Connect with us

BUSINESS

UBA’s Leo Launched On WhatsApp

Published

on

Pan-African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced the commencement of its chat bank ‘Leo’ on the WhatsApp platform.

With Leo on WhatsApp, customers who are users and lovers of the app can now perform basic banking services including checking their balances on the go, transferring funds, paying bills, among other services.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed excitement about the development remarked that the bank is continuously working in line with customers’ demand to ensure that banking services are made convenient and without stress.

He said, “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting-edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.”

“Our recent launch of Leo in 13 other African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent.”

Also speaking on the new service, the Group Head of UBA’s Online Banking, Mr Austine Abolusoro, stated “United Bank for Africa is a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and Leo, being a tested dependable and intelligent personality, will replicate on WhatsApp, the success it has experienced on the Facebook Messenger platform.  It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of your demography.” “Leo is ready and waiting to help with any form of banking services,” continued Abolusoro.

WhatsApp has been in existence for over 9 years, reaching more than 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries. The premium private chat platform has assured that there will be no spam messages as the development is to enable businesses to serve their customers with useful and helpful information.

LEO is already present in over 14 African subsidiaries, including Nigeria, available in three languages, and has now been rolled out to customers on WhatsApp. To use this service on WhatsApp, customers must add the LEO Whatsapp number: +234 903 000 2455 to their phone contacts, then search for UBA Chat Banking on WhatsApp to start enjoying the added convenience and ease of transacting with Leo on WhatsApp.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries and in London and New York, with presence in Paris. Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels. Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through thousands of touch points and diverse channels.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: South Africa Enters Technical Recession After GDP Declines For A Second Quarter

Gbemileke Ajayi

Published

on

Reports from South Africa show that the country’s economy, the second largest in Africa, has again dropped into a technical recession.

This was after the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2018 compressed further by 0.7 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by Stats SA.

This marks two consecutive periods of contraction the country was recording, which therefore equates to a recession.

In the first quarter of this year, South Africa’s GDP contracted by 2.6 percent.

“Real gross domestic product (measured by production) decreased by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, following a decrease of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

“The largest negative contributors to growth in GDP in the second quarter were agriculture, transport and trade,” the Stats SA said in its report today.

This is the first recession South Africa is entering into since its new leader, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, took over from Mr Jacob Zuma, who also witnessed an economic recession while in office.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

UBA Appoints Four New Board Members

Published

on

The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its board, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).

The new board members are Mrs. Erelu Angela Adebayo, Ms. Angela Aneke, Alhaji Abdulqadir Jeli Bello and Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola.

These appointments follow the retirement of Mrs. Rose Okwechime, Mr Adekunle Olumide, OON, Alhaji Ja’afaru Paki and Mr Yahaya Zekeri, with effect from August 30, 2018.

“I am pleased to welcome Erelu Adebayo, Angela Aneke, Abdulqadir Bello and Kayode Fasola to the Group Board,” said Tony O. Elumelu, the Group Chairman of the Bank.  “These men and women bring a wealth of experience in their fields and will be tremendous assets, as we deliver on our mission to become the leading Pan-African financial institution in all our countries of operation.”

‘I am particularly pleased that two of the newly appointed Non-Executive Directors are women, bringing the total number of women to four, a further demonstration of our commitment to ensuring equality for both men and women,’ added the Group Chairman.

Mr. Elumelu thanked the retiring directors for their contribution, hard work and commitment to UBA, “I would like to express my appreciation to our retiring Directors for their leadership and dedication to UBA and for their contribution to an already impressive 2018. I wish them the very best in their future endeavours”.

This announcement comes on the heels of the Bank’s strong H1 2018 performance with a PBT of N58.1billion. With the successful expansion of its retail operations, UBA now operates in 20 countries in Africa, following its recent acquisition of a licence in Mali and the United Kingdom. The bank also has offices in New York City and in Paris.

About the new Directors

Erelu Angela Adebayo who graduated with an M.Phil in Land Economy from Cambridge University is the former First Lady of Ekiti State in Nigeria. Mrs Adebayo previously served on the boards of several organisations, including the Dangote Foundation, DN Meyer Plc, Wemabod Estates.  Mrs Adebayo is a council member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and has worked extensively on real estate development and She is the Chairman of the Erelu Adebayo Foundation for the underprivileged.

Ms. Angela Aneke is a board advisor, banker and a strategic thinker with over 30 years’ experience in financial services, in the areas of financial control, strategy, transaction banking, corporate banking, retail banking and governance.  Ms. Aneke has held executive management and board positions in several international and regional institutions, including Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and the United Bank for Africa.

Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola is a consummate professional with over 30 years’ cognate experience obtained from Management and Board positions covering banking operations, risk management, credit analysis, insurance, asset management, business strategy/development, performance management and corporate governance.  Mr. Fasola previously served as an Executive Director of a commercial Bank in Nigeria. Mr. Fasola holds 2 MBAs and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Administration.

