A MUSTARD SEED IS PLANTED- A HISTORY OF UBA; PRE & POST MERGER

 

 
Nigeria,
a British protectorate adjoining other French colonial territories, was in the
middle of an economic boom and was the cornerstone of the West African economy.
In late 1949, the British & French Bank launched its first branch in Lagos,
the economic capital of Nigeria.
B&FB
grew fast and attracted the interest of companies from various sectors of the
economy. In the following years, the B&FB network expanded to cover the
different regions in the country, opening offices in Kano in 1953, Ebute Metta
in 1955, Port-Harcourt and Apapa in 1956, Ibadan in 1958, Kaduna in 1960 and
Enugu in 1961.”
In
1958, new banking legislation was introduced, leading to the establishment of a
central bank in 1959 and the introduction of a new banking decree aimed at
improving governance over banks.
UBA
was then incorporated as a limited liability company on 23 February, 1961 taking
over the assets and liabilities of B&FB. It later became the first Nigerian
bank to make an Initial Public Offering (IPO), following its listing on the NSE
in 1970.
In
1997, an insolvent bank, Crystal Bank Limited was acquired by a young banker,
Tony O. Elumelu. The distressed bank was rechristened Standard Trust Bank (STB)
Limited and thus, began the journey to the actualization of a vision.
By the
end of 1997, barely 7 months after taking over, the STB team was able to turn
around Crystal Bank’s position of N6.49million to a whooping N473million.
The
STB brand was gradually being domesticated across all the other states in
Nigeria at a time when bank branches in the country were disproportionately
skewed towards commercial locations.
When
Nigeria returned to democratic rule in May 1999 STB was already strategically
positioned to provide financial assistance through credit facilities packaged
for state and local governments, and secured with Irrevocable Standing Payment
Orders (SPOs) tied to the monthly financial allocations of state and local
governments from the Federation accounts. By the yearend of 1999, STB had
become the first Nigerian bank in history to declare annual profits that
exceeded the billion-naira mark. STB had suddenly become a bank to reckon with.
In
2003, STB got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
By mid-2004,
STB was already the 5th largest bank in Nigeria and was comfortably aiming to
hit a N40 billion mark. The consolidation exercise presented an opportunity for
growth and the bank began to explore M&A options with the top 3 banks at
that time: First Bank, Union Bank, and UBA – the third largest bank in Nigeria.

 

“Today’s
UBA is an amalgamation of old STB and UBA – a fusion of legacy, strength, and
dynamism, agility and new energy,” says Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of United
Bank for Africa Plc.
In
January 2005, the merger of United Bank for Africa Plc with Standard Trust Bank
Plc was announced and by July 2005 the two banks had been effectively merged in
what was described as the biggest merger in the history of Nigeria’s capital
markets at that time. The new United Bank for Africa Plc took off on 1 August
2005 as Nigeria’s first mega bank. With a network of over 425 business offices
across the country, a balance-sheet size of over N600 billion, and an active
customer base of over 2 million, United Bank for Africa Plc ranks as the
biggest online, real-time bank in Nigeria and indeed sub-Saharan Africa.” 
From
then, UBA commenced its pan-African expansion strategy, which has led to its
presence in Republique du Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville,
Congo DRC, Cote d’lvoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali,
Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tchad, Uganda and Zambia.
Today,
UBA plays a leading role in private and public sector partnerships aimed at
supporting the acceleration of Africa’s economic development, and with
operations in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and presence in
France, UBA’s remarkable African footprint makes it the bank of choice for
Africans and African businesses as well as players in the global and other
emerging markets.

 

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