The United Bank for Africa has extended its operations to the United Arab Emirates with the official launch of its new branch at the Dubai International Financial Centre.
According to a statement, the lender has a presence currently in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.
“United Bank for Africa Plc (DIFC branch) will operate under the Category 4 licence and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre,” it stated.
The bank said the UBA branch in the DIFC would service corporate and financial institutions and customers across the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.
Through this new expansion, it added, the UBA Group would be able to harness opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, which comprise of 72 countries with an approximate population of three billion and a nominal GDP of $7.7tn and thereby, reinforce its strong franchise as Africa’s global bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.
Speaking during the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai on Thursday, the Chairman, UBA Group, Mr Tony Elumelu, explained that with the Group’s foray into the gulf region, UBA continues to focus on its strategic intent to lead the way when it comes to doing business in Africa.
Elumelu said, “Collaborating with our franchises in 20 African countries and the major financial centres of London, New York and Paris, UBA (DIFC Branch) will facilitate the financing of trade transactions between the Middle East and Africa, enabling trade finance and investments.”
“We have been looking forward to this day as it is the first time we will have presence in this part of the world. We know that our international expansion is incomplete if we are not present in the gulf.”
UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Offficer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, who also spoke at the event said, “Today, we are formally on four continents across the globe, operating in 24 countries, serving over 35 million customers and still growing.
“We are the only bank of Nigerian origin that has extended out of Nigeria to the UAE. Those before us have come through other locations and that shows the strength and respect the Dubai authorities have for UBA. Our presence in Dubai affirms that UBA is a strong franchise, expanding its reach across the world.”