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UBA Hinges Future Performance on Cost Efficiency, Improved Asset Quality

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured its local and international investors that it’s prudent focus on improved asset quality as well as the continuous adoption of strict cost efficient measures will help the bank achieve its objectives and priorities for the 2019 financial year and beyond.

This the bank has said will culminate into an institution with even stronger indices laced with the capacity to churn out strong double-digit growth in annuity-based trade services, enhanced offerings and improved customer service.

Already, the bank has instituted a number of enhanced risk management and control framework which have in no small measure contributed to its financial performances and overall balance sheet growth over the years.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who noted this in a submission while presenting the bank’s 2018 full year results during an international investor/ analysts conference call on Thursday, explained that UBA’s well diversified asset book supported by stable funding structure, placed it in a premium position to perform remarkably despite the falling economic indices in its operating environment.

He said, “In spite of slow recovery in economic activities in Nigeria (our single largest market), the Group’s total assets has grown by 19.7%, driven largely by a strong deposit growth of 23%, as the drive for retail deposits continue to yield desired results. Leveraging on enhanced customer service, the Group grew retail deposits by 48%, thus strengthening the funding base and providing the foundation for lower cost of funds in 2019.

“Notably, the growth in balance sheet also partly reflects the impact of exchange rate difference between the reporting dates (2017: N331/USD vs. 2018: N359/USD), as 37% of loans and 27% of overall balance sheet is FCY-denominated. The Group maintained its appetite for a well-diversified balance sheet, with over 60% in liquid, low risk instruments.”

Uzoka explained to the investors that the bank recorded impressive growths achieved across major financial lines, recording a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved CASA ratio to 77 percent.

In its results for the year end December 2018, UBA gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review

Throwing more light on the financials, he stated that gross earnings grew by 7% year-on-year, despite regulation and market conditions undermined the non-interest income line. Interest income, which contributed 73% of gross earnings, grew by 11%, driven by strong interest income on treasuries, reflecting the low-risk appetite and treasury-led strategy adopted during the year. He noted that the lower non-interest income was occasioned by market condition and regulatory impact on FX trading income, adding that growing volume on FX trading is compensating for lower margin on this business, thus reinforcing our positive growth expectation on this income line in 2019.

While speaking on the strength of the financial institution in the coming years, especially on the back of it’s African and non-African subsidiaries, Uzoka said the bank’s recent foray into key markets and economies remain a milestone that will catapult the institution in the coming years.

He said, “UBA is a unique pan-African franchise with diversified risk and earnings across fast growing African economies with sound governance, risk management and compliance culture which can be seen from our adherence to international best practice. Our robust digital banking platform through which we are leveraging technology to serve over 15 million customers in a cost efficient approach that has helped to deepen African banking penetration.

“We have the strong financial capacity backed by high capitalization (BASEL II capital ratio well above requirement) and strong liquidity, and we have worked hard towards connecting Africa and the world through our presence in key African markets and major global financial centres such as New York, London and Paris.”

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VIDEO: Seasons Greetings From Zenith Bank

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May the Blessings of this Season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and usher in a prosperous new year.

Zenith Bank wishes all its esteemed customers Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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CBN To Nigerians: Don’t Pay N50 Charges On PoS Transactions [VIDEO]

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has clarified the issue of payments of N50 charges by merchants who use Point of Sale machines for cashless transactions, insisting that nobody should pay extra on goods and services.

The CBN explained that the N50 stamp duty is a fee regulated by an act that directs merchants to pay all necessary taxes as regulated by government agencies.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Business Morning programme, the CBN Director of Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh, said the apex bank issued a circular and merchants have misinterpreted the directive.

Jimoh said: “Stamp duty has been misinterpreted, our circular that talks about merchants paying stamp duties according to the law do not say that the stamp duty should be paid by the consumer; that is a misrepresentation of CBN directive.

“What our directive says is that merchants should pay all necessary tax as regulated by government agencies, including stamp duty.

“What we told the merchants is that we would like the banks to ensure that the merchants comply with this directive by ensuring that every single payment that customers make to them, the merchants pay the regulated stamp duty of N50.

“What has happened is that they have actually transferred this fee blatantly and openly to the consumers; this is very wrong.

“No single individual should pay N50 in addition to the cost of the goods.

“Stamp duty is not to be paid by individuals that are consuming the goods and services of the merchants.

“The merchants who are receiving the money are the ones who are supposed to pay.”

