Although, Union Bank does not plan to physically expand locally or internationally this year, however, there are plans to re-align its branch network to make sure it covers new business areas in which it does not have any presence, Emeka Emuwa, group managing director, Union Bank, has said.
Emuwa, who was formerly managing director of Citibank before taking on the Union Bank role November 1, 2012, revealed that the bank’s focus for the time being was not on expansion or acquiring other banks, but on ensuring that its service delivery was at the best level possible.
“When you mention the name Union Bank, one of the first things that comes to people’s minds is ‘Big, Strong, Reliable’ – our tagline of many years,” said Emuwa, saying “indeed, Union Bank was once all these things. Our long-term goal is that Union Bank will be all three again – big, strong and reliable. But for today, our focus is on being reliable.”
Emuwa said several steps were already being put in place to ensure that the bank stays on track with this aspiration.
“We are looking into everything that needs to be taken care of to make sure we deliver the best service possible,” Emuwa said, as “we are looking at people, processes, infrastructure, technology – everything.”
He said that, with regards to infrastructure, efforts had begun to modernise the bank’s branches before his arrival and that these efforts were being consolidated. With regards to people, he said that the workforce would be strengthened and skills upgraded. On the technology side, the group managing director said technology was also being upgraded and reinforced across the bank and that current processes were being reviewed to make them more efficient and effective for its clients.
He noted that despite its many challenges, the bank had a lot going for it, including a large branch network, a large and loyal customer base and a reputation for being transparent, especially with regards to charges. “At Union Bank there are no hidden charges,” he said, as “what we tell our customers that we are going to charge them is what we actually charge them.”
According to him, the bank will maximise the opportunities existent in its large customer base while still growing that base by targeting new segments of the market, as it does not plan to physically expand locally or internationally this year, but there are plans to re-align its branch network to make sure it covers new business areas in which it does not have any presence.
Emeka Emuwa, group managing director, Union Bank