Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Mr. Emeka Emuwa

The Managing Director of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN), Mr. Emeka Emuwa on Thursday said the bank would sustain the improved performance recorded in the first quarter through cost reduction strategy. UBN recorded flat gross earnings of N27.3 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016. However, profit after tax (PAT) jumped by 108 per cent from N2.2 billion to N4.6 billion.

Speaking at the bank’s ‘Facts behind the figures’ presentation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, Emuwa said the bank would further reduce its cost to income ratio (CIR) by the end of 2016.

According to him, the bank will ensure client retention and acquisition, risk management and recoveries as well as cost management.

He said the CIR would be reduced from 67 per cent in 2015 to 60 per cent in 2016. He stated that the bank’s cost to income ratio stood at 183 per cent in 2011, but was reduced to 96 per cent in 2012, 71 per cent in 2013 and 67 per cent in 2014.

The chief executive officer said that the bank would also embark on strategic partnerships to ensure sustained growth in 2016 and beyond. He added the bank would improve its business process and branch network and channel optimisation to sustain growth and development.

On non-payment of dividend, Emuwa said that the bank was not able to declare dividend due to negative retained earnings.

According to him, regulatory policy stipulated that a company must not declare dividend with negative retained earnings.

Also speaking, at the event, the Executive. Director and Chief Financial Officer of UBN, Mrs. Oyinkan Adewale, explained that its 6.99 per cent non-performing loan (NPL) had almost 200 per cent coverage.

Speaking at event, the CEO of NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, commended the bank for timely release of information at the nation’s bourse, adding that the stock market is driven by timely relevant and accurate information.

He hailed the management of the bank for an improved result in spite of challenging and economic headwinds in the country.

According to him, UBN is one of the oldest and most respected bank in the country.

Onyema stated that the exchange would remain committed to zero tolerance to market infraction and strict compliance to corporate governance.

Meanwhile, the bullish streak of the Nigerian equities market extended into the consecutive day with the NSE All-Share Index appreciating by 0.5 per cent to 24,909.88 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation added N43 billion to close at N8.6 trillion.