Shareholders of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc have given nod to the repositioning plans of the bank, urging management to sustain the momentum and continue on the strong performance trend set in the first quarter of 2012.
At the 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank, held at the weekend, the shareholders also acknowledged the corporate targets of the bank in the current financial year as outlined in the address by the GMD/CEO UBA Plc Mr. Phillips Oduoza, noting that the initiatives will propel the bank to an industry leadership position.
Oduoza in his report to shareholders said UBA will continue to drive its business focus on wholesale, commercial, and retail market segments and vigorously pursue business opportunities in key sectors expected to drive growth in the African economies where it operates.
Some of the 2012 strategic initiatives outlined by him, include leveraging on its retail spread and expansive network to mobilise low cost deposits, pursuing growth in its global trade and remittances business through its unique remittance platforms, creating high quality loans by targeting sectors and customers who drive growth in Nigeria and optimisation of the bank's e-banking capabilities as well as its unique e-channel platforms in readiness for the cashlite initiative of the CBN.
"Overall we are determined to enhance shareholders value by unlocking existing potentials in the bank and leverage on our huge resource base and vantage positioning in Africa" he said.
Also speaking at the AGM, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBA Chief Isreal Ogbue gave an update on the status of the bank's compliance with the new banking model directive of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to him UBA will in the amended and revised structure operate a monoline entity structure which will result in the divestment of the bank from all its non banking subsidiaries; UBA Trustees Limited, UBA Stockbrokers Limited, UBA Nominees Limited, UBA Asset Management Limited, UBA Insurance Brokers Limited and UBA metropolitan Life Insurance.
"Under the revised compliance plan, these entities will be consolidated under UBA Capital Plc and will be spun off to all shareholders of the bank while the spin-off of African Prudential Registrars Plc and Afriland Properties Plc to the shareholders of UBA Plc would remain as approved by the shareholders at the Court-Ordered Meeting held in December 29, 2011" he said.
He explained that the new arrangement is pursuant to the revised directive from the CBN dated December 30, 2011 which introduced new amendments for banks converting into financial services holding company. Specifically, the guideline stated amongst others that all commercial banking activities whether off-shore or on-shore must come under the commercial banking subsidiary.
"The implication of this condition for UBA is that the establishment of UBA Africa Holdings; the holding company for our African subsidiary banks outside of UBA Plc; the parent bank, as outlined in the scheme of arrangements will no longer be allowed," Ogbue said.
Consequently UBA Plc will become the parent bank holding company of all its commercial banking activities in Nigeria , Africa and the rest of the world and will also be the parent company for UBA Pension Custodian Limited and UBA FX Mart Limited.
The bank, Ogbue said has "since commenced the legal and regulatory process towards completing the restructuring exercise based on the amended plan and will finalize this process within this financial year."