By Elizabeth Chukwuma
It was a great Saturday , May 1, 2021, at the well-attended Independent newspapers award winning event at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, as the top echelons of the financial sector including Bank, chief Executive Officers, CEOs, Captains of Industries and other senior financial executives were seated awaiting for the programme to start to know the award winners.
Officials of the United Bank Ffor Africa, UBA plc, popular, Pan African Bank, may have honoured the invitation extended to the Bank by the Organisers of the weekend event like other Bankers.The UBA plc, officials, may have attended the Independent Newspapers event without any inclination that their Bank would be nominated the Bank of the Year, 2020.
But a Banker who spoke to The Value News said it would be wrong for the Pan African Bank not to be be honoured with the 2020 Bank of the Year award by the Independent Newspapers because of the excellent performance of the Bank during the 2020 fiscal year.
The Banker noted that if Zenith Bank plc, Guaranty Trust Bank, popular, GTB, or First Bank plc or any other Bank was selected as the Bank of the Year ,2020 , it would not enjoy wide acceptance, describing it as’’ a Bank of many firsts’’.
. The Banker who could not hide his feelings disclosed despite the COVID 19, which had forced many Banks to scale down their operations, it brought out the best in UBA plc Staff , as they were able to position it that it could could compete with any other International Bank in any part of the world .
He gave some statiscal figures to The Magazine that makes the Bank a no match to the Banks. According to him, the Bank currently have over 270 shareholders, noting about 70% of them are holding between 10,000 Ordinary shares ad above. He disclosed that it is one of the most actively traded stocks at the Nigerian Stock Market and a major influence in the traditionally most active Banking sector.
He confrmed that a total of 6.95 million shares of the Bank were traded at the stock market in 2020 alone while the Bank’s shares rose by 21%, which is more than a double of the average return of 10% traded at the NSE Banking index.
In spite of the fact that 2020 was a difficult year because of the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19, the Bank’s performance was said to have stood out. The Deposit base, as reported in the Bank’s audited account rose to N131.9 billion while the Profit After Tax, PAT, rose to NN13.8bilion., The Bank’s earnings in the twelve months of 2020, an insider said, was N620.4 billion but the interest on income stood at N259.47 billion.
As a leading Pan-African financial institution, with over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries and presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA,, Financial analysts said is obviously ‘’connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services’’.
This may have informed why the Pan African bank was announced as the winner of the coveted award at the Independent Newspapers glamorous event. In presenting the awards to the bank, DonOkere, the Editor, Independent Newspapers, confirmed people’s impression that UBA, has excelled in the key areas of prioritising customers, which, according to him, has’’ earned the bank the highly coveted laurel’’. He explained that the bank had stood out in prioritising customers and improving its technological offerings to accommodate the growing needs of its customers.
He had presented the Bank of the Year Award to the Bank’s Directorate Head, Lagos Island, Uzoechina Molokwu who was said to have represented Liadi Ayoku, the Deputy Managing Director had received the award on behalf of the bank.
An elated Ayoku who could not hide his feelings over the Independent Newspapers Bank of the Year award to the Bank had expressed his delight on the recognition. Hear him: ‘These awards mark another milestone for the UBA Group and a testament of the diligent execution of the bank’s strategic initiatives on customer service.
‘’ He opined that for being recognised as Bank of the Year by the Media House, complements the positive feedback from customers and is a recognition of the improving efficiencies, service delivery quality and innovation’. “I dedicate this award to the Bank growing loyal corporate and retail customers, who are our essence’’, he declared.
He stressed that given the Bank heritage and commitment to Africa’s development, it will continue to impact lives through our services as well as its financial support to individuals, businesses and government.
Ayoku, who had said that the pan-African bank would remain focused on its goal of democratising game banking in Africa, explained that it would be leveraging on its new technologies and emphasised its determination to change the narrative of financial services on the continent.