The United Bank for Africa (UBA) expects loan growth of 10 to 15 per cent this year, reversing a 3.3 percent decline last year, it said on Thursday.

The top tier lender had originally forecast loan growth last year of five to eight per cent but that did not materialise. Loans grew 14 percent in 2014, the bank said.

“Because of uncertainty in the macro-environment we decided to be very cautious in the growth of risk assets,”Reuters quoted the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Phillips Oduoza, who is due to retire by July to have said, explaining the drop in loans last year.

“For this year we see a positive outlook but we will continue in our conservative approach to risk creation.”

While commenting on the bank’s 2015 results released recently, Oduoza had explained that the 2015 profit was a new high, saying it reflected the hard work and discipline of our Board, Management and Staff in creating value for all stakeholders.
“We remain committed to growing in a responsible manner that aligns with our vision of building an enduring institution.”

He said the bank’s resilient business model, geographic diversification, proactive strategies, and strong governance created an edge for it through the year.

“We will continue to invest in our future whilst managing cost tightly to generate strong returns to shareholders,” he assured. Speaking in the same vein, the Group Chief Finance Officer (GCFO) of the bank, Mr. Ugo Nwaghodoh, had expressed satisfaction at the performance of the bank’s Africa operations, particularly in synergy extraction and pursuit of scale economics to achieve market share and earnings targets.