Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has reiterated its commitment to driving financial inclusion and growth in all its major indices as the bank eyes its African subsidiaries to continue to drive its profit.
Specifically, the bank with huge interests and investments in key African markets is looking to garner more than the 40% currently contributed by its off-Nigerian concerns to its market share in the short-run, with emphasis on its markets in Ghana, Kenya and other markets.
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who disclosed this in a presentation on Friday, said that already, its investments in these economies have been paying-off.
He said, “Our broader Africa network continues to grow in significance, contributing 40% of Group’s profit. Our large network provides earnings diversification and an increasing ability to benefit from group synergies, driving our capability to leverage scale and scope economies.
“I am pleased to note that UBA Ghana is very close to meeting the GHC400million capital requirement from internally generated earnings. More so, we are committed to further investment in Ghana, if need be, just as our co-shareholders are also supportive.”
He also said that things were looking up in the Kenyan market as the removal of the floor rate on deposits in the country remained in tandem with the bank’s effort towards lowering funding cost.
Uzoka also reiterated that the bank’s commitment to drive financial inclusion, especially with the expansion of the activities of UBA’s Virtual Banker, Leo, who is now present in more markets. He expressed confidence that with its introduction to Whatsapp, more customers would benefit from the services which according to him, has been customised to fit the lifestyle of individuals and customers.
He said, “I am happy with the rapid rollout of our Virtual Banker, Leo, in eighteen markets. This novel offering which debuted on Facebook messenger has now been launched on WhatsApp, taking banking to chat platforms and integrating service into our customers’ lifestyle.
“This is just one example of how we can rapidly implement new products and services across Africa. This is just one example of how we can rapidly implement new products and services across Africa,” he gushed.
While noting that the bank was well on its way towards achieving its set target for the 2018 financial year, he said, “We are committed to delivering our 2018 targets and more importantly investing in the future sustainability of our business, as we believe our investment in people, technology and processes will distinguish our franchise over the long term.”
In its half-year results released last week, the bank recorded N58 billion profit before tax and N43.8 billion profit after tax, translating to pre-tax and post-tax return on average equity of 23% and 17% respectively. The bank also witnessed an impressive 24% growth in retail savings and current account deposits as a result of increasing penetration of our digital offerings, while net interest margin was maintained at 7.4% inspite of the price competition for wholesale deposits and the impact of rising global interest rates on foreign currency funding.
In the light of the above, the GMD also disclosed that the bank is re-engineering its global offices in New York, London and Paris, adding the importance of this “as the recent Authorization of the PRA and FCA to our subsidiary in United Kingdom brings significant new opportunities to deepen our international trade business and enhance our positioning as the preferred conduit for capital flows between Africa and Europe.”