How UBA is riding on Africa’s rising economic prosperity

Riding on the back
of Africa’s rising economic prosperity, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is
rolling out financial solutions to businesses and positioning to rake in
substantial revenues in the continent.
Last week, the bank
launched “Naija Sends” with MoneyGram to provide outbound money transfer
services to Nigerians. The launch was followed by the partnership with Ixaris
and its Nigerian partner “Ojapay” to deploy a virtual card platform across
Innovating is at
the core of operations for the pan-African bank as it seeks to become the
dominant financial institution on the continent, using its widespread network
in 19 African countries and huge balance sheet to support people, businesses,
institutions and governments.
It is also
delivering strong growth earnings as evident in its 3rd quarter
financial results released last week; affirming its strategies to grow and
deepen market share on the continent. Riding on the continuous strong growth in
many African countries, UBA Plc, increased gross earnings by 12% over same
period of last year rising, from N188bn in 2013 to N210 billion for the nine
month period ended September 30, 2014. 
“The rise in gross
earnings reflects the increasing business activity across our operations, as we
support businesses and institutions with the finance they to need to exploit
emerging opportunities on the continent” said Philips Oduoza, Group Managing
Director/CEO, UBA Group. 
The bank’s gross
earnings received a boost from interest income which rose 12.5% to N149 billion
in the same period.
Oduoza emphasizes
that the nine month 2014 result shows the continued efforts by the bank to
remain one of the leading banks in the industry and across the continent by
focusing on improving the effectiveness of customer acquisition and
relationship management capabilities.
“In the course of
the quarter, we grew our market share in some of our African subsidiaries,
which has reflected in their increased contribution to the group’s
performance.” Oduoza explained.
The results also
show that customer confidence remains strong in the bank across its 19 countries
of operations in Africa. The bank’s closed the first nine months of the year
with a total deposits of N2.175 trillion one of the highest on the continent
and boosted by increase in customer acquisition as the bank continued to
introduce innovative new products and services as well as expand its e-banking
The highlight for
the quarter for UBA was it being named as the “Best Transaction Bank in Africa”
by UK based “The Banker” magazine.
The award was in
recognition of UBA’s e-banking platforms that have positively changed the way
businesses manage their cash flow, payments, collections, liquidity, trade and
value chain management across their business operations in Africa.
According to The
Banker, the judges were impressed by the Bank’s clear demonstration of the
improvements made to its transaction services business.
 “The judges
looked at entries that demonstrated a clear strategy, as well as improvement
and progress in the last 12 months. Investment in technology was not the
deciding factor, but rather improvements that are of real value to the bank’s
customers” Jane Cooper, Transaction Banking Editor of the “The Banker”
magazine, explained during the awards.
The bank’s products
and e-banking innovation is driving underlying efficiency in its operations as
shown in the operating income of N138 billion for the nine-month period to 30
September, 2014, representing a 6.6% increase over the corresponding period of
last year, showing  the strong underlying operating efficiency of UBA business
globally, and the capacity of the business to remain profitable.  
The bank also made
a profit before tax of N42.54 billion and a profit after tax of N33.6 billion
for the period. 
Oduoza however says
that UBA will continue to improve its performance going forward.
“We will continue
to channel our efforts towards remaining well capitalized, highly innovative
and responsive to our customers’ needs to ensure our businesses are able to
generate superior asset and earnings growth”
UBA financial
results for half year 2014, shows it has a capital adequacy ratio of 21%,
well above the 16% recommended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for
international banks like UBA. The bank non-performing loans ratio stands at
just 1.6%, one of the lowest across Africa, a clear indication that UBA has no
issues with non-performing loans. The bank’s liquidity ratio also stands at a
healthy 52%, well above the average of 30% for the Nigerian banking
Oduoza is
optimistic that while economic growth remains stable as reflected in the strong
GDP growth on the continent, Africa will continue to witness increasing banking
penetration and tighter capital rules and monetary policy conditions. Though,
he does not expect this to hinder the growth of UBA.
 “We are
confident that our performance will continue to improve in the last quarter
2014, with increased contribution to Group Balance sheet from the African
subsidiaries,” Oduoza said.
Oduoza explained
that internally, the bank has realigned key leadership positions of some of its
staff to facilitate more effective customer coverage and sustain its
performance into the future.
 “As we enter
into the final quarter of 2014, we remain confident that we shall improve on
this performance as we further consolidate the position of our business
operations in various countries.” Oduoza said.
He disclosed that
the bank will be concentrating effort on balance sheet efficiency through
reallocation and re-pricing of assets for maximum yield, while executing
strategic initiatives to revamp and improve customer service delivery.
The bank, he said,
will also sustain its unflinching commitment to channel development and
sustained investment in e-banking, as it continues to deploy cutting edge
banking products and services, in a bid to achieve dominance in intra regional
trade and remittances across the African market.


United Bank for
Africa Plc is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering banking
services to more than 7 million customers across over 700 business offices in
19 African countries. With presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is
connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and
corporate banking, innovative cross border payments, and trade finance


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