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UBA Group Starts Strong in 2018, Grows Profits to N26.6Bn in Q1

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United Bank for Africa Group (UBA, Pan African financial institution, has released its unaudited first quarter results, showing significant growth across major income lines.

 

Following a sterling performance in the 2017 financial year, UBA Group delivered another impressive 18% percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings in the first three months of 2018.

 

Leveraging on strong growth in both interest and non-interest income, UBA grew top-line to N119.4 billion in the first three months of the year, ending March 31st 2018 and the Group recorded N26.6 billion in profit before tax, compared to N25.5 billion achieved in the first quarter of 2017.

 

The Group also recorded a profit after tax of N23.7 billion in the first quarter, an impressive 6.2 percent year-on-year growth compared to N22.4 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2017. The group sustained its strong profitability recording an annualized 18% Return on Average Equity (RoAE).

 

Driven by an 18% year-on-year growth in interest income, UBA Group recorded an 18% percent year-on-year growth in gross earnings to close at N119.4 billion for the three months period ending March 2018, compared to N101.2 billion recorded in the first three months of the year 2017.

Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO of UBAKennedy Uzoka

Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Group Managing Director/CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, expressed satisfaction with the Bank’s impressive performance in the first quarter of 2018, despite intensifying competition and moderation in yield environment in Nigeria and Ghana.

 

“This set of first quarter result is a good start to the year and a reflection of our capacity to sustainably grow earnings over the medium to long term. We recorded 18% growth in gross earnings, as both interest and non-interest income grew 18% and 19% respectively. Notwithstanding the moderation in sovereign yield in Nigeria and Ghana, we achieved a 60bps improvement in net interest margin (NIM) to 7.6%, as we extract efficiency gains from balance sheet management,” Uzoka said.

 

“I am particularly pleased with the 8% year-to-date growth in our retail deposit, as it reflected the benefit of improved customer service and continued customer acquisition. We are committed to exceeding our 2018 deposit growth target in the year, with strategic focus on retail, low cost savings and current accounts, which is critical to sustaining our NIM uptrend,” he explained.

 

He said, “We are committed to responsible lending, as we seek to maintain our asset quality. We achieved a 40bps year-on-year savings in cost of risk, a reflection of the quality of our loan portfolio.

 

He expressed confidence on the steady recovery of the Nigerian economy and improving fundamentals of most African countries, where the bank operates.

 

Uzoka emphasized the increasing relevance of its African operations to its bottom line, adding that, “Reflecting our market share gain, we have grown the balance sheet by 6% in the first three months of the year, as we increasingly become systemically important across the 19 other African countries, where we operate. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we look forward to sustaining this strong performance through the year, with the primary objective of delivering superior return to our shareholders.”

 

Also speaking on UBA’s financial performance and position, Ugo Nwaghodoh, Group CFO said Management is committed to delivering on the Group’s financial goals for the year.

 

He said, “We are diligently executing our priorities for the year, as we focus on profitable growth. We are making strong progress in Nigeria, where our continuous market share gain is translating into higher profit. We grew non-funded income by 20%, driven by annuity-type offerings in digital banking. Precisely, the electronic banking income grew 33% year-on-year and we recorded an impressive 40% growth in trade service income, as customers become loyal ambassadors of our enhanced service channels and customer service.”

 

Continuing, he stated, “I am pleased that our drive towards optimal scale across our subsidiary operations is progressing well. More importantly, the contribution of these foreign operations to the Group’s profit is impressively reflective of geographic diversification.

 

“We remain resolute on our determination to leverage growing scale across our foreign operations to extract further cost efficiency, with the objective of moderating our cost to income ratio. More so, our profitability in the first quarter of the year reinforces the Group’s capacity to deliver on target, as our profit for the period translates to 18% return on average equity” Nwaghodoh s

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E-Financial

Bankers, Criminals Collaborate to Clone ATM Cards- Police

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Dan Okoro, commissioner of Police, Anti-Fraud Unit, Federal Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (FCIID) Ikoyi- Lagos, has raised alarm over many cloned certificates and ATM cards in circulation.

 

Okoro raised the alarm while briefing journalists in Lagos on the discovery of some cloned certificates by a syndicate, which specialised in printing fake documents of banks, government and corporate organisations.

