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Union Bank launches smarter banking center, holds AGM

By NAN

SHAREHOLDERS of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, yesterday approved the


banks 2014 annual accounts and board recommendations at the 46th Annual
General Meeting (AGM) of the bank. In line with its efforts to build simpler,
smarter bank, the management and directors of the bank also launched a new
smarter banking center at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja.

The smarter banking center is designed for technology savvy customers who
want quick, easy, on-the-go banking. The bank is expected to roll out three
more centers in Lagos in June and more than ten centers around the country
before the end of the year. Addressing shareholders at the AGM, the
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma highlighted
significant achievements of the bank in 2014 which included: embedding a

new business model focused on retail, commercial and corporate banking;


strengthening organizations capabilities through a culture enhancement
program and upskilling of employees; and the establishment of a central
processing center. According to Senator Udoma, [These achievements] have
positioned us on the right trajectory to ensure sustained revenue and profit
growth, which will ultimately grow shareholder value, and thus adequately
position UBN to regain its position as one of the leading banks in Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, while reviewing the banks
2014 performance said, The Bank experienced 28% growth in net operating
income from N60.9 billion in 2013 to N77.9 billion, while the Group
experienced 34% growth from N63.9 billion in 2013 to N85.7 billion in 2014
largely due to one-time events. The Bank grew profit before tax by N16 billion,
closing the year with N20.7 billion, up from N4.2 billion in 2013, while the
Group closed at N27.7 billion, up from N3.8 billion in 2013. While one-off gains
of N6.3 billion from sale of subsidiaries added significant boost to profits, we
were able to grow profitability from our core operations, combined with our
effective cost management initiatives which stabilized our costs, and kept
expenses flat year-on-year. This led to a cost-to-income ratio improvement
from 74% in 2013 to 68% in 2014 for the Bank, and from 75% to 63% for the
Group (net of restructuring costs). In conclusion, Mr. Emuwa said, Our
balance sheet remains strong with total assets of the Bank and Group closing
the year at N920.9 billion and N1, 009 billion respectively. We are pleased to
say that we improved Shareholder value by increasing Return on Average
Equity from 3% in 2013 to 10% in 2014 for the Bank and from 2% in 2013 to
13% in 2014 for the Group. Earnings per Share improved from 30 kobo to 121
kobo in 2014 for the Bank and from 37 kobo to 157 kobo in 2014 for the
Group. Mr. Emuwa also highlighted Union Banks priorities for 2015 which
includes proactive risk management; driving low cost deposits by leveraging
new business model; effective cost management and proactive capital
management to ensure regulatory compliance and effective utilization of
capital.