By Modupe Gbadeyanka
One of Nigeria’s long-standing and most respected financial institutions, Union Bank Plc yesterday announced its unaudited results for the nine months ended September 30, 2017.
However, the lender suffered a profit loss during the period, posting N12.4 billion profit after tax in the period under review compared with N13 billion in the same period of last year.
Also, its profit before tax went down by 2 percent to N13 billion from N13.3 billion a year ago, while the net Income is appreciated by 7 percent and the operating expenses increased by 10 percent.
In addition, the interest income rose by 22 percent to N88.5 billion from N72.3 billion in the first nine months of 2016). This was driven mostly by the 23 percent growth in average gross loans from N412 billion for 9M 2016 to N507 billion for 9M 2017.
Furthermore, the net interest income after impairment appreciated by 16 percent to N40.9 billion from N35.2 billion in 9M 2016.
Impairment went down by 53 percent to N6 billion from N12.9 billion recorded 12 months ago with the coverage ratio strengthened to 203 percent as at September 30, 2017, from 182 percent as at December 2016.
Non-interest revenue declined by 6 percent to N21 billion from N22.5 billion in 9M 2016; excluding nonrecurring Naira devaluation gain of N4.7 billion in 9M 2016, 9M 2017 improved by 18 percent.
Operating expenses went up by 10 percent at N49 billion from N44.6 billion in 9M 2016; with the increase driven largely by double-digit inflation amid continued capital investments in technology and Naira devaluation.
Also, the gross loans went down by 5 percent to N508.6 billion from N535.8 billion in Dec 2016, while customer deposits increased by 17 percent to N767.9 billion from N658.4 billion in December 2016).
These initiatives boosted its gross earnings, which went up by 16 percent to N109.5 billion N94.8 billion in 9M 2016).
According to the lender, this was driven by a customer-centric product suite, a revamped digital platform and the launch of a new advertising campaign, which delivered 63 percent YTD increase in new-to-bank customers in 2017.
Union Bank said it remains on course to deliver on its key objectives in 2017.
As previously announced, the bank’s plans to raise N50 billion in tier 1 capital through a rights issue formally opened on September 20 and closed on October 30.
The capital increase supports the Bank’s short to medium term growth objectives as it looks to re-position itself as one of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks. The new capital will also ensure the bank maintains a strong buffer above regulatory capital adequacy requirements.
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Union Bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa, remarked that, “We remain encouraged by the results of our customer acquisition strategy, as customers continue to respond to our targeted market offerings and increased brand awareness, following the debut of a new advertising campaign to support the launch of Union Bank’s new digital platform, including our revamped mobile banking app and *826#, our SMS banking platform.
“Customer deposits are up 17 percent from December 2016 to close the period at N767.9 billion. Group Gross Earnings, at N109.5bn, reflect a 16 percent growth compared to the period ended September 30, 2016.
“However, a challenging macro-operating environment, characterised by double-digit inflation, continues to create headwinds for businesses, constrict consumer purchasing power and pressure operating expenses as well as portfolio quality.
“Consequently, core pre-tax earnings for the period were marginally lower at N13 billion compared to N13.3 billion in 9M 2016.
“With the N50 billion capital raise underway, we remain focused on our strategic priorities and expect this new capital to deliver the momentum needed to accelerate the pace of our business growth.”
Speaking further on the numbers, Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Oyinkan Adewale said, “The Group’s net interest income after impairments improved significantly by 16 percent from N35.2 billion to N40.9 billion compared to the period ended September 30, 2016.
“Non-interest income is down by 6 percent compared to 9M 2016, which included one-time revaluation gains.
“With our continued focus on early problem recognition and prudent provisioning, our coverage ratio has strengthened to 203 percent as at September 30, 2017, from 182 percent as at December 2016.
“The impact of Naira devaluation, coupled with the inflationary environment, has pressured our cost-to-income ratio, especially as we continue to make investments in technology critical to our long-term business strategy.
“We are confident that these investments will deliver the expected cost benefits in the medium term. We also expect improved capital adequacy and higher revenues, fuelled by N50 billion of new capital.
