United Bank Limited (UBL) recorded a year on year growth of 19% in Profits After Tax (PAT) for the half-year ended June 30, 2020. With strong build-up in core earnings, revenues were recorded at Rs. 48.0 billion for H1’20, up 14% over H1’19.
Despite inflationary pressures, the cost base remained flat versus last year at Rs. 19.2 billion, with the cost to income ratio improving from 45.8% in H1’19 to 39.9% in H1’20. This performance translates to earnings per share (EPS) of Rs. 9.31 for H1’20 (H1’19: Rs. 7.80). The bank maintained its very sound capital position with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) at 21.1% at Jun’20, well above the minimum regulatory requirement of 12.5%.
UBL is one of the largest private sector banks in Pakistan with a footprint of 1,361 branches and 1,482 ATMs located all across the country, with over 5 million branch banking customers. The bank remains fully committed to its very loyal and growing customer base, while striving to meet expectations across all delivery channels.
Following the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, UBL has taken all necessary steps to ensure continued and uninterrupted services to our customers in a safe environment. Despite the challenges that the pandemic posed, over 95% of branches remained open for business in this difficult period. This was made possible by the unwavering dedication of our most valuable asset, our staff.
During the second quarter of 2020, UBL crossed a landmark deposit level of Rs. 1.5 trillion. Domestic deposits closed at Rs. 1.3 trillion, growing by 10% over Dec’19, a net increase of Rs. 128 billion. This enabled the bank to grow its deposits market share to well over 8%.
Islamic Banking continues to gain momentum with a footprint of 100 branches as well as 162 Islamic banking windows. UBL’s portfolio of Islamic deposits now stands at Rs. 98 billion, with 20% growth over Dec’19. The bank maintained its strategic relationship across the world as the preferred bank for overseas Pakistanis, bringing in home remittances of over USD 6 billion in the last one year, with a market share of over 25%.
UBL remains at the forefront of providing innovative and unique solutions, aimed at making banking easier and accessible for everyone. Building on its digital strategy, the bank aims to transform its products and processes, with an end state of developing a wider payment ecosystem for the country. The UBL Digital app has been gaining a very positive response, with over 1 million customers acquired over the last one year.
Furthermore, UBL’s branchless banking proposition, UBL Omni, is playing a prominent role in promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, and continues to be a market leader in providing basic banking services to the large unbanked population. The Omni ‘Dukaan’ network extends to around 35,000 agents spanning over 1,400 cities and towns.
UBL’s net advances stood at Rs. 585 billion as at Jun’20 (Dec’19: Rs. 636 billion). The bank’s loan book is driven by the domestic Corporate Banking Group, maintaining a quality portfolio across diverse industries which includes fertilizers, chemicals, engineering, telecom, and pharmaceuticals. Led by autos financing, the domestic consumer loan portfolio stood at Rs. 16 billion.
The bank is also an active player in the SME and agri-lending space, with approximately half of our branches dedicated to rural areas. The bank also remains a key partner to large corporate and public sector organizations in meeting their cash management needs.
As the bank announced strong results for the half-year ended June 30, 2020, UBL’s new President and CEO Mr. Shazad Dada said, “It is indeed an honor to be given the responsibility of leading such a premier institution like UBL. I thank the Chairman and the entire Board for placing their trust in me to lead their organization. It is the hard work and dedication of the UBL team which has enabled the bank to grow into a very strong franchise over the years.”
“As we explore the next phase of growth, our future strategy would be driven by the needs of our customers, aspiration to build the highest level of service standards, while leading the digital transformation of financial services in Pakistan. We believe that there is a huge opportunity to grow across all core segments driven by our drive for innovation and leadership position in digital banking,” he added.