Press Releases

IFC Launches Nigerian Banking Reform Strategy with $20 Million Investment in Diamond Bank

In Lagos
Andrew Alli
Phone: +234 (1) 262 6467
Fax: +234 (1) 262 6465

In Washington, D.C.
Rita Jupe
Phone: + 1 (202) 458-8967

Washington, D.C., December 23, 2005—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a seven-year loan of up to $20 million to Diamond Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading banks. The bank will use the loan to increase its medium- to long-term funding for local small and medium enterprises.

The loan raises IFC’s total investment in Diamond Bank to $70 million, including a $20 million trade finance facility.

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s Director for Global Financial Markets, said, “The investment in Diamond Bank marks the launch of IFC’s financial sector strategy in Nigeria, which is to build strategic partnerships with select financial institutions and to help these partners make improvements in corporate governance, operations, and other key areas.”

Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, noted, “This investment demonstrates IFC’s support for the ongoing financial sector reforms in Nigeria. This transaction consolidates our partnership with Diamond Bank and helps implement our strategy for Nigeria’s financial markets.”

Pascal Dozie, Chairman of Diamond Bank, said, “Diamond Bank will benefit from our continuing relationship with IFC to improve corporate governance and acquire the skills, systems, and procedures that are critical for ensuring commercial, social, and environmental sustainability.”

Diamond Bank was established in 1991 and is one of Nigeria’s largest and most successful banks. With 75 branches around the country and a capital base in excess of $200 million, it provides a full range of banking services to local small and medium enterprises and corporate clients.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit