First Bank woos female entrepreneurs with single-digit loans
By Oluwafemi Adeoye
With the recent acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc by Titan Trust Bank Limited (TTB), a deal that took stakeholders by surprise last year, the latter is now in a position to maintain its lead as as a technology-focused Tier 1 bank. , writes OLUWAFEMI ADEOYE.
When Titan Trust Bank Limited (TTB), one of the three new entrants in the Nigerian banking industry, started operations in October 2019, many people only glanced at it, but after a few years , the lender’s achievements have taken the industry. spectators by surprise.
Established on December 12, 2018 with a strong post-capitalization real-cash capital base, the bank has proven its readiness to compete with long-established and entrenched Nigerian banks.
In pursuit of a course of expansion with the objective of building a stronger brand capable of taking greater market share from a continent struggling for financial inclusion, the lender which is on a mission to leverage the identified gaps in the banking sector and to address the unmet needs of the mass retail, SME and corporate market, again took the sector by surprise after announcing the acquisition of an 89.4% stake in the 104-year-old Union Bank, but later increased the stake to 93.4%, in just four years of its existence.
Its expansion momentum could not have come at a better time with Tier 1 banks moving to HoldCo structures, FinTech looming as the next big thing and the African economy in desperate need of strengthened financial systems.
The deal, considered to be one of the biggest takeover deals in the history of the Nigerian banking industry, with an off-market deal worth N191 billion, was however recently formalized with Tropical General Investments Limited. (TGI Group), the parent company of TTB, becoming the majority shareholder and lead investor in Union Bank.
The acquisition is the largest in recent years, eclipsing the N120 billion Crown Mills paid to acquire Dangote Flour Mills and the N91 billion NIPCO paid for a controlling stake in Mobil Nigeria, analysts noted. financial markets. Furthermore, it is the biggest transaction in the banking sector since the N72 billion merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank Plc.
However, this is not the first time that a small bank has taken over a larger one in Nigeria, it is however the first time that an unlisted bank, which is barely four years old, will take over a century-old listed bank.
It should be noted that TGI Group, which has been present in Nigeria for over 3 decades with an established track record in setting up and running all of its subsidiaries profitably, is the ideal investor for Union Bank as they are obviously here for the long term. rather than short-term investors. This will obviously bring Union Bank a lot of stability and the established expertise of TGI and the team they have assembled to make Union Bank a first choice bank for Nigerians in the very near future. Trade analysts, however, have called the deal a win-win for Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.
The conclusion of the Titan-Union deal also saw the exit of the former Board of Directors and management team of Union Bank and the emergence of Mr. Farouk Mohammed Gumel and Mr. Mudassir Amray as as Chairman of the Board of Directors and new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) respectively, effective June 2, 2022. Other appointments to the Board of Directors under the new ownership of the bank include Mr. Andrew Ojei, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed and Mr. Lawrence Mackombo – all non-executive directors.
But unbeknownst to many, since the inception of TTB in October 2019, the bank has followed an upward trajectory and positioned itself more as a challenger bank.
At the start of its operations, the management team led by Mr. Mudassir Amray, the current Managing Director of Union Bank, and Ms. Adaeze Udensi (current Acting Managing Director of TTB), developed a holistic and integrated approach to business modernization, which has formed the basis of the bank’s superior customer experience.
The impact of this strategic move had a positive impact on the bank’s performance in its first three months of operation, where the bank recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of over N600 million.
In its determination to bring financial services to every household to foster effective inclusion and participation in the recovery and growth of the Nigerian economy, TTB has invested heavily in technology and developed fully integrated service models that allow its customers to benefit from banking services through a wide range of channels. The bank believes in innovation, creativity and using technology to improve the lives of its customers while striving to ensure that its products and services meet the changing needs of its customers.
Recently, TTB launched and deployed the latest version of Oracle’s FCCM module, powering our AML/CFT infrastructure, used in over 120 locations by the world’s largest banks. It has also invested in world-class infrastructure for AML/KYC, as well as Oracle’s Financial Services Analytics Application (OFSAA) to ensure rigorous analysis and measurement of its risk performance objectives.
In less than three years of operation, TTB has grown to earn the trust of the banking public, providing quality banking services with state-of-the-art technology that enables its customers to enjoy banking services through a wide range of channels.
Hence, with its recent acquisition of Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s most trusted and respected financial institutions, with a network of over 293 sales and service centers and over 937 ATMs spread across Nigeria, analysts believe the deal could spark new competition between the money. depository banks in the country.
The lender has displayed high ambition to become a Tier 1 bank over the next five years and is banking on its vast digital banking strength to disrupt a space where the big five banks commonly known by their initials FUGAZ dominate.
The acquisition eases the path for TTB to become Nigeria’s sixth largest lender, with Union Bank’s asset valuation reaching N2.6 trillion by the end of 2021 and Titan’s at N246 billion by the end of 2021. December 2021.
According to Mr. Tunde Lemo, Chairman of Titan Trust Bank, with the combination of TTB, a Tier 3 bank, and UBN, a Tier 2 bank, “we are going to see the emergence of a Tier 1 bank” .
“Union Bank is one of the largest in terms of network. But we believe that after 104 years of operation, it can be rejuvenated by a bank like Titan Trust Bank which has cutting edge modern banking skills.
“We believe that by combining the strength of fintech with the value of the UBN brand, we can make an impression in Nigeria by rolling out modern banking services to every nook and corner of the country.
“The agreement represents a unique opportunity to combine Union Bank’s long-standing and leading franchise banking business with TTB’s innovation-driven model, which promises to enhance the product and service offering for our valued customers. combined.
“Thus, there will be an important synergy between the two institutions,” he said.
With this new development, the bank is poised to dominate the market in the financial services sector, especially in the retail segment.