Mr. Abdulqadir J. Bello, a Chartered Accountant, has over 30 years’ corporate experience in the banking sector, during which period he held several senior Management positions in various Banks.  He also previously served as the Group Chief Credit Officer of UBA and thereafter as the Executive Director in charge of Risk Management for UBA Group.

Continue Reading

BUSINESS

UBA Grows Gross Earnings By 16%, Delivers 17% Return on Average Equity, Sustains Interim Dividend

Published

on

Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited 2018 half-year financial results, showing strong growth across key performance metrics as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.

Despite declining yield environment in two core markets, Nigeria and Ghana, the pan Africa financial institution delivered double-digit growth in gross earnings, as it recorded a 16 percent year-on-year rise in top-line to N258 billion, compared to N223 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. This performance, according to analysts, underscores the capacity of the Group to deliver strong performance through economic cycles, even in a challenging business environment.

According to the report filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, UBA, reported strong growth in operating income at N168.5 billion, compared to N161.8 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 4.1 percent. Notwithstanding the inflation-induced cost pressure in the period, UBA finished the first half of the year strongly, with a Profit Before Tax of N58.1 billion. The Profit After Tax also improved to N43.8 billion, a 3.4 percent growth compared to N42.3 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017. The first half of the year profit translated to the pre-tax and post-tax return on average equity of 23% and 17% respectively.

UBA’s foreign operations continue to grow in importance, contributing 40% of the Group’s profit, which according to analysts attests to the benefit of UBA’s pan-African strategy and reinforces the Bank’s objective of achieving 50 percent earnings contribution from offshore subsidiaries.

In the first six months of the year, the Bank’s Total Assets grew 4.9% to N4.27 trillion and Customer Deposits rose by 6.1 per cent to N2.90 trillion, compared to N2.73 trillion as at December 2017. This growth trajectory underlines UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its re-engineered customer service and innovative digital offerings. The Group’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N496.3 billion, even as implementation of IFRS 9 impacted the total equity of the bank and its peers.

In line with its culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of N0.20 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held on the qualification date – Wednesday, September 05, 2018.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr Kennedy Uzoka said: “Our performance in the first half the year reflects the resilience of our business model and strategies. Despite declining yields in two core markets, Nigeria and Ghana, we delivered double-digit growth in gross earnings. Our performance demonstrates the success of our digital banking initiatives and broader Customer-First strategies”

“We are integrating banking to our customers’ lifestyle, simplifying processes for routine transactions and driving financial inclusion by making banking services accessible and affordable. We are creating opportunities for wealth creation and economic progress, as we empower our customers through innovative platforms and solutions that support their personal and business growth. Our commitment to delivering excellent service is paying off, as we increasingly win a bigger share of customers’ wallet across our chosen markets. We won the highly coveted “Africa’s Best Digital Bank” Award by Euromoney, demonstrating our pioneering initiatives are being recognised with Leo, our digital banker having been name-checked by Mark Zuckerberg ” Uzoka said.

“Our enhanced asset-liability management strategies improved asset yield and grew interest income by 21% despite prevailing yield environment. Our re-engineered sales structure provided the impetus for renewed retail deposit growth. I am particularly pleased by the 24% year-to-date growth in retail savings and current account deposits, underpinning the increasing penetration of our digital offerings and the Group’s overarching goal of democratizing banking across Africa. We improved net interest margin to 7.4%in line with our 2018 target, notwithstanding strong competition for wholesale deposits and the impact of rising global interest rates on our foreign currency funding,” he concluded

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “We finished the first half of the year in a stronger position and we are optimistic on the future of our business. Amidst economic recovery and uncertainties in Nigeria, our largest market, we grew net interest income and operating income by 9.6% and 4.1% respectively. We doubled revenue from trade services and grew e-banking income by 24%, a testament to our market share gain, which is driven by innovative offerings. Our foreign operations contributed 40% of the Group’s profit, underlining the benefit of our Pan-African strategy.

“We sustained our asset quality, with a cost of risk at 0.8%. Whilst the loan book declined by 6.5% due to prepayments from some customers in Nigeria and Ghana, we grew the overall balance sheet by 5% in the first half of the year. The Group’s capital adequacy ratio of 23%, Bank’s liquidity ratio of 48% and a loan-to-deposit ratio of 57% all reinforce our capacity to grow, with ample headroom for risk asset creation,” Nwaghodoh said.

In recognition of UBA’s dominance in Africa’s digital banking space, UBA emerged the Best Institution in Digital Banking across Africa, courtesy of Euromoney. Earlier in the year, UBA launched Leo, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook, the first of its kind in Africa. The Bank is set to replicate the success of Leo on WhatsApp on September 1st, bringing convenience to its growing youthful customer base across Africa.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries. It also has a presence in the global financial centres; London, New York and Paris.

UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels.

Continue Reading

Most Popular