United Bank for Africa (UBA) top other banks as they gave out N178 billion loans to businesses in the first quarter of this year, this office has confirmed.The bank’s loans to customers within the period rose from N2.555 trillion to N2.733 trillion.
Other banks’ loan positions within the period showed that Stanbic IBTC gave out N105 billion loans to customers, bringing its total portfolio to N730 billion, up from N625 billion in December.
FBN Holdings Plc gave out N82 billion as loans to customers, raising its portfolio from N2.217 trillion to N2.299 trillion, while FCMB loaned N63 billion during the review period, thereby bringing the bank’s loan portfolio to N886 billion, up from N823 billion in December.
Access Bank Plc gave N38 billion loans to customers in the first quarter, bringing its loan portfolio to N3.256 trillion compared to N3.218 trillion, while Wema Bank Plc gave out N8 billion in the review period bringing its loan portfolio to N368 billion, from N360 billion.
UBA said Smalls and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have remained the backbone of economies all over the world and continue to represent a large percentage of businesses who contribute immensely to catalysing growth.
Speaking on the bank’s recent loan position and its determination to buoy the nation’s SMEs sector, UBA Group Managing Director, Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank’s passion for small businesses with great ideas has never been in doubt.
He said the bank has demonstrated this in the support given the business community with its loan products tailored specifically to meeting the varying needs of all our customers.
Uzoka said: “Despite the tumultuous impact of Covid-19 pandemic globally and across our 23 countries of operation, we created N519.0 billion additional loans as we continued to support our customers and their businesses. Customer deposits grew 48.1 per cent to N5.7 trillion, driven primarily by additional N1.8 trillion in retail deposits.
“As a global bank, we remain well capitalized and determined to successfully drive financial inclusion on the continent through our innovative products and vast network. Our capital adequacy and liquidity ratios came in at 22.4 per cent and 44.3 per cent, well above the respective regulatory minimum of 15 per cent and 30 per cent.”
The bank’s Group Chief Financial Official, Ugo Nwaghodoh, said: “The persistent low interest rate environment in 2020 exerted significant downward pressure on margins. Notwithstanding, our interest income for the year grew by 5.7 per cent (to N427.9 billion), driven by 8.2 per cent and 7.5 per cent year-on-year growth on interest income on loans and investment securities respectively.
“Our interest expense declined by eight per cent (to N168.4 billion) driven largely by a 34.2 per cent decline in interest expense on customer deposits in our Nigerian operations, bringing down the Group’s cost of funds to 2.9 per cent, from four per cent in 2019.”