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UBA Gross Earnings Rises by 143 Percent YoY, Profit Hits N757.7Bn

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In another unprecedented performance, Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has released its audited financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2023, showing exceptional and impressive performance across all its major indicators.

UBA Gross Earnings Rises by 143 Percent YoY, Profit Hits N757.7Bn

Oliver Alawuba, GMD, UBA Group

 

The 2023 financials, filed by the Bank at Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGx) on Monday, showed an impressive leap in gross earnings, as it grew from N853.2 billion recorded at the end of 2022 to close at N2.08tn; representing a strong 143 percent growth.

The banks’ total assets also rose remarkably by 90.22 percent, doubling the N10 trillion mark, to close at N20.65 trillion in December 2023; up from N10.86 trillion in 2022. This leap remains a very significant achievement and milestone in the history of the financial powerhouse.

Despite the highly challenging global economic and business environment, UBA recorded a laudable profit before tax, with an exponential growth of 277 percent, to close the year under review at N758billion, rising from N201 billion recorded at the end of the 2022 financial year; while profit after tax (PAT) grew by 257 percent from N170 billion in 2022, to N608 billion in the year under consideration.

Consequently, UBA Group Shareholders’ Funds rose from N922 billion as at December 2022 to close the 2023 financial year at N2.0tn, achieving an impressive growth of 120.2%, compared to prior year.

In the year under consideration, UBA Group cost-to-income ratio dropped from 59.2%, in 2022, to 37.2 per cent pointing at the Group’s improving efficiency.

In fulfilment of the promise made byTony Elumelu, group chairman, UBA,  to shareholders at the last Annual General Meeting, the Bank proposed a final dividend of N2.30 kobo for every ordinary share of 50 kobo, for the financial year ended December 31, 2023. The final dividend is subject to the ratification of the shareholders during its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM).

Also worthy of note, UBA recorded a 61.3 percent growth in loans to customers, moving up to N5.5 trillion in 2023, whilst customer deposits improved by 90.31 percent to N14.9 trillion, compared to N7.8 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022, reflecting increased customer confidence, enhanced customer experience, successes from the ongoing business transformation programme and the deepening of its retail banking franchise.

Commenting on the results,, Oliver Alawuba, group managing director/chief executive officer, said: “I am very pleased with the unprecedented results achieved by our Group in FY2023. The Group made a profit before tax of N758billion, from N201 billion in the prior year. The balance sheet also grew to N20.7trillion from N10.8trillion in the previous year.

He said, “The Group’s shareholder’s funds crossed N2trillion from N922bn in 2022, whilst total assets crossed the N20 trillion mark (90.2% YoY growth). The Group is well positioned for further business expansion in FY2024 having closed FY2023 with Capital Adequacy Ratio of 32.6%.”

He added that the bank’s diversified business model (Pan-African and International strategy) is justified by the contribution of its Ex-Nigeria business to the Group’s results and reinforces its resolve to expand our market share of customers, funding, digital and transaction banking businesses across Africa.

“Driven by our customer service and execution-led delivery model, we will continue to expand our market share and create value for our shareholders and meet the expectations of our various stakeholders,” the GMD stated.

Ugo Nwaghodoh, executive director, Finance & Risk Management, UBA, said the 2023 full year was a particularly eventful year, with galloping inflation and currency depreciation ravaging key markets, amidst pockets of regional conflicts and security challenges.

“I am delighted however at the strong growth in earnings and profitability recoded in the year. The Group conservatively set up significant impairment reserves against its overall risk assets portfolio considering the latent impact of the macroeconomic headwinds on our credit portfolio. Consequently, Cost of Risk grew to 3.09% from 0.63% in the prior year,” Nwaghodoh noted.

On the expectation for the 2024 financial year, he said, “The Group remains fervently committed to sustainable growth and maintaining its strong compliance and risk management practices culture even as we drive our business through the next phase of growth.”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than thirty-five (35) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris and Dubai, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

E-Financial

CBN Says OPay, Moniepoint, Others can Start Onboarding New Customers Soon

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that mobile money operators including fintech firms like OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint will resume the enrolment of new customers “in another couple of months”.

CBN Says OPay, Moniepoint, Others can Start Onboarding New Customers Soon

Olayemi Cardoso, governor, stated this on Tuesday at the 295th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the apex bank in Abuja when the MPC jacked up interest rate from 24.75 per cent to 26. 25 per cent.

Cardoso, said the apex bank has engaged many of the players on the need to strengthen their operations.

He said to block money laundering and illicit flows, the apex bank brought up “remedial measures that will help that sector to tighten up on onboarding and even existing clientele base”.

