of the country. With gross earnings of N7.4 billion and pre tax profit of N1.3 billion for the financial year ended December 2004, the bank has 69 branches all over the country and lives the ethos of the founding fathers to serve the society through its activities.”
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