The United Bank for Africa (UBA), Africa’s global bank, has been in business for more than seven decades. Today, the group is present in 20 African countries, in the United Kingdom, in the United States of America and in France. The bank has expanded its operations in the United Arab Emirates with the official launch of its new branch at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
United Bank for Africa Plc (DIFC Branch) will operate under the Category 4 license and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre.
DIFC’s UBA branch will serve corporate and financial institutions and customers across the Middle East, with a focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.
Through this new expansion, UBA Group will be able to tap into opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with a population of approximately 3 billion and a nominal GDP of US$7.7 trillion and thus, strengthening its strong franchise as Africa’s global bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
Speaking at the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai on Thursday, UBA Group Chairman Mr. Tony O. Elumelu explained that with the group’s foray into the Gulf region, UBA continues to focus on its strategic intent to lead the way when it comes to doing business in Africa. He said: “Working with our franchises in 20 African countries and major financial centers in London, New York and Paris, UBA (DIFC Branch) will facilitate the financing of trade transactions between the Middle East and Africa, enabling the trade finance and investments,” says Elumelu.
“We have been looking forward to this day because it is the first time that we will be present in this part of the world. We know that our international expansion is incomplete if we are not present in the Gulf,” he continued.
UBA Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who also spoke at the event, said: “Today we are officially present on four continents across the globe, operating in 24 countries. , serving more than 35 million customers and continuing to grow.
“We are the only Nigerian-origin bank to have expanded from Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates. Those who preceded us have passed through other places and this shows the strength and respect that the authorities in Dubai have for UBA. Our presence in Dubai confirms that UBA is a strong franchise, which is expanding its reach across the globe,” said Uzoka.
“The authorities and the business environment here at DIFC are phenomenal and UBA sees Dubai as the gateway to Africa and that is why we are here, to be closer to our customers, to partner with them and facilitating business and trade flows to Africa through the UBA franchise, so we’re super excited.
On his part, the CEO of UBA (DFIC), Mr. Vikrant Bhansali, said; “Trade, trade and investment in Africa is growing in the Gulf region and in Asia. Leveraging the UBA Group’s presence in global financial centers, UBA (DFIC) will enhance the group’s ability to facilitate access for Gulf investors and banks to African markets. We will finance trade, facilitate trade and help increase investment in Africa, across all sectors.
Arif Amiri, Managing Director of the Dubai International Financial Center Authority (DIFC), said at the inauguration ceremony “UBA (DFIC) is a testament to the strong relationship between Dubai and Africa. It’s a great start as we look forward to achieving more interaction, channeling more trade and investment to Africa, and with UBA DIFC, we are closer to achieving our goals. DIFC will continue to seek partnerships that will deliver win-win relationships as we have just seen with the UBA Group.
About UBA Group: United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial institution, providing banking services to over thirty-seven million customers through 1,000 offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With a presence in New York, London and Paris and now in the United Arab Emirates, UBA connects people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, payments and money transfers. innovative cross-border funds, trade finance and ancillary banking services.