UBA: Liberia’s Most Reliable Bank Making The Difference

This week we find ourselves in the banking hall of one of the Country’s reputable financial institutions, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), where financial experts and professionals in the banking sector are visibly situated making the difference in providing genuine and reliable services.

On the 10th of October, 2006 the UBA (Liberia) Limited was incorporated as a private limited liability company since than its uniqueness and professional services to hundreds of its customers throughout the Country seems pleasing and most reliable with many of its customers expressing unbending praises.

The bank opens its first business office at the Freeport, Bushrod Island on July 18, 2008 and has also targeted the roll out of five additional branches within and outside Monrovia before the end of 2008. Targeted roll out branch offices shall be in the Montserrado, Maryland and Nimba Countries.

As part of UBA customer centric policy, the bank recruited and trained over fifty (50) staffs during its six months’ provisional period. Staffs have been trained in basics banking concepts & principles including Finacle 7.0 the core banking software.

The initial capital investment of UBA (Liberia) Ltd. is US$6,000,000 (Six Million United States Dollars) with additional capital investment of US$1,000,000(One Million United States Dollars) expected by the end of July 2008.

UBA Honored for helping to fight Ebola in 2014

Today, United Bank for Africa Plc, having adopted the Holding company model is one of Africa’s leading financial institutions offering universal banking to more than 7.2 million customers across 750 branches in 18 African countries.

With presence in New York, London and Paris and assets in excess of $19bn, UBA is your partner for banking services for Africans and African related businesses globally.

United Bank for Africa (UBA), Africa’s Global Bank is operating in 19 African countries including Liberia providing those satisfactory banking services worldwide with Liberia been an exception in this drive, promoting 3,000 members, reinforcing its commitment to human capital investment and career progression.

UBA wishing to becoming Africa’s leading customer focused bank, has over the years won the hearts of many Liberians and foreign residents in the Country who have now queued to making use of its many professional banking services notably with the commitment to creating an environment where talent and merit are rewarded.

“UBA is one of those banking institutions in Liberia putting its workers first; promoting at this scale and creating career opportunities for staff at a time like this is an indication of industry leadership and worthy of emulation. This bank must be commended for creating robust and meritocratic career opportunities for all staff at a time when some in our industry are downsizing their staff, this is truly remarkable,” an executive speaking to this writer recently disclosed.

During a comprehensive survey conducted by this writer, it was observed that UBA’s commitment to its broader Pan-African network was reflected in a series of awards, including five ‘Bank of The Year’ awards for Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, Senegal, Cameroon and Chad at the annual Bankers Award in London and the 2016 EMEA Finance Banking Awards by leading financial publication EMEA Finance Magazine.

UBA Liberia has always been on the front-line for Liberia’s recovering program, it stood firm in the fight of the deadly Ebola virus as it emerges as the highest donor to the Ebola fight in the banking Industry in Liberia, especially when the Ebola virus disease (EVD) broke out like wide fire, many international and national institutions either shot their doors or scaled down their workforce as precautionary measure to safe dear life, but UBA stood firm in combating this deadly virus.

As result of this ugly situation, the Liberian Government revenue generation dropped almost to a breaking point, in one occasion, Finance and Development Minister lamented that Government was losing millions on a monthly basis in revenue collection as a result of the EVD outbreak.

As a result of its humanitarian contribution to the people of Liberia in 2014, the bank was named as the “Humanitarian Bank of the year 2014” for the role it continues to play in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

The honor was bestowed upon UBA by the International Learning Institute (ILI) and its subsidiary, Gender International Magazine Publication and Resource Center, at the Champions of the Year Annual Award 2014.

Several personalities, institutions and groups were also honored for their outstanding contribution to the fight against the virus.

“We are very grateful to be awarding UBA as the Humanitarian Bank of the Year, for standing by the Liberian people.  This bank donated over US$400,000 to the national taskforce through the President, and also provided some logistics to enhance government’s efforts.

“We have nothing to give you, UBA, but to recognize you in this public manner for your contributions. Only our good Lord will repay you for this generosity,” Chief organizer Mildred Dean said.

