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Union Bank Strategises On Technology, Retail Banking

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Union Bank of Nigeria Plc said following a successful N50 billion rights issue, the bank is in pole position to execute its growth agenda from 2018 onwards by deepening retail banking, optimising customer experience with simpler, smarter banking technology solutions.

It will be recalled that the bank successfully raised N49.7 billion through a rights issue which closed on October 30, 2017 with subscriptions recorded at 120 percent.

Chief executive officer, Union Bank Plc Emeka Emuwa speaking at the bank’s 49th annual general meeting held in Abuja, yesterday,  disclosed to shareholders that “strengthening our capital base through the rights issue was key for the bank in 2017, notwithstanding the challenges a tightened economy presented, the rights issue was 20 per cent oversubscribed.’’

He stated that this overwhelming success is credited to strong shareholder and investor confidence in Union Bank’s immediate and longer-term plans, saying “with sufficient capital buffers, we are now in pole position to execute our growth agenda from 2018 onwards.”

He pointed out that operationally, “we continued to focus on growing our retail customer base and optimising customer experience with simpler, smarter banking solutions. “We launched an upgraded suite of digital channels including UnionMobile, UnionOnline and our unique USSD banking code *826#, driving an increase in active subscribers above 100 per cent on the mobile app and online banking platforms.”

He added that Union Bank’s alternative banking platform remains the fastest growing in the industry, saying that “we continue to attract broad segments of new customers, adding 90 per cent more new-to bank customers in 2017 compared to 2016.”

For 2018, Emuwa said “our focus is on leveraging our capital and investments in talent and technology to accelerate growth across all business segments and improve enterprise value for all our stakeholders.”

He noted that as Union Bank launches into its second century of existence armed with a strengthened capital base to support business growth and maintain regulatory capital requirements, it is poised to remain one of Nigeria’s most trusted financial institutions.

Presenting 2017 Group’s financial report to shareholders, the chairman of the Bank, Cyril Odu said the bank recorded profit before tax (PBT) of N15.5 billion on gross earnings of N163.8 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.

According to him, other highlights of the bank’s financial performance in 2017 show that interest income grew by 25 per cent to N124.5 billion from N99.7 billion in 2016, as a result of the impact of naira devaluation on the foreign currency denominated loan book, government securities yields and loan book re-pricing.

“Non-interest revenue also moved up by 31 per cent to N39.3 billion from N29.9 billion in 2016, driven by improved fee and commission income, trading income and a more effective debt recovery machine. Operating expenses increased by five per cent to N65.1 billion from N62 billion in 2016 due to inflationary pressures and the impact of devaluation on technology and network investments.”

He said that gross loans grew by five per cent to N560.7 billion compared to N535.8 billion in 2016, while customer deposits rose by 22 per cent to N802.4 billion from N658.4 billion in 2016, continuing its upward trajectory since 2016.




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