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United Bank for Africa, a leading pan-African financial institution with operations in 20 African countries has assured the players in the private and public sectors in East Africa’s largest economy that its Kenyan franchise is ready and committed to finance key projects and business transactions capable of galvanising the economic development of the country and upscale the standard of living of its people.

The Group’s Executive Director and newly appointed CEO for East and Southern Africa, Emeke E. Iweriebor said this while addressing a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday.

According to him, with the realignment of the Group’s strategy on the region, UBA with an asset base worth over $12 billion and presence in key financial capitals, London, New York and Paris is capacitated to support its customers and their businesses across the world, especially those from Kenya. “UBA Group has strong confidence in Kenya and East Africa as their economies have great potential for growth and development.  Consequently, we in UBA Group are convinced that it’s imperative that we dedicate resources, manpower and time to our operations in Kenya, and East African and Southern Africa. That is why we created the region, with the regional office, in Nairobi”. Iweriebor said.

Iweriebor while outlining areas of possible interventions by the Bank said that UBA Group and its Kenyan franchise are ready to help the Governments of Kenya in its Big Four Agenda, especially as it concerns infrastructural development, health facilities and housing and increasing the manufacturing base of the country. He also indicated the Bank’s readiness to support SMEs, which according to him is the catalyst to a sustainable economic development and eradication of poverty. “UBA wants to replicate the interventions we have undertaken in some African countries, in provision of financial support to power and energy sectors, road infrastructure, agriculture, small, medium and large enterprises and entrepreneurship,” Iweriebor said.

He added that UBA, leads innovation in banking in Africa and utilizes digital solutions to support financial inclusion and business activities of individual, SMEs and corporates, highlighting that currently more than 80% of the bank’s transactions are processed through digital and electronic channels.

Also speaking at the media event, Managing Director/CEO, UBA Kenya, Isaac Mwige corroborated Iweriebor, saying that UBA Kenya, leveraging on the Group’s pre-eminence financial standings has capabilities to finance transactions in Kenya, saying he is encouraged by the recent engagements with both private and public sectors in Kenya.

“UBA Kenya wants to become more involved in the lives of individuals and businesses of people of Kenya by providing tailor-made products and services that are targeted at all segments of Kenyan economy,” Just recently, UBA Group signed agreements with some international institutions to support Macro and small-scale businesses across Africa, we want to see businesses in Kenya taking advantage of such opportunities,” Isaac said

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Senate Orders CBN To Suspend ATM Card Maintenance Charges, ATM’s To Dispense N40,000

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look into the suspension of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) maintenance and withdrawal charges by banks.

This was after a motion on “illicit and excessive charges by Nigerian banks in customers’ accounts” was raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa during the plenary session on Wednesday.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu seconded the motion, saying: “The ATM charge is not the only charge we get from the bank, there are VAT charges and so on; this is unacceptable. We have the Customer Protection Agency in Nigeria, but they are not living up to expectations.”

The issue generated much debate on the floor of the Senate and after much deliberations, a few resolutions were made.

The Senate directed the committees on banking insurance and other financial institutions and finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

It also mandated the committees on banking, insurance and other financial institutions and finance to invite the CBN Governor to appear before the body in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

The lawmakers urged CBN to suspend the ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers accounts, just as they called on the CBN to instruct the commercial banks to configure their machines to extend to N40,000 per withdrawal, pending the outcome of the investigation by the committees.

The Consumer Protection Council was called upon to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian banks.

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