Union Bank of Nigeria
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc is a large Nigerian commercial banking concern. Its history dates back to January 1917, when the bank started operations in Nigeria as Colonial Bank. Today, it is one of Nigeria's largest agricultural credit financial institutions and has a low deposit amount for opening an account.
In a recapitalisation process announced in 2004, the bank absorbed Universal Trust Bank and Broad Bank of Nigeria.
The company's headquarters is located at Stallion Plaza, Marina, Lagos and the firm has over 7,844 employees and up to 498,000 shareholders.
Union Bank of Nigeria was originally known as Colonial Bank, Nigeria. The then Colonial Bank of Britain was already in operation in the West Indies but needed an act of parliament granting it the right to operate in other British colonies before commencing operations in Nigeria and challenging the near monopoly of BBWA in the country. The act was granted in 1916 and immediately thereafter, Colonial Bank decided to open branches in Lagos, Kano, Jos, Port Harcourt and Accra. In 1925, Colonial Bank was absorbed into what became Barclays Bank DCO, which became an international banking entity. Between 1925-1945, before the coming of UBA, both Barclays and the Bank of British West Africa (BBWA) where the main banking concerns in the country and were engaged in a mild competition. Though, it was a time many indigenous citizens were reluctant to use the banks and the banks main customers were multinationals such as the United African Company and the colonial government. In 1969, the company was formally incorporated in Nigeria. Two years later, the bank sold about 8.33% of its shares to the Nigerian public. During the era of indigenization, the government acquired majority shares in bank.
The bank along with Standard Bank and UBA was one of the Big Three banks in Nigeria during the 1960s to the late 1970s. The then big three banks accounted for about 60% of the assets in the banking sector at the time. At a point in time, it termed itself one of the top 500 banks in the world.
In 1978, the Nigerian government took its banking business away from the bank and also repatriated many of its expatriates as punishment for the international bank's dealing with apartheid South Africa. The initial loss of the government's account dented its lead among other banks of the era though, an incoming civilian government in 1979 began relaxing its attitude towards the bank. After the end of apartheid, in 1996, the bank became the first Nigerian bank with a branch in South Africa.
In 1979, Barclays Bank, London sold about 50% of its holdings in the Nigerian branch to Nigerians and the name was changed from Barclays Bank of Nigeria to Union Bank of Nigeria in order to reflect a new image and ownership structure. It is among the first banks in Nigeria to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange having done so in 1971.
Today, the bank has more than 380 branches across the nation and over 700 billion naira in assets.
The bank has a partnership with MoneyGram international, Vigo, Travelex and has a subsidiary in the U.K.
- Union Homes Savings and Loans Plc. 61% owned
- Union Trustees Limited. 40% owned
- Banque Internationale du Benin, Cotonou
- UTL Communications Services Limited
- Union Capital Markets Limited
- Union Registrars Limited.
- UBN property. 55% owned
- Union Bank of Nigeria profile, Thomson Extel Cards Database, March 25, 2008.