UBA extends operation to UAE with DIFC

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has extended its operations to the United Arab Emirates with the official launch of its new branch at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

UBA, which is known as Africa’s global bank, until the latest expansion of its operation had for over seven decades, operated in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

The UBA (DIFC Branch) would operate under the Category 4 licence and would be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The UBA branch in the DIFC would service corporate & financial Institutions and customers across the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.

Through this new expansion, the UBA Group would be able to harness opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of three billion and a nominal GDP of $7.7 trillion and thereby, reinforce its strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.

Speaking during the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai recently, the Chairman, UBA Group, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, explained that with the Group’s foray into the Gulf Region, UBA continues to focus on its strategic intent to lead the way when it comes to doing business in Africa.

He said “Collaborating with our franchises in 20 African countries and the major financial centres of London, New York and Paris, UBA (DIFC Branch) will facilitate the financing of trade transactions between the Middle East and Africa, enabling trade finance and investments.

“We have been looking forward to this day as it is the first time we will have presence in this part of the world. We know that our international expansion is incomplete if we are not present in the gulf.

“So, today, we are now formally in four continents across the globe and serving over 35 million customers and still growing. Today also shows that UBA is also a strong franchise and we are expanding our reach across the world.

“We are considering other locations that would complement what we are doing. This is just the beginning. On behalf of every one in UBA and our customers that made this happen because without them we would not achieve much, we say thank you to them and thank you to the authorities of UAE for granting us this authorisation to operate.”

According to Elumelu, who is also the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), pointed out that UBA is the only bank with Nigerian origin that has extended out of Nigeria to the UAE.

“All others have come through other locations and it shows the strength and respect that the authorities in Dubai have for UBA. We are always very deliberate in executing our strategy. We have a long-term view, but we take them one step at a time.

“That is why you have seen consistent progress by UBA. It is not common to find enterprises with that kind of pedigree.”

Also, UBA’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who also spoke at the event said: “Today, we are formally on four continents across the globe, operating in 24 countries, serving over 35 million customers and still growing.

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