United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc got double honours over the weekend as it emerged the bank of the year 2019; while its group managing director/chief executive officer, Kennedy Uzoka, also emerged CEO of the year at the Business Hallmark Newspaper Awards, held at the Civic Centre in Lagos on Sunday.
Mr Uzoka beat other CEOs to the prize owing to his sterling achievement since he assumed leadership role of the bank three years ago, whilst UBA was crowned bank of the year following its exceptional performance as it recorded impressive performance in key financial indicators in 2019.
This is the second time this year that Kennedy Uzoka has emerged CEO of the year as he had only recently clinched the Business Day Banking Awards, (BAFI). The recognitions and awards have further endorsed his visionary leadership style which has consistently earned UBA a plethora of laurels.
Receiving the awards on behalf of the bank at a well-attended ceremony which assembled distinguished personalities, UBA’s Executive Director, Ayoku Liadi, who represented Uzoka, thanked the organisers for the recognition, noting that he was proud to work at one of the best institutions in Africa.
“We are creating superior value for all our customers, because we believe they are key to our everyday operations and this commitment, without a doubt has been yielding dividends,” Liadi said.
He continued: “Whilst we are encouraged by these awards, the recognitions present new challenges to us, as we will intensify our commitment towards setting benchmarks for the industry, particularly in our strategic roles.”
Organiser of the awards and the chief executive officer of Business Hallmark, Emeka Obasi, who spoke at the event explained that the best CEO award is borne out of the need to recognise achievements of financial executives who have been outstanding in their profession and have contributed in no small measure to the growth of their organisations and the economy at large.
Obasi also noted that the award given to UBA, is no doubt a well-deserved one, as is evidenced in the bank’s numerous innovations, and consistent investment in cutting edge technology giving birth to many firsts, including the launch of Leo the Chat Banker, in January 2018. This fear has earned the bank the number one position in the digital space.
“Uzoka also did well by focusing on consistent expansion of UBA’s activities and services across and beyond the African continent, all these are worthy of recognition,” Obasi concluded.
Just recently, UBA released its nine-month results ended September 30, 2019, closing the period with an impressive after-tax profit of N81.63 billion, a growth of 32% over that of 2018, a momentum the bank will most likely sustain into the full-year, pointing to the possibility of even higher profits.
The bank’s gross earnings for 2019 nine-month stood at N428.22 billion, compared to N310.45 billion in 2018, representing 37.94% rise, while profit hit N81.63 billion, from N61.7 billion in 2018. The UBA group’s impairment charges on financial assets for the period decreased to N6.66 billion, compared to N10.67 billion in 2018, resulting in a decline in loan loss provision of 37.58%, thereby boosting the bank’s profit for the period.