By Peter Egwuatu
Shareholders of Union Bank Plc, on Tuesday approved the Board of Directors recommended dividend of 25 kobo per 50 kobo ordinary share, while applauding the Bank’s resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic and its focus on sustaining shareholder value.
The shareholders at the Bank’s 52nd Annual General Meeting, AGM endorsed the Group’s 2020 annual accounts presented by the Board Chair, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey.
Shareholders’ attendance at the AGM was by proxy, and the meeting streamed live online for the benefit of all the Bank’s shareholders.
In her remarks, Mrs. Hamza Bassey highlighted key achievements of the Bank in 2020 including the continued focus on digital innovation for high-quality service delivery across touch points.
Hamza Bassey, said: “Our commitment to delivering high quality earnings remains unwavering. I am pleased to announce that the Bank delivered a resilient set of results in 2020 notwithstanding the challenging macroeconomic operating environment. Our overall performance demonstrates our resilience and ability to adapt to the constantly changing business environment to maximise shareholder returns. We remain committed to delivering value to our shareholders as we continue to drive growth and proﬁtbility of our business.”
Major highlights of the Bank’s financial performance in 2020 show that profit before tax grew by 2.8 per cent to N25.4 billion, from N24.7 billion in 2019. Customer deposits also increased by 27.6 per cent to N1.1 trillion billion compared to N886.3 billion in 2019, reflecting the Bank’s agility in delivering a compelling range of products to its customers during the pandemic, and increased adoption of digital channels. In addition, Non-performing loans ratio reduced to 4 per cent from 5.8 per cent in 2019, driven by a disciplined recoveries strategy, a more robust loan book and key restructurings to support customers during the pandemic.
Commenting on the Bank’s performance for 2020 and plans for 2021, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “In 2020, despite the headwinds caused by the pandemic, Union Bank continued to deliver a strong performance that has enabled the Board of Directors propose a dividend payment for the second consecutive year. This indicates resilience and affirms the strong foundation that was rebuilt over the past eight years.
As we begin a new chapter, we will continue the journey to becoming a leading financial institution in Nigeria. Sustaining value to our shareholders remains at the core of our continuous drive and we remain committed to delivering improved profitability and higher returns in 2021 and beyond.
“Other business conducted during the AGM included the election and re-election of Directors.
Union Bank continues to execute its strategy to achieve its vision of being Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.