Union Bank grosses N118.8b in Q3

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

Key extracts of the nine-month report for the period ended September 30, 2020 showed that gross earnings rose from N111.9 billion recorded in third quarter 2019 to N118.8 billion in third quarter 2020. Interest income had inched up 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.

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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. The bank attributed the increase in customers deposit to gains on its investments in customer-led products and digital channels which resulted in the acquisition of over 600K new-to-bank customers and deepening of wallet share of existing customers.

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 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.

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“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.

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.