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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Nigeria’s Union Bank to sell non-core businesses – CEO

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Union Bank Ceo, Emuwa

Nigeria’s Union Bank plans to sell its non-banking subsidiaries by the end of February next year to focus on retail and business banking in Africa’s second-biggest economy, its chief executive said on Monday.
Union Bank was one of nine banks that received a $4 billion central bank rescue in 2009. Since then the central bank has enforced new minimum capital requirements for banks to prevent a repeat of the crisis. It has also proposed a new banking model that requires banks to sell all non-core businesses.
Under the central bank proposals, banks are also required to form a holding company if they intend to carry out insurance, asset management and capital market activities.
Union Bank has found new investors to recapitalise it and was granted an extension to restructure its operations.
“We have till the end of February … to conclude our divestment programme,” Union’s CEO Emeka Emuwa told a media conference, adding that the bank had nine subsidiaries, including insurance and capital market units.
The regulator has said its primary objective is to ensure banks are effectively supervised and to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds by prohibiting them from speculative capital market activities.
Several other Nigeria banks have complied with the directive. GT Bank, UBA , and Diamond Bank all sold their subsidiaries while First Bank, FCMB and Stanbic IBTC, a unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank, have adopted the holding company model.
Union Bank said it will maintain its international banking operation in Britain and planned to use electronic channels to expand its retail banking business in Nigeria, Emuwa added.

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