Company Focus: Union Bank grosses N118.8b in Q3

Zenith, Access Banks Jostle For Union Bank Shares

Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has recorded growths across key performance indices with its gross earnings rising by six per cent to N118.8 billion in Q3 2020.

BizWatchNigeria reports that Union Bank is one financial institution that has invested heavily in customer-led products and digital channels and this led to the acquisition of over 600,000 customers, deepening its wallet share of existing customers despite the harsh operating environment in 2020 generally.

The lender, in its financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2020, disclosed that its gross earnings rose from N111.9 billion recorded in third quarter 2019 to N118.8 billion in third quarter 2020.

Interest income had increased marginally from N84.9 billion to N85.4 billion. Net interest income before impairment rose by 15 per cent to N41.7 billion as against N36.4 billion in third quarter 2019, driven by increase in earnings assets and lower interest expense.

The report also showed that non-interest income rose by 23 per cent from N27.1 billion to N33.4 billion, driven largely by increased trading income and asset revaluation gains. Net operating income inched up from N68.7 billion to N69.3 billion. Operating expenses was flat at N53.4 billion in 2020 as against N53.2 billion in 2019. Profit before tax inched up by two per cent from N15.5 billion to N15.9 billion.

The balance sheet showed that gross loans rose by 14 per cent to N678 billion by September 2020 from N595.3 billion in December 2019, which the bank attributed to the impact of its targeted lending to the real sector. Customer deposits also increased by 28 per cent to N1.1 trillion by September 2020 as against N886.3 billion in December 2019.

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Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, said the results reflected increasing customer loyalty amid intense retail drive.

According to the CEO of Union Bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa, this achievement “reflects increasing customer loyalty and our intense retail drive. Our customer acquisition strategy has been reinforced by the versatility of our digital platforms and channels which continue to drive customer satisfaction.”

According to him, the bank’s customer acquisition strategy has been reinforced by the versatility of its digital platforms and channels which continue to drive customer satisfaction.

While acknowledging cautious extension of credit to the real sector, he said the bank would continue to explore bankable lending opportunities in the Nigerian economy guided by its robust risk management practices.

“The civil unrest which erupted in October and led to significant destruction of property and small businesses across the country, will have real impact on business and the operating environment; and even as restrictions have eased, Covid-19 also remains a present threat in our day to day operations.

“Heading into the final stretch in 2020, our overarching commitment is to the health and wellbeing of our employees and the safety of our customers. Showing up for our communities is also at the core of who we are and therefore we will work with our partners and through our corporate citizenship initiatives to support individuals, businesses and our communities where we operate as we begin to rebuild and heal as a country,” Emuwa said.

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Chief Financial Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Joe Mbulu noted that the bank’s asset quality has continued to improve with non-performing loans (NPLs) down to 3.6 per cent from 5.8 per cent as at December 2019, supported by ongoing efforts to diversify loan book to include viable businesses and households.

“Our Capital Adequacy Ratio remains robust at 19.5 per cent, well above the regulatory threshold. With the $40 million financing secured from the International Finance Corporation for on-lending to trade finance customers, we are continuing to expand our funding engagements with DFIs to support our strategic business initiatives.

“For the rest of the year, we remain focused on our business priorities in the face of the Covid-19 challenge and will continue to leverage increasing customer loyalty, stronger digital platforms and channels as well as solid risk management structure to deliver on our objectives,” Mbulu said.

About Author

Oputah David is a Mass Communication graduate with a master's degree in Organisational Behaviour and another in Mass Communication. He is also a Bloomberg trained Financial journalist with an interest in markets and the economy. He can be reached via – [email protected]

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