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Monday, March 4, 2024

UBA Sierra Leone Records Outstanding Performance in 2022 Financial Year

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Highlights: Income Statement

  • 64% Year on Year (YoY) growth in Gross Earning to SLE427 million from SLE 260 million in 2021.
  • 71% YoY Growth in Profit Before Tax and Profit After Tax to SLE 271 million and SLE203 million from SLE7 million and SLE118.7 million respectively in 2021.
  • Improved Cost-to-Income Ratio of 28.0% compared to 34% in 2021FY.
  • Return on Average Equity (RoAE): 2%; compared to 39.3% in 2021FY.
  • Increased Corporate Income Tax payment obligation of SLE67.9 million in 2022 from SLE40 million in 2021.

Balance Sheet

 54% YoY Growth in Total Assets to SLE2.97 billion from SLE1.92 billion 2021.

  • 61% YoY Growth in Net Loans to SLE258.1 million from SLE160.5 million.
  • 60% YoY Growth in Customer Deposits to SLE2.08 billion from SLE1.3 billion in 2021.
  • 30% YoY Growth in Shareholders’ Funds to SLE439.9 million from SLE339 million in 2021.
  • Liquidity ratio of 160.7% compared to 154.2% in 2021.

UBA Sierra Leone has received the “No Objection” approval from the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) to publish its audited financial statements for the year ended 2022. The statements were approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on 29th March 2023.

Despite global and domestic economic challenges, UBA Sierra Leone achieved remarkable performance in the financial year, demonstrating significant improvements across all indices. The Bank reported a notable Profit Before Tax (PBT) of SLE 271 million and Profit After Tax (PAT) of SLE 203 million, representing a year-on-year growth of 71%. Furthermore, the Bank’s corporate tax responsibility to the Government increased to SLE 67.9 million from SLE 40 million in 2021. The improved profit performance also led to an average return on equity of 52.2% compared to 39.3% in 2021.

Gross earnings witnessed a substantial increase of 64% in 2022, resulting in a year-on-year rise in net interest income by 70%, from SLE 163.7 million to SLE 278.9 million. The Bank capitalized on its transaction banking channels, digital banking products, trade, and foreign exchange offerings to drive a 49% growth in non-interest income from SLE 68.8 million to SLE 102.7 million. UBA Sierra Leone aims to leverage its alternative channels for continued growth in non-interest income and gross earnings in the medium term.

The Bank experienced a 45% increase in operating expenses in 2022 due to the expansion of its operations, general inflationary trends, and its commitment to maintaining personnel satisfaction. However, despite the increase, the Bank’s cost-to-income ratio improved from 31.4% in 2021 to 28.0% in 2022, primarily driven by incremental revenue from expanded operations and business volume. UBA Sierra Leone anticipates sustaining this improvement through increased digitalization of products and services as well as various process improvement initiatives.

UBA Sierra Leone concluded the 2022FY with a balance sheet size of SLE2.97 billion, reflecting a 54% growth compared to SLE1.92 billion in 2021. The growth was primarily driven by increased customer deposits, which grew by 60% to SLE 2.08 billion by the end of the year, leveraging the Bank’s digital capabilities in providing round-the-clock service through electronic channels.

In the area of risk assets, UBA Sierra Leone increased its loan book by 61% to reach SLE 258.1 million in 2022, compared to SLE 160.5 million in 2021 with a non-performing loan ratio of less than 1%. This growth enables the Bank to continue supporting its customers and their businesses.

UBA Sierra Leone maintains strong liquidity and capital adequacy, with a capital adequacy ratio of 82.85% (compared to 112.5% in 2021), well above the regulatory minimum of 15%. The liquidity ratio stands at 160.7%. The Bank remains well positioned to drive financial inclusion in Africa through its innovative products and extensive network, leveraging its strong capital buffer and internally generated earnings.

As a subsidiary of the UBA Group, UBA Sierra Leone remains committed to the UBA Group 4.0 direction, emphasizing a customer-centric philosophy, strategic implementation of products and services, sustainable growth strategies, operational excellence and digital transformation. The Bank has adhered to the Project Alpha Initiative: 2021-2023, a three-year strategic plan outlining business goals in attaining industry leadership across various parameters.

Moving forward, UBA Sierra Leone aims to achieve industry leadership by expanding its customer base and embracing digitalization. The Bank recognizes the importance of technology in driving business and aims to provide customers with the convenience of banking anytime, anywhere. The Bank’s virtual banker, LEO, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot, offers interactive and user-friendly banking solutions, allowing customers to send money to UBA bank accounts, prepaid cards, and other financial institutions through various social media platforms. UBA Sierra Leone plans to continue enhancing its digital offerings to further enhance the banking experience of its customers.

 

In May 2023, UBA Sierra Leone announced the relaunch of its UBA NextGen Product and appointed George Menelik Benjamin (AKA Drizilik), a renowned Sierra Leonean artist, as the official brand ambassador for UBA NextGen Retail Banking Product. This collaboration between artistry and innovation aims to inspire young people in Sierra Leone and around the world to adopt banking as a way of life. Drizilik, a multi-award-winning singer and rapper, will also promote the features of UBA Leo and NextGen Account.

UBA Sierra Leone received several major awards in 2022, including The Banker’s Bank of the Year 2022 from the Financial Times of the United Kingdom, the National Climate Change Partnership Award, the National Development Award for Exceptional Bank of the Year in Digital Services and Financial Inclusion, and the Business Excellence Award for corporate excellence and socio-economic growth in Sierra Leone.

In an effort to deepen local representation on its Board, UBA Sierra Leone appointed Mr. Desmond Gordon-Williams as a non-Executive Director, bringing the number of Sierra Leoneans on the Board to five out of seven. This move aligns with UBA Group’s strategy to localize and domesticate operations in all countries where it operates. Mr. Gordon-Williams brings with him 35 years of diverse experience in executive management positions across various sectors and regions.

On another development, the Bank announced the appointment of Mr. Mohamed Alhajie Samoura as the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, making him the first Sierra Leonean to hold this position since the Bank was established in Sierra Leone in 2008. Mr. Samoura’s appointment followed the approval of his nomination by UBA Group Office and the “No Objection” approval received from the Bank of Sierra Leone. He succeeded Usman Isiaka, who served as MD/CEO for two years (2020 – 2022).

Operating in twenty (20) African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, United Bank for Africa provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology in it service provision. UBA is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with over 24,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 30 million customers globally. UBA Sierra Leone currently has over 500,000 customers with the strong vision to be the undisputed leader and dominant financial service institution in the banking sector in Sierra Leone.

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