UBA’s head of corporate communication and Services, Douglas M. V Jones, who received the award, noted that all of their contributions were not intended to win an award, but to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility to the government and the Liberian people.

Tony O. Elumelu is Chairman of Heirs Holdings as well as UBA Group Plc and Transcorp Plc, which is Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate.

Mr. Jones said Ebola, like other natural disasters and pestilences, has no boundary, and as such, it was of more necessity for everyone, including UBA, to rally around government to defeat the virus.

He noted that the bank began to get involved in the fight when its chairman, Tony Elumelu, decided to make donations to the three Ebola hot-spots, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, during the heat of the outbreak.

“That was the time for us to do something to save the lives of our brothers and sisters that were dying on a daily basis,” he said.

Mr. Jones noted that the bank was compelled to act because it was not only after banking profits but also the responsibility to look after humanity.

“When the bank flourishes in good times, it should also be able to stand up in bad times and this is exactly what UBA was doing.”

He also disclosed that UBA and the government have reached an agreement known as, ‘Social Corporate Compact.’ The agreement is to help in the post Ebola reconstruction process. The bank is wholeheartedly waiting to help in whatever way it is needed, he declared.

UBA in November 2014 made an additional donation of US$300,000 to the Government of Liberia to help in the Ebola fight. This came after the UBA and its chairman had previously made several donations to the government and the National Taskforce.

In September 2014, the bank also made an initial donation of a pick-up truck as logistical support to government’s efforts and promised to keep observing the situation and make additional donations when it became expedient.

In her response, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf termed the donation as reinforcement of good partnership between Liberia, the UBA and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which she further described as “long standing partnership benefiting all sides.”

She praised UBA’s strong commitment to Liberia’s recovery and assured the bank that its interventions in Liberia, especially in the Ebola fight, had had a great impact on Liberians.

She reminded UBA’s top management of the post-Ebola reconstruction era as financial institutions partnering with Liberia will greatly be needed in this direction.

UBA Liberia, which is a subsidiary of UBA Plc in Nigeria, was incorporated as a private limited liability company in October 10, 2006. Upon the formal launch of its first branch on Bushrod Island, the bank promised quality and professional services as well as a robust roll-out of branches throughout the country.

UBA obtained its banking license from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) in July 2008. The chairman of the group is Tony Elumelu, who runs the group from its headquarters in Nigeria.

In one his regular press briefings, the than Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh described   the state of the Nation’s economy as a complete troubling, reporting an economic growth projection from 5.9% in 2013 to a record low of negative 0.4% in 2014. “Our economy is in serious trouble”, Minister Konneh said. In spites of these troubling developments, the banks remained opened in Liberia.

This bank being one of Liberia’s most reliable financial institution has four major values meaning its corporate identity rests on these four fundamental values with the acronym HEIR.

Humility – Synonymous with meekness and belief that the “Customer is king”. Products and services cover every segment of the market. At UBA, staffs are taught not to despise small beginnings.

Empathy – Knowledge of the customer and intimate understanding of their business is an integral part of bank’s marketing strategy, and this is done with a view to developing mutually beneficial and enduring relationships.

Integrity – Every member of the UBA group is taught to uphold, the virtues of moral excellence, honesty, wholeness and sincerity in all interactions with everyone customers, service providers, fellow staff and all other stakeholders.

Resilience – It is part of the culture in UBA to proactively conceptualize, design and develop products and services, which surpass the expectations of customers, no matter the odd.

The bank offers seamless personalized banking through a wide range of products and services, the introduction of its Liberian and United States Dollars visa system has overwhelmed many of its customers and would be customers who are admiring the level professional services of UBA.

Noting that the distance for UBA is no barrier to any of its customers’ ability to send and receive funds locally and internationally including its NRL Remittances; aconvenient way of transferring money to Liberia via Swift transfer.

With its current administrative team headed by Olalekan Balogun as its Chief Executive Officer and Majek Folorunsho as Executive Director, UBA is indeed making the difference in its service provider in Liberia making sure to greatly cover the entire country, bringing banking to the most needy.

Yes indeed UBA is making conceivable difference

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About Cholo Brooks 16156 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.