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UBA gets banking Licence to expands activities in UK

UBA House

The United Bank for Africa (UBA PLC), London subsidiary, can now offer wholesale banking activities in the United Kingdom following the regulatory approval from PRA, an Agency of the Bank of England to operate as a full fledge bank.

Going by the new framework, the bank will now offer full scale treasury services, cash management, corporate lending and wholesale deposit offerings to professional and eligible counterparties.

The operations of United Bank for Africa (UK) Limited now extends to all aspects of trade finance; issuance, acceptance, confirmation and refinancing of Letters of Credit of different variations, including SBLCs.

Also with the authoisation comes with a transformative process which include change of its name to United Bank for Africa (UK) Ltd from the current name, UBA Capital (Europe) Ltd.

This authorization has now made the lender, the only Sub-Saharan African bank to conduct banking activities in New York and London, as well as in 20 other countries across Africa.

According to Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA PLC, the authorization will strengthen the bank’s capabilities in meeting the growing cross-border financing needs of it’s customers. “It enhances our customer coverage and product offerings whilst positioning our Group as an optimal conduit for trade and foreign investments into and across Africa as well as export flows to the United Kingdom.”

He added that; “the licence will enable us to fulfill our aspiration of deepening financial intermediation in Sub-Saharan Africa and providing the much-needed financial support to the broader real sector of the African economy,” .

For his part, Andrew Martin, CEO of United Bank for Africa (UK) Ltd (“UBA UK”), noted that “the enhanced positioning of our business is timely, as it comes at a time when the UK is seeking to expand trade and broaden economic ties with Nigeria and Africa in general.”

It would be recalled that the bank announced its 2017 audited results last week, showing significant growth in its gross earnings to N462 billion, representing an increase of 20 per cent from N314 billion recorded in the same period in 2016.

The pan-African financial institution’s audited results showed that the Group delivered a strong 16% year-on-year growth in profit before tax of N105 billion, compared to N90.6 billion in the 2016 financial year. The Profit After Tax also leaped to N78.6 billion, an 8.8% year-on-year growth compared to N72.3 billion in 2016.

According to the report released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday,the Bank’s subsidiaries outside Nigeria contributed a third of the Group’s top-line and 45% of the profit for the year, a remarkable improvement from 31 percent contribution made by the ex-Nigeria offices in 2016.

This, according to market analysts affirms the success of the Bank’s expansion strategy, with target of 50 percent contributions by 2020.

The Bank’s Operating Income grew to N326.6 billion, a 20.6 percent increase compared to N270.9 billion recorded in 2016. This, according to analysts, affirms the capacity of the Group to deliver strong performance through varying economic cycles and challenging business environment.

The audited results also showed that the Bank’s Total Assets peaked at N4.07 trillion, translating into 16.1 percent year-on-year growth from the figure of N3.50 trillion recorded as at 2016 financial year. In the 2017 financial year, the Bank’s Net loans achieved a prudent 9.7 percent growth at N1.65 trillion, while the customer deposits grew to N2.73 trillion, representing 10 percent YoY growth on N2.49 trillion recorded in 2016 financial year.

Reflecting a strong internal capital generation, the Bank’s shareholders’ fund also soared 18.2 percent to N529.4 billion in the 2017 financial year.

Subject to the approvals of the shareholders, the Board of UBA Plc proposed a final dividend of 65 kobo per every share of 50 kobo each. This final dividend proposal is in addition to the 20 kobo per share interim dividend paid after the audit of the 2017 half year financial statements, thus putting the total dividend for 2017 financial year at 85 kobo per share.

Uzoka said: “The results, underlines the suc 17 in their respective markets. UBA Congo, UBA Tchad, UBA Gabon and UBA Senegal emerged the Best Bank of the Year in Congo, Tchad, Gabon and Senegal, reinforcing the strong franchise of the Group across its chosen markets in Africa.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading financial services group in sub-Saharan Africa, with presence in 19 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

From a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, UBA has emerged as a pan-African provider of banking and other financial services, to c.10 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Sahara Africa; 632 business offices, 1,750 ATMs, some 13,500 PoS, and a robust online and mobile banking platform.

UBA was the first Nigerian bank to make an Initial Public Offering (IPO), following its listing on the NSE in1970. It was also the first Nigerian bank to issue Global Depository Receipts (GDRs). The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, including foreign and local institutional investors as well as individual shareholders.

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