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UBA emerges best institution in Digital Banking across Africa

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Pan-African financial services group, United Bank for Africa Plc, has once again made an addition to its growing list of enviable laurels as it was named Africa’s best bank  in the Digital category at the prestigious Euromoney awards in London.

This further lends credence to UBA’s dominance in the digital banking space. The Euromoney awards ceremony which was held on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 covers more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards and the best Banks in over 100 countries around the world, recognising institutions that have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and momentum in the markets in which they operate.

In selecting its recipients, Euro money’s principle is hinged both on quantitative and qualitative data to honor institutions that have brought the highest levels of service, innovation and expertise to their customers.

At the awards ceremony, UBA beat other nominees taking away the prize for best institution in Digital banking across Africa, an affirmation of its recent investment in cutting edge technology, one of which gave birth to Leo, the chat banker that has disrupted banking across Africa.

In a bid to be the undisputed leading financial services industry  in Africa in the area of innovation and technology, UBA has steadily included new and emerging trends to its range of solutions in-branches, across subsidiaries and on digital platforms. The emergence of LEO, has been a continuous directive to push the banking sector beyond financial services and to show that the bank truly comprehends the shift in operations and the movement of the global world with technology today.

The Euromoney award, which is a recognition of innovative products and services introduced by the bank in recent times and targeted towards meeting customer needs, comes on the heels of recent awards to UBA, including Finnacle Client Innovation Awards and Best Bank Awards won by five of its subsidiaries across Africa by The Bankers Magazine. UBA was also declared the best Bank in Africa in 2017.

Receiving the award at a well attended event in London, the Group Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa, Kennedy Uzoka, appreciated the organizer’s for the recognition, noting that UBA’s dedication to hard work and particular emphasis to offering quality services to customers are being acknowledged.

According to Uzoka, the award affirms the Bank’s strong management and un-matched commitment to service excellence.

He said: “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.”

Uzoka stated “for us at UBA, the award is quite an accomplishment, considering Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook and President Emmanuel Macron of France’s recent endorsement both of which centred around highlighting the distinguishing value of UBA’s leading digital opportunities”.

“Also, our recent launch of Leo in 15 African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent.  This award reminds us as an institution not to relent in our pursuit of excellence and to continue to lead the new digital age in Africa, within the financial services industry’.

Clive Horwood, Euromoney Magazine’s Editor explained that:  “Despite fierce competition, one bank stood out in the last year for the inventiveness of its efforts in digital banking: United Bank for Africa. One of its signature launches in Nigeria was Leo, an e-chat service using artificial intelligence to help customers execute transactions on Facebook”.

“Recently, Mark Zuckerberg gave a nod to the service, during a talk at a recent developers’ conference – a sign of its recognition at the highest levels of digital technology. The bank also recently added retina and fingerprint recognition and technology to reduce business travel greenhouse emissions. If it fulfils its ambitious plans to partner with fintech companies, UBA could continue to lead African banks in the area of digitilisation. “Horwood noted.

UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries and in London and New York, with   presence in Paris.

Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels.

Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through diverse channels and over a thousand touch points.

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BUSINESS

Fidelity Bank doles out N16m to 13 customers

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L-R: Divisional Head, Operations, Fidelity Bank Plc., Martins Izuogbe; Baale of Dankaka and N1 Million GAIM 3 Promo Winner, Alhaji Oluwa Kareem Amodu; his wife, Alhaja Amodu; Regional Bank Head, Apapa, Fidelity Bank Plc, Jude Monye at the 3rd Monthly Prize presentation ceremony of the Fidelity Get Alert in Millions Promo Season 3 (GAIM 3) held at the Fidelity Bank Trinity, Apapa Branch. Lagos ….yesterday.

Fidelity Bank Plc on Tuesday splashed 13 customers with N16 million under the Get Alert in Millions Savings (GAIM) season three initiative.

Mrs Chijioke Ugochukwu, the bank’s Executive Director, Shared Services and Product, stated this at the third monthly prize presentation in Lagos that the promo was an initiated aimed at boosting financial inclusion and saving culture.

Ugochukwu said that the bank, through the GAIM, had made significant impact on its customers.

She said that the monthly draw produced 13 cash winners and 18 consolation prizes, comprising refrigerators, generators and television sets.

Ugochukwu said that the bank had also given out N50 million and 54 consolation prizes under the GAIM season three initiative.

According to her, N60 million remains outstanding for grab by lucky customers in the course of the promo, adding that the bank has also earmarked N110 million to be won by customers for the GAIM season three initiative.

