Union Bank Plc said its drive to tackle financial exclusion in the north, particularly areas where economic activities are gradually recovering from the effects insurgency was yielding results as it opened more than 600,000 new accounts in the region in 2017.
The bank in its 2017 Citizenship, Sustainability and Innovation (CSI) report said it had launched Project North to reduce the level of financial inclusion in the crisis ridden northern part of the country.
The Union Bank SCI report is an annual compendium which highlights the bank’s strategic approach, initiatives and impact made in the areas of Citizenship, Sustainability and Innovation within the last year.
Commenting on the report, chief executive officer of the bank, Emeka Emuwa said, “This annual reports gives credence to our positioning as a bank truly committed to the communities in which we operate. Our corporate social investment is central to our core business and commitment to the triple bottom line of responsible financial, environmental and socio-economic development.
“We are committed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact regarding the adoption of sustainable and socially responsible policies in human rights, labour, the environment, anti-corruption, and of course, reporting on their implementation.”
In 2017, as the bank celebrated a century of providing trusted banking services, a critical aspect of its citizenship efforts was leading the charge for sustainable development in Nigeria into the next century. This it did by making a call to action for ‘The Next 100 Fund’ initiative, as a means to galvanise private sector participation in accelerating Nigeria’s economic development, leveraging the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework.
Union Bank said it invested in providing Nigerians access to inclusive financial services and championing financial literacy for future generations in schools across the country.
“In 2017, the bank went a step further, expanding the reach and impact of this initiative and increasing the number of students impacted from 3,000 in 2016 to 6,000 in 2017,” he said.
Last year, the bank launched its first ever recycling competition ‘Recyclemania’ to raise awareness about, and encourage the act of recycling among employees of the bank.
The bank has also created an inclusive and empowering environment for its employees through various initiatives. One of such initiatives is its Women Empowerment hub ( WeHub), which continues to motivate, connect and provide support to Union Bank’s female employees.
Last year, Union Bank also intensified efforts to embed an innovative culture in Nigerian youths by promoting and rewarding innovation and creativity. The Centenary Innovation Challenge was organised to find and support great ideas that address the SDGs in entrepreneurial ways which enable economic and societal growth and build an inclusive society for young Nigerians.
The release of the second edition of its CSI report underscores Union Bank’s commitment to maintaining its leading position as a sustainability champion and a socially-driven and responsible corporate organisation.
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