UBA Group Expands to EMEA, Starts Banking Operations in DIFC, Dubai


The United Bank for Africa (UBA), Africa’s global bank, has been around for more than seven decades. The group is present in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.

The bank has expanded its operations to the United Arab Emirates with the official opening of its new branch at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

UBA (DIFC Branch) will operate under the Category 4 license and will be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory body of the Special Economic Zone

The UBA branch in the DIFC will serve business and financial institutions and clients in the Middle East with a core focus on correspondent banking, relationship management and advisory services.

The UBA Group will now be able to seize opportunities in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which consists of 72 countries with an estimated population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of US$7, 7 trillion and thereby strengthen its strong franchise as Africa’s global bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the rest of the world.

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Speaking at the launch of the new subsidiary in Dubai, the Chairman of the UBA Group, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, explained that with the Group’s foray into the Gulf region, UBA continues to focus on its strategic intent to lead the way when it comes to to do business in Africa.

“By partnering 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 investment .

“We have been looking forward to this day as it is the first time we will be present in this part of the world. We know that our international expansion is incomplete if we are not present in the gulf,” Elumelu added.

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UBA’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank now operates in 24 countries on four continents, serves more than 35 million customers and continues to grow.

“We are the only bank of Nigerian origin that has expanded from Nigeria to the UAE. Those before us have come through other locations and that shows the strength and respect of the Dubai authorities for UBA. Our presence in Dubai confirms that UBA is a strong franchise and expanding its reach around the world.

“The authorities and business environment here in the DIFC are phenomenal and UBA sees Dubai as the gateway to Africa and that is why we are here, to be closer to our customers, to work with them and facilitate business and trade flows to Africa through the UBA franchise. So we’re super excited,” said Uzoka.

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The CEO, UBA (DFIC), Mr. Vikrant Bhansali, noted that trade, commerce and investment in Africa is expanding in the Gulf region and Asia.

“By leveraging UBA Group’s presence in global financial centers, UBA (DFIC) will enhance the group’s ability to facilitate Gulf investors and banks’ access to African markets. We will finance trade, facilitate trade and help grow investment in Africa, across all sectors,” he said.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Authority stated that UBA (DFIC) testifies to the strong relationship between Dubai and Africa.

“It’s a great start as we look forward to creating more interaction, channeling more trade and investment into Africa, and with UBA DIFC we are closer to achieving our goals. DIFC will continue to look for partnerships that will deliver winning relationships, as we have just seen with UBA Group,” assured Amiri.

UBA Group Expands to EMEA, Starts Banking Operations in DIFC, Dubai


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