The Nigerian United Bank for Africa Group opens a branch at DIFC to attract business from across the Middle East.
The United Bank for Africa (UBA), an international bank with a 70-year history and present in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the US and France, has entered the UAE, with the launch of a branch at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The new branch will operate under a Category 4 license and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the special economic zone’s financial regulatory agency.
The branch will service corporate and financial institutions and customers across the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.
Financing trade transactions
Speaking during the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai on Thursday, the Chairman, UBA Group, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, said, “Collaborating with our franchises in 20 African countries and the major financial centers 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 and CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, 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 with 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. The authorities and business environment here in the DIFC is phenomenal and UBA is seeing Dubai as the gateway for Africa and that is why we are here, to be closer to our clients, to be partnering with them and facilitate businesses and trade flows into Africa through the UBA franchise.”
Trade and investment
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC, said during the ribbon cutting ceremony “UBA (DFIC) attests to the strong relationship between Dubai and Africa. It is a beautiful start as we are looking forward to achieving more interaction, channeling more trade and investments into Africa, and with UBA DIFC, we are closer to achieving our objectives. DIFC will continue to seek partnerships that will deliver winning relationships as we have just witnessed with UBA Group.”
Dubai recently ranked as the second most important international commodities trading hub, according to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.