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UBA Commissions SOC to Enhance e-Banking Security

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan African financial services powerhouse, has taken a major step to secure all electronic banking transactions in the bank and protect its customers against cyber crimes and other forms of e-banking threats.

To this end the bank has commissioned a state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre (SOC) & Forensic Lab that provides all round security monitoring for all electronic banking transactions; the first of its kind for a bank in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

The SOC empowers the bank to securely deliver electronic banking services to its esteemed customers, effectively manage all form of information security threats and provide a robust protection to its systems, network and electronic banking channels.

Ibedu Onyebuchi, deputy director, Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the commissioning commended UBA for the initiative and stated that the centre is an important milestone in the industry that must be emulated by other banks because of the global threats to electronic banking.

Onyebuchi said that “UBA has taken a bold step in securing its customers, knowing that banking cannot be practiced without adequate control and sound risk management systems”

Phillips Oduoza, group managing director/CEO, UBA Plc, said the bank being a leading bank in the deployment of electronic banking channels, made a deliberate decision to invest in a robust information security infrastructure, processes and skilled personnel as an effective way to manage information security threats.

Oduoza maintained that any serious banking institution that wants to succeed in this digital age cannot afford to ignore information security as any major compromise of bank’s system and network has potentials for colossal damage.

“We partnered with top Information Security Organization that worked with the bank to upgrade our information security infrastructure in Nigeria and 18 African countries where we have presence. The drive towards cashless economy and migration of customers from banking halls to channels, demands that we put in place systems and processes that would protect our customers and the bank hence the establishment of this centre”, he stated.

Sam Okenye, group head, IT Risk Management, emphasized that the deployment of fraud detection solution in the SOC and the twenty four hours, seven days a week monitoring would help guard against fraud and also protect customers against e-channel fraud.

Okenye further revealed that the bank is already reaping the benefit of the investment going by the number of blocked cyber attacks, Phishing sites, shutdown, blocked attempted card fraud and the protection against systems/network intrusion.

“With our current Security Infrastructure, we can know what is happening in our systems and network real-time. We can detect the sources of blocked attacks and also timely uncover any weakness in our network and systems for appropriate response,” he stated.

UBA has presence in 19 African countries, New York, London and Paris.

Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, the Group provides universal banking services to diverse customer groups across Africa


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E-Financial

Banks Begin to Seize Debtors’ Funds in Other Banks

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Tough times lie ahead for serial bank debtors as there is no a hiding place for them as banks begin to debit their various accounts to settle their debts.

Banks Begin to Seize Debtors' Funds in Other Banks

Businessamlive.com reported that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had put in place the global standing instruction which allows them to recover outstanding debts of debtors from other banks.

The rule came into effect on August 1, 2020.

A cross section of Nigerians who spoke on the matter said such a policy was long overdue as the financial industry had suffered abuse from businessmen and customers.

They said the new policy would bring out credible and bad people who deprive banks of their money by refusing to pay back credit extended to them.

Peter Esele, a former president, Trade Union Congress (TUC), said the guideline was long overdue but added that it was better late than never.

He said, “The financial system has been abused and it is baffling that one man would be owing six banks in the same country; it can’t happen anywhere else.

“What the CBN is doing now is that it is sanitising the industry and we now actually know who are the real businessmen and the real big men.

“Some men are wealthy from running banks down because a lot of the big men are running banks down.”

He said the CBN and the banks should start giving credit score.


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Post-COVID-19 Economy: UBA Facilitates $1.5Bn Financing for NNPC, NPDC

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United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), the leading pan-African financial services group, has acted as the lead arranger of a consortium of Nigerian commercial and international banks in a $1.5 billion Pre-Export Finance Facility for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

Post-COVID-19 Economy: UBA Facilitates $1.5Bn Financing for NNPC, NPDC

UBA is providing $200 million (Naira equivalent) to support investment growth and liquidity requirements.  The facility will provide much needed capital for investment in NNPC’s production capacity, which is of strategic importance to the Nigerian economy and the country’s leading source of foreign exchange earnings.

UBA’s position as Lead Arranger recognises the Group’s strength in structuring and deploying financing to the oil and gas sector, and the depth and liquidity of the Group’s balance sheet.

The $1.5 billion facility is structured in two tranches.  The first tranche of $1 billion, to be repaid over a period of five years, will be provided in dollars, with UBA acting as the Facility Agent Bank.

The second tranche of $500 million, will be provided in local currency, over seven years, with UBA acting as Lead Bank, providing $200 million in Naira equivalent.

Both facilities will be repaid from an allocation of 30,000 barrels per day of NPDC’s crude oil.

 UBA has a strong track record in the resources sector across Africa, having facilitated oil prepayment deals with the NNPC, including its 2013 $100 million participation in the PXF Funding Limited transaction, and a further $60 million in the 2015 Phoenix Export Funding Limited transaction. 

In Senegal, UBA was responsible for the EUR 240m revolving crude oil financing facility for the Société Africaine de Raffinage and in Congo Brazzaville co-funded the $250m crude oil prepayment facility for Orion Oil Limited.

Other participants in the NNPC deal include Standard Chartered Bank, Afrexim Bank, Union Bank and two oil trading companies, Vitol and Matrix.

Speaking on this most recent support for the Nigeria’s petroleum industry, Tony O. Elumelu, UBA Group chairman, stated ‘This has been one of the most economically challenging years that Nigeria has witnessed.  With the sharp drop in the price of oil and the ensuing hardship that followed the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the private sector must come together and contribute meaningfully to the economy.  This facility is clear evidence of this – UBA is providing investment that will significantly improve Nigeria’s production capacity and in doing so also demonstrating the strength, depth, and sophistication of our commercial banking capability.  I believe that together, working with governments, we can create more jobs and more wealth for people, not only in Nigeria, but across Africa’.

The United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with over 20,000 employees and serving over 20 million customers. 

UBA operates in 20 African countries and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France, providing retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

 


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Wema Bank Introduces Collateral-free Loan for SMEs

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Wema Bank said it has made available SME loan products that are collateral free to support businesses.

A statement from the bank explained that businesses in need of working capital finance could get up to N10 million without collateral to meet their short-term business needs.

This facility is available for business owners who are in segments such as trade /general commerce, schools, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres.

“Also, in the bank’s quest to enhance reach and accessibility of these facilities, it has made it available to both new and existing customers of the Bank (including those doing business with their personal names),” it added.

According to the bank, the initiative was to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses affected by the virus.

“The bank is offering up to N5 million without collateral and up to 12 months repayment period to businesses that are doing trading or general commerce while school owners can get up to N10 million without collateral with also 12 months repayment period.

“Health sector businesses like pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres can also get up to N5million without collateral with up to 12 months repayment period to meet working capital needs. In an earlier communication, the bank had stressed how critical it is to support players in the health sector, especially with the realities of the time.

“For us, we will continue to put the health of Nigerians and the safety of our communities first,” said Mr Ademola Adebise, the MD/CEO Wema Bank.

He added: “It is our joy to see players in the health sector grow during this difficult time and we encourage them to take advantage of all our support programmes to keep their businesses afloat.

“We have been very thoughtful in how we have approached this, and we will continue to be. Our goal is to provide all the support we can at this time coming from the knowledge that the fight against the pandemic is a collective one, and we all must play our roles,” Adebise added.


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