Business News

Is Union Bank of Nigeria Rebranding?

Atlas Mara acquires 29.9 percent of ownership of UBN

With its history tied to Colonial Bank (1917), Union Bank of Nigeria has been able to pass stringent auditing by the Nigeria’s apex bank.

And its total assets were refection of Union Bank of Nigeria’s financial-healthy status.

As at June 2012, the bank had asset base estimated at N1.049 trillion, with shareholders equity of N188.4 billion.

However, in terms of mobile banking, Union Bank of Nigeria needs to redraw its mobile banking strategies so as to remain relevant.

The world has gone beyond the conventional banking services of queuing and sweating under a jampacked banking hall. 

A visit to google play store (December 24, 2014) showed that the mobile application of the bank, UnionMobile, has just 5,000+ downloads.

With 121 reviews by its users and updated on December 3, 2014, UnionMobile downloads is lower compared to other new generation banks in Nigeria with more than 100,000 downloads of mobile apps from Google play store.

But it looks like Nigeria’s Union Bank is pushing for rebranding-a most in this digital world of banking.

Atlas Mara, according to bizwatchnigeria, is said to have acquired 29.9 percent, approximately $250 million, of ownership of the bank.

Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Mara, said:

“Completing this transaction is an important step for Atlas Mara. Having a significant stake in such a highly regarded bank as UBN is crucial to our strategy of building Sub-Sahara Africa’s leading financial services group.

“The bank has a strong management team with a clearly defined strategy and a supportive and a committed shareholder base. We look forward to continued engagement with them as they continue to grow this storied institution.”

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, in July 2009, was rated 556th largest bank in the world, and number 14 as largest financial institution in Africa.

With 10 subsidiaries and three affiliated companies, Union Bank has the capacity to build and promote its applications for adoptability by its customers.

From Colonial Bank to Barclays Bank Dominion, Barclays Bank of Nigeria plc and to Union Bank of Nigeria plc,its acquisition of Universal Trust Bank plc, Broad Bank Limited and Union Merchant Bank showed its firm grip on financial management.

But it is still found at the bottom of the table when it comes to issue of workable and usability of mobile banking application.

With over 400 branches across Nigeria, a subsidiary in London and offices in Ghana, Benin and South Africa, and coming on board of Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited commonly referred to as Atlas Mara, Union Bank of Nigeria needs to come out huge (like its assets) in 2015, a year that has been predicted to redefine banking services.

About Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited
Atlas Mara also known as Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited is a financial services holding company which aims to undertake the acquisition of target banks in Africa with the objective of becoming a leading financial services group in the continent.

Atlas Mara was founded on November 28, 2013 by former Barclays Executive, Bob Diamond owner of Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, and entrepreneur, Ashish Thakkar owner of Mara Group Holdings Limited.

The Group’s headquarters are located in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, with subsidiaries and investments in Botswana , Germany, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda , South Africa, South Sudan , Tanzania , Zambia and Zimbabwe .

References:
1. www.atlasmara.com

2. http://bizwatchnigeria.ng/atlas-mara-now-has-29-9-stake-in-union-bank/

3. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Bank_of_Nigeria

4. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.unionmobileng.ui&hl=en

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