 

He said that the syndicate had been using the cloned documents to defraud banks, government, corporate organisations and individuals, stressing that some bank officials were collaborating with the suspects for the crime.

 

Among documents cloned by the syndicate included CBN, presidential clearance certificates, IMF and court documents.

 

“I advise members of the public against cloned certificates, ATM card and other important documents currently in circulation. I want members of the public to keep their pin numbers, passwords and ATM safe.

 

“We have some documents recovered from one suspect arrested. We are investigating the documents and some bank staffers allegedly collaborating the syndicate.

 

“It is only the bankers that have details of every deposit in the bank. Our investigation revealed that some bankers give information to the syndicate on how much customers have in every account.

“The syndicate cloned documents and transferred such money to another account, particularly, accounts with ATM cards are their easiest target.

 

“Many crimes are going on in different banks, unfortunately, the bank management will not allow the public to know about it because they want to keep their customers trust,” he said.

 

Okoro said the unit was able to detect some of the documents through the assistance of a foreign cyber security firm based in Lagos using forensic analysis equipment to unravel the identities of the syndicate members.

 

He noted that cyber crime was a global challenge, stressing that the unit was synergising with the foreign firm for capacity building for officers and men in the unit.

 

The commissioner said the suspect arrested was currently in the hospital after he collapsed during search of his house and many incriminating materials, including hard drugs were discovered.

 

“The suspect is a web site designer. He designed many of the cloned documents. We are on the trail of other members of the syndicate,” Mr Okoro said.

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NSE Wins Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced that it received the 2018 Best Use of Technology for Efficiency Award from Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards 2018 (NTITA).

The NTITA is the most celebrated industry awards for the Technology and Telecom industries attracting top decision makers in the sectors. The annual event is held to showcase excellence and celebrate the continued growth of Nigeria’s Information, Communication and Technology industry with a focus on the exceptional and innovative performance within the industry.

The award was presented by Mr Olusola Teniola, President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) to the Chief Executive Officer of The Exchange, represented by Mr Olumide Orojimi, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE at ​NTITA  Award ceremony.

According to Mr Akin Naphtal, Chairman, Organising Committee of the awards ceremony, stated that the award is in recognition of NSE’s outstanding service, innovation and tireless efforts in the industry.

“We are proud to promote success stories, technology advancement and disruption in one of the most dynamic business sectors in Nigeria. Not only do we look at businesses, but also those who have made a genuine impact on the market from within these companies”.

Commenting on the award, Mr Bola Adeeko, Head, Shared Services Division, NSE, stated that, “we are very honoured to receive this award.

This achievement is a testament to the efficiency of our service offering which is underpinned by cutting edge technology. This award will spur us to continue to provide investors and businesses with a reliable, efficient and adaptable exchange hub in Africa, to save and to access capital”.

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Senate Orders Suspension of ATM Fee, Summons Emefiele

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been told to direct all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) operating in the country to suspend the monthly N50 they charge their customers for the maintenance of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.

 

This was the resolution of the Senate on Wednesday after a lawmaker in the red chamber moved a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers’ accounts.

 

The Senate also directed its Committee on Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of Automated Teller Machine card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices.

The Senate decision was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who expressed dissatisfaction with excessive charges by Nigerian Banks.

 

Ashafa lamented that most banks have deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal, adding this is deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine.

 

According to him: “ost banks deliberately manipulated their ATM machines not to dispense more than N10,000 per withdrawal in some cases and in most cases not more than N20,000 per withdrawal at the ATM.

 

“This is a deliberate ploy to manipulate the ATM machine, which are ordinarily manufactured to dispense as much as N40,000 per transaction, in order to attract more bank charges from customers, who are forced to carry out more transactions due to the manipulated machines.”

 

Other Senator who spoke like Emmanuel Bwacha and Adeola Olamilekan kicked against excessive charges by Nigerian banks on Customers account with particular focus on the ATM.

 

The Senate also Mandated the committee on Banking to invite the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the committee in order to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of banking institutions against ordinary customers to the banks.

 

In addition, the lawmakers Urged the Customer Protection Council to be up and doing in taking up the plight of ordinary Nigerians by looking into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

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