Union Bank Nigeria Plc has proven skeptics wrong by meeting deadline for submission of 2016 audited financial statement within the regulatory prescribed period ended 31st March 2017.

The bank, in its result, revealed of plans to raise fresh N50 billion of rights issue in tier 1 capital, which however would depend on shareholders’ approval at its forth coming annual general meeting

Union Bank also echoed of its centenary anniversary in 2017. The Bank will celebrate the 100-year milestone under three broad themes – Celebrate, Impact and Lead. According to Chief Executive Officer Mr. Emeka Emuwa, “Our 100th anniversary presents a unique opportunity for Union Bank to frame its own story, highlighting our many successes over the last century and presenting our simpler, smarter vision of banking and corporate citizenship to a new generation of customers.”

The bank group audited financial result for the period ended December 31,2016 released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Friday showed Group Profit before tax rose by  6 per cent to 15.7billion, against 14.9bn in 2015.,Gross earnings grew by  8 per cent to 126.6billion from 117.2bn posted in the preceding year, while interest income also rose by  8 per cent to 98.0bn, against 90.9bn posted in 2015, this the bank said was driven by  loan book growth and improved Bank asset yields.

The result further showed that interest expense declined by 6 per cent to 33.0bn from N35.2bn in 2015, development the bank said was driven by enhanced customer funding base; less reliance on expensive interbank funding, leading to drop in core cost of funds to 5.23 per cent in 2016 from 6.64 per cent in 2015.

Net revenue before impairment in 2016 rose by 14 per cent to 93.6bn, from 81.9bn in 2015, reflecting 8 per cent growth interest income growth and 6 per cent interest expense decline. Net Interest Margins improved from 8.45 per cent to 8.65 per cent.

Non-interest revenue rose to N28.6 billion from N26.2bn in 2015. Operating expenses (OPEX) buoyed by up 7 per cent to 62.0bn against 57.9bn in 2015. This, the bank said was aided by inflationary and devaluation pressures and ongoing investments in technology and network infrastructure. OPEX held flat from 2013 to 2015.

Chief Financial Officer, Oyinkan Adewale, said:“On the back of strong customer deposits, the Bank reduced average interbank local currency borrowing by 75 per cent leading to 141bps reduction in primary cost of funds and 17% increase in net interest income.

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