Ugochukwu further disclosed that the bank had given N2.67 million worth of airtime to about 1,964 customers, comprising of first 100 accounts opened weekly.

She said that the savings promo allowed the bank to go into nooks and crannies of the country to enlighten people on financial inclusion.

Mr Richard Madiebo, the bank’s Divisional Head, Retail Banking, said that the bank had made banking easy through the promotion.

Madiebo called on Nigerians to take advantage of the initiative to open account with Fidelity Bank, assuring customers that they had the chance of winning N1 million, N 2 million and more.

Alhaji Oluwakareem Amodu, the Bale of Dankaka, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, who won N1 million lauded the bank for the initiative, saying that he opened the account with N1, 000, describing he promo as genuine.

Mr Rahman Yusuf, a star prize winner of N 2, appreciated the bank for its kind gesture of instituting the promo.

“I want to say a very big thank you to Fidelity Bank for this opportunity. I did not believe in it until I got here and confirmed that I won,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf said he opened the account with zero balance..(NAN)

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AMCON seeks buyers for Polaris Bank

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)  is  seeking new investors to take over nationalised lender, Polaris Bank after elections next month. It is also taking stock of the bank’s assets ahead of the sale, its spokesman, Jude Nwauzor, said yesterday.

“The election season has slowed down things,” Nwauzor, said.

Nigerians will vote on February 16 in a presidential election where incumbent Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term.

“We would advertise for Expressions of Interest from investors after elections and commence the sale process,” Nwauzor said.

Some of Nigeria’s banks have faced tough times since low oil prices put pressure on their business of lending to the oil and gas industry. The country emerged from a recession in 2017 but economic growth remains sluggish and this has weighed on credit growth.

Polaris Bank was set up last year to take over the assets of Skye Bank which collapsed and had its operating licence revoked by Nigeria’s central bank.

Polaris was then transferred to the state-owned bad bank for sale to investors. AMCON has previously sold three other nationalised banks.

The AMCON spokesman said the bad bank was seeking to recover debts owed to Polaris that were non-performing and had asked for proposals on repayment.

AMCON was set up in 2010 to take on non-performing loans from banks as part of the country’s efforts to resolve a financial crisis at that time.

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CBN warns against rising debt, retains rate at 14%

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All 11 members of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday, voted to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 percent and other key economic parameters in its first meeting in 2019.

The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who made this disclosure in a communique read at the end of the meeting in Abuja, warned against the nation’s rising debt profile, even as he revealed that the nation’s foreign reserves now stand at $43.28 billion.

According to Emefiele, the Committee deliberated on external borrowing, where it noted the increase in debt level and thus called  for caution.

He said the debt level, if not checked, could rapidly hit the pre-2005 Paris Club level. The Governor said that Committee recommended the Federal Government to sustain the pace towards addressing infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.

On monies being paid by the Finance Ministry in collaboration with the Debt Management Office (DMO) to the oil and petroleum marketers, Emefiele said there was an agreement that the banks would halt interest charges from July 2017 to date on loans they gave oil marketers.

“So, its an agreement we have and any bank who refuses to do so, the petroleum marketer through his association should please inform the Central Bank”, he said.

On output, the CBN Governor said the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.81 per cent during the third quarter of 2018 from 1.5 per cent during the second quarter of 2018.

“The services and agricultural sector continued to drive output growth. However, the persistence of herdsmen attacks on farmers, cattle rustling and flooding in parts of the country affected agricultural and livestock output.

“The output for growth however remains fragile as the late implementation of the 2018 budget and the residual impact of flooding and security challenges constituted headwinds to growth.

“The committee therefore believes that effective implementation of the 2018 capital budget and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and improvements in the security situation and continued stability in the foreign exchange market will enhance aggregate demand and growth”, he added. 

The communique further noted that the committee observed that the near-term risk to inflation remains the impact of flooding on agricultural output, insecurity on food producing belts of the country, exchange rate pass through to inflation due to weakening of oil price and campaign related spending towards the 2019 general election.

On the MTN penalty, he said: “I am glad to tell you in November we held a round of meetings with MTN officials even from South-Africa and by December we concluded those engagements and the matters were resolved. It resulted in notional I repeat it is not a fine, not a penalty,  reversal of $53million amounting to about N19.5billion and this amount has since been paid by the MTN and terms of settlement of the matters have already been lodged at the Nigerian court”.

On the 41 items restricted from foreign exchange, he said the economic department of the CBN together with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would investigate any company or any individual suspected of bringing these items either through any border or through smuggling of any means for money laundering and economic sabotage.

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