BEING AFRICA’S GLOBAL BANK by NONSO NDUANYA



Being Africa’s global bank is a tall order but UBA is definitely living up to its big mantra. The bank’s aspirations of deepening financial intermediation in Africa, being a conduit for trade between Africa and the rest of the world, as well as providing the much-needed financial support to the broader real sector of the African economy got a huge boost as United Bank for Africa (UK) Limited was officially launched in the global financial city of London on February 28, 2019.

The formal launch came on the heels of the authorization of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for UBA UK Limited to carry out full scale wholesale banking across the United Kingdom. With the commencement of the UK banking activities, UBA is now better positioned to meet the growing cross-border financing needs of customers, and act as an optimal conduit for trade and foreign investments into and across Africa as well as export flows to the United Kingdom.

A high level gathering of business and public sector leaders across Europe and Africa was hosted by the Group Chairman, Mr Tony Elumelu, at the opening ceremony at The Shard, where the new subsidiary was introduced with a promise of its readiness to galvanise trade and commerce between Europe and Africa.

“UBA is about Africa’s heritage because in everything we do, it is about how to further help develop our countries. We support the business, we support infrastructure, SMEs and now, we are setting up a global financial movement, so, UBA UK is not just a bank,” said Mr Elumelu. “We have been in New York for quite some years. Let’s see what happens in China and other European countries. Let’s see what happens in other African countries,” he added. 

UBA’s Africa-wide network and operations in the UK, France and the USA where it is the first and only SubSaharan African financial institution with a commercial banking license, further assert the bank’s position as Africa’s global bank.

According to Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, UBA Group is the most efficient gateway for European corporates and institutions to access Africa, given the bank’s expansive network across most impact markets on the continent and its deep knowledge of the business terrains in Africa. “With the upgrade of UBA UK Limited, we are excited to deepen our support to existing customers whilst also providing the leverage for new customers to effectively fulfil their cross-border transactions through UBA Group’s network,” said Mr Uzoka.

In the words of UBA UK’s CEO, Mr Patrick Gutmann, “We welcome our existing and new customers to new world of borderless opportunities, as we creatively serve our customers in meeting their international transaction needs.”
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