United Bank for Africa (UBA) has assured that strategic actions and investments over the years have strengthened the capacity of the bank to sustain impressive growths in the years ahead.
At the annual general meeting held recently in Lagos, the bank reaffirmed its commitment to continuously improve shareholders’ returns and value creation for all stakeholders, having established a diversified business model that ensures impressive performance even in periods of uncertainty, across its geographical network.
Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, who addressed shareholders at the meeting and others who joined virtually across the globe, said the bank has made strategic decisions that will strengthen its resolve to earn the industry leadership that it has envisioned in Nigeria, Africa and globally.
According to him, the bank remains committed to ensuring its viability amid an ever-changing business environment and to continue be a role model for African businesses by showcasing the best of Africa to the world.
“The work we have done in strengthening our governance structures group-wide and in improving our business and operating models in 2020 positions our bank to benefit from these recovery trends and to achieve significant market share gains across our operations,” Elumelu said.
He noted that the bank spearheaded strategic investments in digital banking and technology platforms to further promote self-service banking while also focusing on enhancing the capabilities of people through various online capacity development programmes.
He pointed out that the group’s African operations, excluding Nigeria, contributed approximately 55 per cent to the group’s profits in 2020, illustrating that the group is truly a pan-African banking group.
Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of UBA for the year ended December 31, 2020 showed that gross earnings rose by 10.8 per cent to N620.4 billion in 2020 compared with N559.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. The bank’s total assets also grew by 37 per cent to N7.7 trillion in 2020. Despite the challenging business environment during the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant effect on economies globally, the bank’s profit before tax rose to N131.9 billion compared with N111.3 billion in 2019. Profit after tax rose by 27.7 per cent to N113.8 billion compared with N89.1 billion in 2019.
On the cost side, operating expenses grew by 10.1 per cent to N249.8 billion, as against N217.2 billion in 2019, well below average inflation rate of 13.2 per cent for the year, thus reflecting the bank’s cost effectiveness.
The balance sheet also showed that UBA recorded a remarkable 24 per cent growth in loans to customers at to N2.6 trillion while customer deposits increased by 48.1 per cent to N5.7 trillion, compared with N3.8 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2019, reflecting increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business transformation programme and the further deepening of its retail banking franchise.