Addressing shareholders at an annual general meeting in Lagos, the Chairman of Union Bank, Cyril Odu said the bank’s Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratio has declined to 8.1 percent in December 2018 from 20.8 percent as at December 2017.
Union Bank also announced that its Return on Tangible Equity (ROTE) improved to 9.6 percent from 6.2 percent in 2017, demonstrating long-term shareholder value enhancement.
Odu said the lender is well-positioned to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the economy. He revealed that “we have positioned Union Bank to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the economy and remain optimistic about the future of the Bank. We will execute our 2019-2021 strategic objectives- Sweating our Assets, Digitising our Bank, and Positioning for the Future- towards being Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted banking partner”.
He added that “we will focus on embedding disciplined cost management as well as mining synergies across business segments and functions to improve the profitability of our business and deliver value to all our stakeholders – shareholders, customers, business partners’ and employees”.
Odu said some major achievements by the bank in 2018 include strengthening retail and transaction banking offerings, and the launch of the first Local Letter of Credit to support local trade. He said there was also the launch of the inaugural 13.5 billion naira Bond issue, and the adoption of the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology- the first bank to do so in Nigeria.
Odu said highlights of the group’s financial performance in 2018 showed that profit before tax grew by 33 percent to 18.5 billion naira from 13.9 billion naira in 2017.
Customer deposits also went up by seven percent to 857.6 billion naira compared to 802.4 billion naira in 2017, continuing its upward trajectory since 2016; an indication of consumers’ growing confidence in the brand.
The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Emuwa, who also spoke on the bank’s performance, said “our priorities in 2018 were three pronged; enhancing our productivity across board; tightening up our loan portfolio (especially resolving key large exposures, which drove NPLs up significantly at the end of 2017); and optimising the Bank’s capital and funding base”.
Emuwa assured that “in 2019, we will double-down on our productivity efforts to deliver our financial targets. We are harnessing synergies across our business segments to ensure we maximise opportunities across entire value chains, while centralising key business and operational functions for better efficiency, and prioritising customer experience across all our touch points”.