By Stephen Ubanna
Between 2014 and now , the United Bank of Africa, UBA, popular, Pan African Bank For Africa, UBA plc, under the close watch of Kennedy Uzoka, had won various awards from different organisations : This Day, The SUN, and the Nigerian Tribune. The latest to give such awards to the Pan African Bank is Business Day, a Lagos, based Media outfit.
The Newspaper House award Committee may have been watching over the activities the pan African since the beginning of the year and the subsequent outbreak of the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular , COVID 19, last March.
Unlike other Corporate Organisations which spent huge amounts of money to Organisations to lobby their way to be given such awards in the past in order to give their teeming million of Customers the impression that they have a financially solid Bank which they could rely on despite the harsh economic environment but the situation is different with the Kennedy Uzoka led UBA plc, which had continued to receive unsolicited award .
In this year’s Business Day Bank and other Financial Institutions award Ceremony , which was held last weekend in Lagos, the Uzoka , led UBA, according to an eyewitness account had won the BAFI bank of the Year and the International Bank of the Year Award categories, amidst cheers from the guests. The Awards may have come to the Uzoka led UBA PLC, Management as a shock, considering the harsh operating environment because of the year s .
The Pan African Bank was said to have beaten other major contenders for the Bank of the Year and International Bank of the Year awards like Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, popular, GTB, and Access Bank, described as being among the big five, in Financial circles, to clinch the Awards in the well- attended Ceremony by people from all walks of live including Captains of industries and top officials of the big banks.
The sound, ‘’we are delighted to announce that winner of the Bank of the Year award and the winner is UBA plc, may have forced Ayoku Ladi, the Bank, Deputy Managing Director , to walked to the stage to the stage to receive the Award on behalf of the Bank.
The Bank was said to have emerged the winner of the Bank of the Year award category ‘’ in recognition of its consistent outstanding performance in the nation’s banking industry’’ using composite and Financial metrics , strategic foresight, technological innovations , discipline, governance, worls class and global vision to outshine its competitors’’.
The Bank was said to have also won the BAFI, International Bank of the Year Award , which was said to have been a keenly contested category by the big banks including First of Nigeria, FBN, Holdings, that pitches Nigerian Financial Institutions that have expanded their operations in the African Continent and other major cities in Europe United Kingdom, UK, Asia and the North American country of the United States, US, against their international competitors across the Continent.
An elated Ladi, the Bank , Deputy Managing, who could not hide his feelings said , ‘’the awards marked another milestone for the UBA Group, stressing that ‘’it is a testament of execution of the bank’s strategic initiatives on Customer service,’’. The UBA Deputy Group Managing Director, had said that ‘’being recognized as Nigeria’s best bank complements the positive feedback from , both within and outside country, and a recognition of its improving efficiencies , service quality, and innovations’’.
This may have informed why he had dedicated the award to the bank growing loyal Corporate Customers, described as its backbone in the industry. Ayoku had stated that, ‘’given the bank heritage Commitment to Africa’s development, it will continue to impact on lives through its well- articulated services as well as funding to individuals and the government’’.
The UBA PLC Deputy Managing Director could beat his chest that as the best performing bank in the country, it will remain ’’focussed on its goal of democratising banking in Africa, and leveraging on its new technologies to change the narrative of Financial services across the African Continent.
Given reasons for honouring UBA plc, with the two BAFI key awards, Frank Aigbogun, the Business Day, Publisher, noted that the Uzoka led bank has excelled in the key areas of prioritizing Customers. Explaining the rationale being the Pan African bank winning the prestigious Bank of the Year and International Bank of the Year awards, the Media outfit, which is in a better position to know the banks that are doing well or not, had Corroborated the views of the award Committee, that t’’ the bank stood out in in prioritizing Customers as has been evident in the significant rise in the Customer deposits which had risen astronomically by 35.7% to N5.2 trillion , up from the N3.8 trillion at the end of the 2019, Financial year.
He opined that even though ‘’Africa’s economic land scape had been unpredictable in the recent times, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, which had resulted in the recession in the country and some of the African best performing economies, like South Africa and Kenya, ‘’the bank still found its rhythm and excelled’’.
According to him, ‘’only the diversified and innovative of regional Banks that can survive in this trying times’’ and UBA plc , fall into that category. He noted that the bank may have scooped the BAFI 2020, Best Bank of the Year, a testament of its resilience.
There is no gainsaying the fact the bank is currently offering banking services to over twenty-one million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and Customer touch points in 20 African countries, with presence in in the United States,, UK, and France.
It is instructive to note that the Money Deposit Bank is connecting people and businesses across Africa through its Commercial and Corporate Banking, innovative Cross-border payments, remittance and ancillary banking services.