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HOW PRUDENCE, RISK MANAGEMENT SAVED UBA

BY IYANU OLUWAJOMILOJU

Tony Elumelu, Chairman, UBA Plc, has told shareholders at the recent Annual General Meeting, AGM that UBA’s strong performance in 2015 reflects efficiency gains, prudence and best practice in risk management.

“We recorded N315 billion in gross earnings, a 10% growth when compared to 2014 earnings. This was achieved in spite of relatively weak liquidity in the Nigerian foreign exchange market, which reduced foreign currency related business and income lines. Our Bank offset the macroeconomic challenges with improved customer service and balance sheet efficiency” Elumelu said.

Elumelu further revealed that the bank successfully managed its costs throughout the year, “thus preserving earnings to deliver a profit before tax of N68.5 billion, which translates to 22% growth over our performance in 2014”.

He however warned that developments in financial technology is changing the game in the financial industry, lowering operating costs and broad customer reach and becoming major disruptors within the banking industry. However, he gave the assurance that UBA is a part of the leading technology change agents, and thus well positioned to benefit from the brave new world offered by advancements in technology. He stressed that leading new technology and innovation is a part of the UBA Group’s DNA.

Also speaking at the AGM, Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director and CEO, UBA Plc, explained that management rigorously identified and eliminated fats in the system, improved on contract negotiations, eliminated overlapping functions and structures and continued to leverage technology in its operations, particularly in servicing its over 8 million customers through low cost service channels, which ensured it delivered improved performance to shareholders.

On the bank’s operations in Africa, Kennedy Uzoka the group DMD assured shareholders that UBAs African subsidiaries are growing stronger and the group has a target to increase Africa’s contribution to the Group’s profit to over 25% in 2016 from 24% in 2015, without undermining the positive outlook on Nigeria, where he expects to see positive growth from imminent implementation of the 2016 budget.

Uzoka said that UBA market share is increasing in most of its target markets, as it grows loans and deposits in double digits across most of its operations in Africa.