“I am confident that as time goes on, and hopefully in another couple of months, all these will be something of the past and then you will see that sector going back into what they’ve been known to do before, but certainly with a very stronger regulatory framework,” he said.

In April, the apex bank stopped fintech companies from onboarding new customers, a move that has been seen as a clampdown on the financial sub-sector by the Cardoso-led CBN.

When asked why the apex bank took the decision, the CBN chief said reports that the CBN has decided to clamp down on fintech firms are “furthest from the truth”.

He said “the fintechs have not been singled out for any exceptional kind of treatment”, adding that the CBN remained proud of the exploits of fintech firms in the last number of year and the apex bank would continue to support and strengthen them.

“However, regulation is very critical in a sector that seems to have grown so incredibly rapidly,” Cardoso said, citing illicit flows within the sub-sector.

“More recently, we had course to take a deep dive look at the whole issue of illicit flows and money laundering particularly within the non-heavy regulated banking system and we all know some of the issues that came out with cryptos and some of the messages we put out after that, which of course, gave us some course to know that there is the need for heightened surveillance.”

He said the apex bank has had major handshake with security agencies to identify the places to tighten regulations and surveillance in the sub-sector.

Cardoso said, “For that reason, we were concerned with respect to how we saw the issue of anti-money laundering and illicit flows as they made their way within the various sub-sectors of the financial industry and we felt there was a need for us to take a breather and work with different players to strengthen regulations, not by any means to throw them out of business.

“Let me re-emphasise that as at this point in time, we have not revoked the licenses of any of the fintech organisations.”


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E-Financial

Flutterwave Refutes N11Bn Loss Due to Security Breach

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Flutterwave, African fintech company, has debunked allegations in the media that it lost N11 billion ($7.25 million) due to a security compromise.

Flutterwave Refutes N11Bn Loss Due to Security Breach

Flutterwave, led by Olugbenga Agboola, Nigerian tech millionaire has rejected accusations is the only Africa-focused Company to make CNBC’s 2024 Disruptor 50 List

In response to the avalanche of claims, Flutterwave said that it discovered suspicious activity on one of its customer platforms in April 2024. The corporation maintains that it aggressively prevented any loss of customer monies.

As a security precaution, Flutterwave will contact select customers to move their accounts and recommends that all customers implement multifactor authentication, 3D security, and IP whitelisting.

This recent incident raises security worries for the corporation, which accepts payments in over 30 currencies from 40 countries.

In March 2023, reports arose saying hackers stole N2.9 billion ($6.3 million) from Flutterwave. The corporation quickly rejected the charges, reaffirming its commitment to client fund protection.

Flutterwave was ordered by a Nigerian court to recover N19 billion ($12.5 million) for unlawful POS transactions that affected 6,000 accounts across 35 banks and financial institutions.

This came after a months-long inquiry into a technical malfunction that enabled the fraudulent transfers.

Agboola founded Flutterwave in 2016, and it has since been a forerunner in Africa’s ongoing payments revolution. The company, with headquarters in San Francisco and

Lagos, is a notable success story in the continent’s developing fintech sector.

Flutterwave entered the Rwandan and Egyptian markets in 2023, which was a golden year for expansion. It formed a strategic relationship with IndusInd Bank Ltd., a top Indian financial services provider.

The corporation announced a $50 million investment in the Kenyan market to secure an operating license.

These results highlight Flutterwave’s twin goals of transforming Africa’s payments ecosystem and developing a foothold in international markets.

In 2023, Flutterwave formed a strategic relationship with Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, American billionaires.

This effort intends to empower at least 10 million small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) across Africa, with a concentration on Nigeria.

The partnership harnesses the power of the fintech sector to boost economic growth and improve people’s lives by promoting financial inclusion.

This collaboration expands on the two companies’ current technological arrangement, which was signed earlier in 2023.


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E-Financial

CBN raises interest rate to 26.25%

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Monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the monetary policy rate (MPR), which benchmarks interest rates, from 24.75 percent to 26.25 percent.

This comes after Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.69 percent amid the surge in food prices.

Olayemi Cardoso, CBN’s governor, announced the monetary policy rate adjustment at a news conference on Tuesday, May 21, during the committee’s 295th meeting in Abuja.

The monetary policy rate (MPR) is the baseline interest rate in an economy, which banks use to set their interest rates.

This is the third consecutive time the apex bank will be raising the benchmark rate this year. At the March MPC meeting, the benchmark rate had been increased by 200 basis points from 22.75 per cent to 24.75 per cent.


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