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UBA focuses on SMEs growth as it boosts loans to N178 bln in Q1

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Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa (UBA) has disbursed a total of N178 billion loans to businesses in the first quarter of this year, as the lender focuses on Smalls and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), regarded as the backbone of economies all over the world.

Speaking on the bank’s recent loan position and its determination to buoy the nation’s SMEs sector,

The Group Managing Director of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka said the bank’s passion for small businesses with great ideas has never been in doubt.

According to him, the bank has demonstrated this in the support given the business community with its loan products tailored specifically to meet the varying needs of all its customers.

“Despite the tumultuous impact of Covid-19 pandemic globally and across our 23 countries of operation, we created N519 billion additional loans as we continued to support our customers and their businesses.

“Customer deposits grew 48.1 percent to N5.7 trillion, driven primarily by additional N1.8 trillion in retail deposits.

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“As a global bank, we remain well capitalized and determined to successfully drive financial inclusion on the continent through our innovative products and vast network.

“Our capital adequacy and liquidity ratios came in at 22.4 percent and 44.3 percent, well above the respective regulatory minimum of 15 percent and 30 percent,” Uzoka said.

The bank’s Group Chief Financial Official, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said: “The persistent low interest rate environment in 2020 exerted significant downward pressure on margins. Notwithstanding, our interest income for the year grew by 5.7 percent (to N427.9 billion), driven by 8.2 percent and 7.5 percent year-on-year growth on interest income on loans and investment securities respectively.

“Our interest expense declined by eight percent (to N168.4 billion) driven largely by a 34.2 percent decline in interest expense on customer deposits in our Nigerian operations, bringing down the Group’s cost of funds to 2.9 percent, from four percent in 2019.”

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