Jimoh explained that because the stamp duty is not regulated by the CBN, there are no plans to stop stamp duties.

He said: “Stamp duty is not a CBN regulated fee.

“It is a fee regulated by an act and so we can’t change or push anything in that direction.

“To this end, the stamp duty remains and cannot be changed by the CBN.

“What we are doing is to ensure that the institutions we regulate (the banks) become more responsible to ensure that these fees are collected and given to the government.”

 

Video Credit: Channels TV

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BREAKING: Garba Shehu Must Go, He’s Gone Beyond His Boundaries — Aisha Buhari Declares War On Buhari’s Media Aide [Full Statement]

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The First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, has demanded the resignation of the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Hajia Buhari, who leveled a litany of accusations against Shehu, made the demand in a statement she personally signed in the early hours of Wednesday.

She accused the presidential spokesman of taking instruction from President Buhari’s cousin, Mamman Daura, in the early days of the Administration, to declare that there will not be the Office of the First Lady, a development she said embarrassed her husband.

She also accused him of releasing the video in which she had an altercation with the Daura family to the press, adding that his loyalty is not to anyone or group.

The statement, titled: “Garba Shehu Has Gone Beyond His Boundaries,” reads in full:

Nigeria’s development is hinged on the ability of public officials to execute their mandates professionally and to be shining examples in their various areas of endeavor. It is not a good sign when officials abandoned their responsibility and start clutching at straws.

As a spokesperson of the President, he has the onerous responsibility of managing the image of the President and all the good works that he is executing in the country. Rather than face this responsibility squarely, he has shifted his loyalty from the President to others who have no stake in the compact that the President signed with Nigerians on May 29, 2015, and 2019.

To make matters worse, Mr. Shehu has presented himself to these people like a willing tool and executioner of their antics, from the corridors of power even to the level of interfering with the family affairs of the President. This should not be so.

The blatant meddling in the affairs of the First Lady of a country is a continuation of the prodigal actions of those that he serves. We all remember that the chief proponent appropriated to himself and his family a part of the Presidential Villa, where he stayed for almost 4 years and when the time came for him to leave, he orchestrated and invaded my family’s privacy through a video circulated by Mamman’s Daughter, Fatima, the public was given the impression that on arrival into the country I was locked out of the villa by Mr. President. Garba Shehu as Villa Spokesperson knew the truth and had the responsibility to set the records straight, but because his allegiance is somewhere else and his loyalty misplaced, he deliberately refused to clear the air and speak for the President who appointed him in the first place. Consequently, his action has shown a complete breakdown of trust between the First Family and him.

Mr. Shehu was privy and part of the plan and its execution and he was shocked when he realized that I had publicized my return to Nigeria on October 12, 2019, and cleared the air on the many rumors that took over social media, a job he was supposed to do but kept mute to cause more confusion and instability for his Principal and his family.

Garba then, vented his anger on the National Television Authority (NTA) Management insisting that the media crew to my office must be sacked. He succeeded in getting them suspended for doing their job. I had to intervene to save the innocent staff from losing their means of livelihood by involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in order to ascertain roles played by key actors in the saga.

It is at this late hour that I recall, sadly, that it was the same Garba Shehu who claimed that the government will not allow the office of the First Lady to run. He was later to confirm to one of my aides that he was instructed to say so by Mamman Daura and not the President. This antic attracted the anger of Nigerian women. He didn’t realize the fact that First Lady’s office is a tradition that has become an institution.

Today, even without a budget, I am able to run my humanitarian programmes.

In saner climes, Garba Shehu would have resigned immediately after going beyond his boundaries and powers.

GARBA SHEHU NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR WILL NO LONGER BE TOLERATED.

The latest of his antics was to wage a war on the first family through an orchestrated media campaign of calumny by sponsoring pseudo accounts to write and defame my children and myself.

Based on Garba Shehu’s misguided sense of loyalty and inability to stay true and loyal to one person or group, it has become apparent that all trust has broken down between him and my family due to the many embarrassments he has caused the Presidency and the first family. We all have families to consider in our actions and therefore it is in the best interest of all concerned for Garba Shehu to take the advice of the authority, given to him sometimes in the first week of November 2019.

Sources in the Presidential Villa said Mallam Shehu was advised to resign at the time.

The presidential spokesman was not available for comment on Wednesday.

Shehu was said to have traveled with President Buhari to Egypt for an official function.

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