‘We Are Well-Positioned to Meet Africa’s Banking Needs – UBA Boss
By Ngozi Onyeakusi—The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba, has said that the bank’s consistent investment in strengthening its digital channels have been paying off as UBA is well-positioned to meet the growing demand of its customers across Africa and beyond.
Alawuba said this during the visit of the bank’s new Executives to the Nigerian Exchange Limited’s Head Office in Lagos on Wednesday. This follows the release of its Half-year 2022 financial results to the investing public last week.
Speaking on UBA’s driving factor over the past few years, he said, “We have invested so much in digital banking. We have great digital banking capabilities and we also have a growing customer base. Today we have over 30 million customers across various platforms and these customers are transacting. 90% of our transactions are done digitally and we are looking at 95% shortly. This has been helping us to ensure that we manage our cost of operations and to deliver excellent customer service to our customers overtime.”
He explained that the bank’s foray into the larger African market 17 years ago continues to yield largely for the institution, as presently, activities in the Africa market account for over 50% of the banks’ profitability, with room for even more opportunities going forward.
On plans and strategy for the remaining half of the year, Alawuba said, “As it stands, UBA can lead in Nigeria and in Africa, and we the new management are here to ensure that UBA takes the leadership position in every country we operate in. We will continue to focus on the customer. We are committed to our Customer 1st philosophy. The customer determines what we do at every point in time and we will ensure that we do all it takes to satisfy them optimally.”
He also informed the Stock Exchange of UBA’s willingness to partner with the NGX to achieve its goals of unifying Africa, adding that “We are United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank and I believe that we can do a lot together especially with our common interest in Africa. The other African countries look to Nigeria to play a significant role and for us at UBA, our vision and mission is intertwined with Africa. And so as a bank, We can do a lot together with the NGX in the area of making sure that millennials and GenZ can key into the opportunities we have. we have digital banking platforms that we can make use of and we believe that in the next two to three years, there will be a lot of value that we will create for our shareholders and we know that this message will get to the trading floor and our shareholders to make them know that UBA is repositioning to help achieve their goals. “
While welcoming the newly appointed executives to the Exchange, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange Limited, Temi Popoola, commended the UBA Board, led by its Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, for what he described as a well-thought out succession plan, which he noted was worthy of being emulated by other companies.
Popoola said, “For us at the Exchange, succession is very critical. UBA is very thoughtful and methodological about succession and we find this really encouraging. I want to congratulate you. Your track record in Nigeria and the rest of Africa speaks for itself and we are very confident that the UBA is well positioned to get on to its next phase.
“We commend UBA for the work you do around sustainability. It is seen that for both investors and the entire capital market committee, the subject of sustainability and ESG has become more common and UBA has historically taken a lead on these issues,” Popoola continued.
UBA recently announced its audited financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2022, recording double-digit growth across key income lines. The Bank delivered a 12.6 per cent appreciation in profit before tax(PBT) to N85.7bn, up from N76.2bn recorded in the same period of 2021.
UBA is a leading pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than thirty-seven million customers across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries.
With presence in New York, London and Paris and now the UAE, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.