By Emmanuel Uffot
UBA Group Launches Full Banking Operations in UK : l-r: CEO, UBA UK, Mr. Patrick Gutmann; GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka; President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Group Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu; President, Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah; and CEO, UBA Africa, Mr. Victor Osadolor at the launch of UBA UK in London
February 28 , 2019 was another milestone for the foremost first generation bank, United Bank for Africa, UBA Group as it launched full banking operations in London, United Kingdom.
The launched of the UBA banking operations in London is coming barely three weeks after the UBA Group inaugurated its commercial banking operations in Mali.
The event at the global financial city of London witnessed a gathering of business and public sector leaders as the new UBA franchise, UBA UK was formally birthed in the United Kingdom amidst high expectations.
At the ceremony held at The Prestigious Shard in the city of London, the UBA UK was formerly introduced to business leaders and captains of industries across Europe and Africa with a commitment from the UBA Group of its readiness to galvanise trade and commerce between Europe and Africa.
The formal launch of UBA London is sequel to the authorization of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for UBA UK Limited to carry out full scale wholesale banking across the United Kingdom.
With this launch, UBA Group further consolidates its unique positioning as the first and only Sub-Saharan African financial institution with banking operations in both the United Kingdom and the United States, thus reinforcing its strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the world.
Speaking at the event, the Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu said the Group is excited by the authorization of the relevant regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom for UBA to upgrade its operation and further fulfill its aspiration of deepening trade and investments flows between Africa and Europe.
“The enhancement of our business in the United Kingdom is very timely and mutually beneficial for African and European corporate world as well as respective governments. With the British and other European governments seeking new and improved measures to grow trade relations with Africa, we are enthusiastic on our positioning and capabilities in supporting corporate and government institutions to fulfill these lofty aspirations, which we believe are pertinent for the sustainable growth of both continents.”
Elumelu expressed his happiness that UBA is living up to its mantra of being Africa’s global bank and positioning itself to support investors in key financial centres across the world.
Also speaking at the event, The Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, noted that the feat has placed UBA Group as a gateway for European and African corporate world and institutions to access Africa. “UBA Group is the most efficient gateway for European corporate institutions to access Africa, given the bank’s expansive network across most impact markets on the continent and its deep knowledge of the business terrains in Africa”. He further added that UBA was simultaneously serving the trade and capital needs of its African customers, who are seeking exposure to the European markets. “With the upgrade of UBA UK Limited, we are excited to deepen our support to existing customers whilst also providing the leverage for new customers to effectively fulfill their cross-border transactions through UBA Group’s network.”
Also speaking at the epoch event, the CEO, UBA UK, Mr. Patrick Gutmann, said with the opening of full banking operations in the UK the branch was in a stronger footing to enhance business models to swell the bank capital and balance sheet “We are now on a stronger footing, as the authorization of the PRA and FCA for an enhanced business model affords us the opportunity to swell our capital and balance sheet as well as the broader UBA Group’s network across Africa. We welcome our existing and new customers to this new world of borderless opportunities, as we creatively serve our customers in meeting their international transaction needs.”
A roll call of guests at the event included the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E Shaukat Aziz, Rt Hon Lord Anthony Tudor St. John, Member of the British House of Lords and Executive Committee Member of the All Party Africa Group, amongst many others.
A sight attraction of the event was the musical performances of one of Africa’s leading pop star Oladapo Oyebanjo popularly known as Dbanj as well as Star boy and Whiz Kid.
United Bank for Africa (UK) Limited, previously named UBA Capital (Europe) Limited offers a full suite of treasury services, cash management, correspondent banking, corporate lending and wholesale deposit products to professionals and eligible counterparties. In addition, UBA (UK) Limited offers all aspects of structured and trade finance; issuance, acceptance, confirmation and refinancing of Letters of Credit of different variations, including SBLCs.
The opening of the UK Branch of UBA is one of the giant strides of the Group Managing Director of UBA Mr Kennedy Uzoka since assumption of office in 2016.
The bank currently operates in 20 African countries and currently has presence in the United States of America and France.
UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949. The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank provides services to over15 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches, customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms.
The bank took the industry by storm last year with the introduction of a first in kind chat banking product Leo which is just one of the innovation the Group Managing Director of UBA Kennedy Uzoka has introduced to transform the bank in this digital era since assumption of office August 2016.
Apart from Leo e-banking product, the bank has over the years churned out array of products to the banking public in its over 70 years of banking operation.
The roll call include, UBA Email Moni, UBA Video Banking, UBA Secure Pass, UBA Internet Banking, UBA Mobile Banking, U-Mobile, the country’s first mobile money services which enables a customer operates account with mobile phone and UBA Magic Banking, a full- fledged banking platform which is enabled by dialing *919# within Nigeria.
Also in the array of UBA products are three trades – related products which it launched in 2010 namely AfriCard, Afritrade and AfriCash.
The innovative products and services of the bank have brought it many awards over the years both internationally and in Nigeria. Prominent among this is The Asian Banker Technology Innovation Awards in 2017.