By Amaka Agwuegbo
As the deadline for the implementation of the planned categorisation of banks in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) draws nearer, Union Bank Nigeria Plc has said that it will maintain its present status and will remain an international and universal bank with presence in all the nooks and crannies of the country and beyond the shores of Nigeria.
To this end, the bank has announced plans to roll out over 200 Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in strategic locations across the country.
Speaking at a forum in Lagos, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mrs. Funke Osibodu stated that the bank will remain international in scope and operations and will further increase its presence in key locations in the country.
She said that the planned roll out of the ATMs, which is expected to commence immediately the bank secure the approval of the regulatory authorities, is parts of its strategy to further extend its presence throughout the country and take its services closer to its customers.
She said that the bankâ€™s turnaround programme and growth plan, which was embarked upon towards the end of 2009, has begun to yield positive results, as it has recorded significant milestones, in its activities, operations and financial performance in the last couple of months.
Osibodu further noted that the bank has recorded significant reduction in its expenses and has embarked on a number of programmes, among others, to realign the focus of its staff towards its customers; regrading of its branches to bring about healthy competition among the various branch managers and bring about an improvement in the general performance of the bank; reconciliation of its books and a transparent procurement process.
She said that the bank is presently undertaking a strategy to ensure synergy within the Group, realigning the activities of the bank with that of its subsidiaries.
Osibodu added that the bank has undertaken a review of its branch location strategy so as to ensure that, henceforth, branches are set up in places where it will make the most impact in the community and contribute meaningfully to its growth plans.