United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, is a leading pan-African financial services group with its headquarters in Marina, Lagos, Nigeria. It is one of Africa’s best and most resilient banking groups with operations in 20 African countries and offices in three global financial centers: London, Paris and New York. It was founded by Tony Elumelu (C.O.N).
Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu (born 22 March 1963) is a Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2003. He was recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People in 2012” by Forbes magazine.
Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, in 1963. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He has two degrees in economics from Nigerian universities,a bachelor’s degree from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos. Tony Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together. He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives. He is the cousin of legendary Nigerian reggae artiste, Ras Kimono who died on 10 June 2018.
In his early career, Elumelu acquired and turned Standard Trust Bank into a top-five player in Nigeria. In 2005, he led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) now has more than fourteen million customers and over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points globally.
UBA was initially referred to then as the British and French Bank Limited (BFB). It took over the assets and liabilities of BFB and was incorporated as a limited liability company on 23 February 1961 under the Compliance Ordinance (Cap 37) 1922.
In 2005, it completed one of the biggest mergers in the history of Nigeria’s capital markets with the business combination with Standard Trust Bank (STB) Plc. From then, it continued to expand to Ghana, Benin Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Cameroon, Kenya, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, Mozambique, Senegal, Congo DR, Congo Brazzaville and Mali. Followed by its pioneer Initial Public Offer in the Nigerian banking industry in 1970, UBA got listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, where it is publicly traded under the symbol “UBA” and it is the first Nigerian-headquartered bank to launch Global Depository Receipts, which are unlisted.
In 2006, the bank pioneered the interconnection of its then 428 African branches making it the largest online real time branch network in Africa. Africans are able to withdraw or deposit money in any of these branches regardless of where their accounts are domiciled. Since then, the bank has remained in the forefront of technology innovation in the African banking space, launching the first artificial intelligence Virtual Banking Robot in the African market early 2018.
Some of its biggest achievements include :
1. UBA was the first among international banks to be registered under Nigerian Law in 1961.
2. UBA is the only Sub-Saharan African bank, with a deposit taking license in the United States.
3. UBA is the only Nigerian-headquartered bank with full African footprint across all the sub-regions in Africa.
4. UBA is the first Nigerian-headquartered bank to offer an IPO following its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1970.
5. UBA is the first Nigerian Bank to introduce a Cheque Guarantee Scheme – the first cheque guarantee card in the history of innovative banking services by any Bank in Nigeria, known as UBACARD in 1986.
6. First Nigerian-headquartered bank to hit the NGN1 trillion balance sheet size (including contingents).
7. UBA is the first Nigerian bank to embark on a GDR programme in 1990.
8. UBA is the first bank in Nigeria to institute a foundation – UBA Foundation; the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the UBA Group.
9. UBA Introduced First Visa Dual Currency Debit Card in Nigeria.
10. UBA and MoneyGram open first dedicated MoneyGram location in Nigeria.
11. Successful underwriting of the first 100 percent local funding of an ExxonMobil/NNPC Joint Venture Project.
12. UBA launches Nigeria’s First Cash Deposit ATMs.
13. UBA is the first Pan-African bank to launch an AI-led Virtual Banking Robot.
Their vision to be the undisputed leading and dominant financial services institution in Africa has become a reality in recent times.