At centenary, stakeholders laud Union Bank’s rebranding

Chairman, Union Bank, Cyril Odu (left); Non-Executive Director, Mrs. Nike Akande; Chief Executive Officer, Emeka Emuwa; Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Emeka Okonkwo, at the official launch of the banks 100 -year anniversary

Union Bank Plc’s rebranding strategy at the dawn of its 100 years of operations in Nigeria has ensured improved customer satisfaction, a hallmark of new generation banking system.

Starting from the change of its popularly mantra, “Big, Strong, Reliable” to “Building Simpler, Smarter Bank”, the strategy has gradually phased out the slow-paced analogue banking, with simpler and smarter products, services and processes.

This has also resulted in the opening of new branches, remodeling of existing ones across the country and launch of electronic-driven products to deepen financial inclusion project of the Federal Government.

The Managing Director of the bank, Emeka Emuwa, said the critical milestone achieved, with efforts aimed at returning the financial institution to path of sustainability in the last few years, culminated in the rebranding.

At the kickoff of the centenary event, Emuwa explained that with a defined business model focused on customer segments across retail, commercial and corporate banking, the bank is now positioned to deliver simpler, smarter services to all its customers.

The company is also relying on technology to enhance its customer service, maintain a reliable banking platform and roll out new products, especially in the retail space.

“One hundred years is no easy feat for any institution, and I am proud to be a part of this milestone achievement at Union Bank. While we will celebrate our past achievements, this milestone also signals the start of our legacy for the next 100 years,” he said.

According to him, the launch of this refreshed identity signals a new phase in the bank’s transformation, setting sights on attracting a new base of customers, while remaining focused on providing simple and smart banking solutions to all our customers.

“Union Bank has been a trusted name for Nigerians in a century and we will continue to leverage our heritage as we embrace a rapidly changing world.

“I know and understand the bank. I know the hard work it has taken to get us this far. But from today, a new chapter has been opened. It also requires more hard work,” he added.

A former chairman of the bank, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said: “I am very proud of the strides that the bank made during my time as chairman and I commend the board, management and staff for their hard work over the years. I am sure the bank will continue to succeed as it embarks on a new phase with a refreshed brand identity.”

The refreshed financial institution got its rebranding impetus in 2012, following a $500 million investment in the bank from Union Global Partners Limited, a private equity consortium.

It has also received added financial strength to participate in several loan syndications and financing of major development projects like the N94.6 billion medium term loan syndication for indigenous downstream oil major for Oando Plc.

It was learnt that the bank is now deepening its positive social impact, by adopting schools, like Maryam Alooma Muhktar Girls Secondary School, Kano, as part of activities to engage children on aspects of financial education including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and entrepreneurship.

The Head of Corporate Communications, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, at the launch of the bank’s new look, had told The Guardian: “Our new identity pays homage to our past and carries with it our proposition for the future. In developing the new identity, remaining true to our brand proposition of simplicity was foremost in our minds.

“Our iconic white stallion, which represents strength and passion, is now in motion, with energy and dynamism….we have included patterns to infuse a contemporary feel to the overall identity.”

Since then, the bank has received several commendations for impactful outcome of the rebranding on its operations.

After inspecting the new look facility, Kaduna State Accountant-General, Umar Hassan Waziri, who unveiled the upgraded branch at Ahmadu Bello Way, said it promised to revolutionise banking in Nigeria.

A customer of the bank, Mrs. Fatima Olowokore, said: “Initially, I saw Union Bank as an archaic institution, but when I started banking with it over two years now, I discovered that it has embraced new generation way of banking.”

But for the Managing Director, Arewa Metal Company, Joachim Daudu, “I abandoned my Union Bank account for 18 years because of time wasting, but a friend encouraged me recently because he was able to access the services less than five minutes.”

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