The United Bank has identified 5 axes for its expansion strategy during 2022, the most important of which aims at maximizing digital transformation applications and mechanisms, whether at the level of customers or at the level of the work team; With the aim of creating an added value for banking business.
In an interview with, Ashraf El-Qadi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank; To clarify the details of the expansion strategy and its objectives, and the most important results of the financial indicators achieved by the bank during the past year.
What are the most important axes of The United Bank’s expansion strategy this year?
El-Kady: We have 5 main axes for this year’s expansion plan, represented in creating investment opportunities for the small and medium enterprises sector, as it is one of the pillars for building an Egyptian industrial and productive base.
He added: We seek to offer financing solutions supported by digital services; Such as rapid microfinance through the digital wallet, and the possibility of payment through the wallet.
We are also working on developing digital banking solutions such as the digital wallet, mobile banking, corporate internet banking, cash management service, as well as electronic payments for taxes and customs. Current and future customers.
What are the growth rates targeted by the bank this year?
“Al-Qadi”: The United Bank seeks to increase its market share and attract a larger segment of customers, and we aim for the bank to be classified as the best in Shariah-compliant products.
He added: We seek to achieve a growth rate in the total financing portfolio of about 15 and 30% of the retail banking portfolio during the current year.
He continued: “The United Bank” pumped contributions in joint loans worth 1.3 billion pounds to finance major national projects during 2021.
He said: The bank participated with 500 million pounds in co-financing led by the National Bank of Egypt, and 11 banks participated in favor of the El-Garabli Company for Integrated Engineering Works, with a total financing of 12.3 billion pounds to develop the Abu Qir port in Alexandria.
He added that the bank also contributed 250 million pounds within a banking alliance to finance Arkan Palm for Real Estate Investment, led by the Export Development Bank of Egypt.
What is the bank’s expansion plan towards Islamic banking during the current year?
“Al-Qadi”: We seek to develop financing and banking products that are compatible with the provisions of Islamic Sharia. To enable The United Bank to be the Islamic finance arm in the market, and we also aim to combine digital banking technology with the mechanisms of the Islamic economy.
He added: We are working on the continuous development and modernization of the technological infrastructure, including a computer, and programs prepared and specialized in the Islamic banking service.
Over the past three years, The United Bank has enhanced the volume of investments in the field of information technology infrastructure, and has also worked to improve the quality of services and financial transactions provided to customers, whether traditional or Sharia-compliant.
How much does the SME portfolio represent of the total credit?
“Al-Qadi”: The small and medium enterprise portfolio accounts for about 16% of our total credit portfolio, and we aim to reach the 25% approved by the Central Bank by the end of 2022.
He added that the “Bank” allocated 500 million pounds to microfinance, and financed the first customer to obtain microfinance through the UB digital wallet from the United Bank branch in Zagazig; Where the customer disbursed the value of the financing, and pays its installments monthly through the wallet.
After the bank’s contribution to the “Lighthouse Education Fund”, are there contributions to other funds?
“Al-Qadi”: We are studying contributing to new funds, one of which is specialized in fintech, and another is real estate, but the bank did not specify a share to contribute to these two funds. As our liquidity is good, and it allows to contribute with large shares, but the size of the contribution depends on the size of the companies or funds, the return on equity, the strength of the company and management, the return on assets, and the growth opportunities of the company.
We expect these new contributions to the funds soon, in addition to the Bank’s contribution to the Lighthouse Education Fund.
He pointed out that the Lighthouse Fund has promising opportunities for growth, and is in line with the alliance’s strategy by investing in Egyptian cadres capable of forming effective projects in the education sector.
El-Qadi pointed out that investment in the educational system comes in implementation of the state’s policy, and maximizing investments in it to support it technically, which is positively reflected on the stages of building personality and the modern Egyptian identity.
The bank also acquired a share of 35 million pounds in the I-Finance IPO, coinciding with the start of government theses on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.