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Our greatest asset is our staff and we encourage their intellectual capacity building in terms of quality, efficiency and affirmative action.
An eloquent testimony to this intellectual capacity building and re-orientation of the bank is that today, Union Bank has the largest number of professionally qualified and chartered bankers in the industry.
The bank continued to exploit the opportunity of economies of scale by expanding our branch network and those of subsidiaries.
The number of branches for the bank and the subsidiaries stood at 306 by the end of March 2002.
Our branch expansion policy is not limited to the domestic economy but off-shore as well.
OUR STRATEGIC FOCUS (Cont’d)
5.5 INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) PRODUCTS/SERVICES.
A major capacity issue for Union Bank is our information, communication and technology and the associated infrastructures.
New electronic products such as “Union e-link”, “Telephone Banking” and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) are currently riding on our Flexcube Banking Application Package and being enjoyed by our customers.
Apart from having the highest traffic on our ATMs in the Industry, in addition to the current number, we are deploying 100 more ATMs nationwide to make financial transactions seamless for the banking public.
We are also a leading promoter of the electronic purse product - the Valucard.
Following this trend, we are converging towards the EMV-compliance.
It is commonly observed that Union Bank has a solid balance sheet, which makes it a bank of first choice whenever issues of safety, professionalism and public confidence are uppermost in the investors’ mind.
During the review period, our balance sheet constituted a significant proportion of the industry’s aggregates.
The bank’s capital adequacy ratio as at 31 st March 2001 stood at 14.4% but has moved up to 25.5% by 31/3/02 as against the recommended minimum of 8% by the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A cursory look at the graph below shows the comfortable liquidity, Capital Adequacy and other health indicators of the bank in the past five years:
Apart from the large corporate tax of over N2.8 billion, the bank is currently the largest single contributor to the funding of the Industry’s new initiative on Small and Medium Industries Equity Investment Scheme (SMIEIS).
The Bank set aside a total sum of N749 million , representing 10% of our profit before tax.
Adding the contribution of Union Merchant Bank Ltd, the Group’s total goes to an unbeatable figure of N752million.
“ The Banker”, a subsidiary of the Financial Times of London only last week gave our institution the award of the “number one bank in Nigeria”. This is now the third year in a row that “The Banker” has so recognised Union Bank.
Also all the Rating Agencies in which we participated gave our Bank, a multiple “A” rating.
Distinguished market operators, Ladies and Gentlemen, the only thing I can now do is to assure you further that Union Bank will strive to maintain its leadership position in the industry while I admonish you all to continue your investments and business relationship with the bank and together, we shall reap the mouth-watering harvest in the current financial year.