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Shareholders laud Union Bank — Nairalovers

Shareholders laud Union Bank — Nairalovers

By Taofik Salako, Deputy Bus. Editor

Shareholders on Tuesday commended the board and management of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc for continuing profitability of the first generation bank despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

At the 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday in Lagos, shareholders approved the audited report and accounts of the bank for the year ended December 31, 2020 amid commendations for the directors and staff of the bank.

Shareholders also approved the recommended dividend of 25 Kobo per share while applauding the bank’s resilience and its focus on sustaining shareholder value.

Chairman, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Mrs. Beatrice Hamza-Bassey highlighted  the key achievements of the bank last year to include the continued focus on digital innovation for high-quality service delivery across touch points as well as its multipronged approach to supporting the fight against COVID-19.

She noted that in the face of the lockdowns and disruptions caused by COVID-19, the bank pivoted to remote work for over 70 per cent of its employees at the height of the pandemic, owing to strategic investments in digital technologies prior to the pandemic.

”Our commitment to delivering high quality earnings remains unwavering. I am pleased to announce that the bank delivered a resilient set of results in 2020 notwithstanding the challenging macroeconomic operating environment.

“Our overall performance demonstrates our resilience and ability to adapt to the constantly changing business environment to maximise shareholder returns. We remain committed to delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive growth and profitability of our business,” Hamza-Bassey said.

Major highlights of the bank’s financial performance in 2020 show that profit before tax grew by 2.8 per cent to N25.4 billion, from N24.7 billion in 2019. Customer deposits also increased by 27.6 per cent to N1,131.1 billion compared to N886.3 billion in 2019, reflecting the bank’s agility in delivering a compelling range of products to its customers during the pandemic, and increased adoption of digital channels.

In addition, non-performing loans ratio reduced to four per cent from 5.8 per cent in 2019, driven by a disciplined recoveries strategy, a more robust loan book and key restructurings to support customers during the pandemic.

Commenting on the bank’s performance for 2020 and plans for 2021, Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo noted that in 2020, despite the headwinds caused by the pandemic, Union Bank continued to deliver a strong performance that has enabled the board of directors propose a dividend payment for the second consecutive year.

According to him, the 2020 results indicated resilience and affirmed the strong foundation that was rebuilt over the past eight years.

“As we begin a new chapter, we will continue the journey to becoming a leading financial institution in Nigeria. Sustaining value to our shareholders remains at the core of our continuous drive and we remain committed to delivering improved profitability and higher returns in 2021 and beyond,” Okonkwo said.

He assured that Union Bank will continue to execute its strategy to achieve its vision of being Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.

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