Standard Chartered Introduces Smart Business Loan
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A credit facility package targeted at small business owners in Nigeria called Smart Business Loan (SBL) has been introduced by Standard Chartered Bank.
The product was designed to help players in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector meet their short to medium-term needs. It is an unsecured instalment/term loan to business banking clients within key target sectors.
A statement from the lender explained that qualified business banking clients will be able to access up to N20 million loan without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase assets, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
The maximum tenor for the credit facility is two years, Business Post gathered.
Before now, customers were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank’s business banking segment but SBL provides the necessary flexibility to its clients.
“As a bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” the Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking (CPBB), at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mr David Idoru, stated.
“Within our CPBB, the promotion of commerce is largely done through our business banking segment by banking SMEs.
“We are constantly looking for ways to ensure our clients get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive and SBL provides the necessary flexibility for business growth,” Mr Idoru added.
DLM Capital Praises Employees for Global Finance Award
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Employees of DLM Capital Group, a leading developmental investment bank in Nigeria, have been applauded for the award received by the company recently.
DLM Capital was named the Best Development Finance Company Nigeria 2021 by the Global Banking and Finance Review magazine.
The honour was in recognition of the institution’s dedication to providing leadership and excellence in Nigeria’s development finance space.
While commenting on the award, the Head of Investment Banking at DLM Capital, Mr Emeka Ngene, said the honour was made possible as a result of the continuous collaboration of the DLM community.
“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from such a prestigious body as Global Banking and Finance Awards.
“We are pleased to be associated with this award which speaks to our dedication and hard work in addition to the expertise and innovative solutions we have implemented over the years.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to designing and implementing developmental funding solutions for the development of the country.
“We are therefore dedicating this award to our team for their continuous support in ensuring that DLM Capital thrives in its pursuit to push the frontiers of developmental capital market solutions in the Nigerian financial ecosystem.
“We are delighted once again to have been identified for our accomplishments among other players across the continent,” he stated.
Since 2011, the Global Banking & Finance Awards has honoured companies that stand out in their various areas of expertise in the banking and finance industry, thereby recognizing the accomplishments and significant revolutions that emerge every year within the global finance community.
Ecobank Offers Back-to-School Loan Packages to Parents
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The desire to ease the financial burdens of parents and guardians as regards the payment of school fees of their children and wards for the 2021/2022 school year has made Ecobank Nigeria come up with affordable loan packages.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, explained that the introduction of the credit facility is in line with the lender’s overall strategy to support the development of the nation’s education sector.
A statement from the financial institution disclosed that the loan packages were designed under its back-to-school initiatives and are also available to school owners through special infrastructure loans.
“As a bank that has the interest of its customers at heart especially at this period when schools resume, we understand the importance of education. Children deserve to go to school and we are making it easy for parents to provide them with this basic right,” she said.
Speaking specifically on the loans available for the educational institutions, she noted that they could be accessed without bottlenecks as the bank has taken into cognisance the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi urged schools to appoint the bank as their preferred financial institution for payments and collections, noting that Ecobank has demonstrated pedigree and expertise in fees collection, locally and internationally.
She further encouraged schools and individuals that are yet to open Ecobank accounts to do so in order to access the offers available.
The banker also said Ecobank’s digital offerings are targeted at reducing the financial burden on parents, students and schools, and also facilitating the ease of payment of fees without hassles.
She listed the digital offerings to include Ecobank Mobile App, EcobankPay and Ecobank Online for contactless fees payment; personal loans and salary advance packages at competitive interest rates, international transfers for offshore school fees payment and affordable remittance offerings.
Mrs Demola-Adeniyi also noted that families abroad who wish to send money home to help with fees can do so at zero charges on the Rapidtransfer app.
The bank has also provided the banking-for-school pack for educational institutions to access working capital and loans. The features of this pack include easy fee collections, zero charges on collection accounts with EcobankPay, secure online banking with Omni Lite and cards for easy payments.
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