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SME support: Union Bank affirms commitment

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Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has said it is focused on having products that will make it easy for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to access funds and other forms of support needed for growth.

Chief Brand & Marketing Officer of Union Bank, Ogochukwu  Ekezie  Ekaidem stated  this in Lagos during a virtual interactive  session with senior officials of Union Bank.

 She said the bank is working towards clustering as many SMEs to create value, adding that is not only loans that they require, “they ask for other needs like access to market, advisory and others.

“On the banking side, we continued to move forward under the new Chief Executive Officer, We have structured our businesses in a way that gave autonomy to our regions. In this case, we have regional directors that oversee the regions,” Ekezie-Ekaidem said.

According to her, the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced Nigerians to embrace digital channels, saying that Union Bank has invested much in that.

On the rising case of cybercrime, she said it is a global issue and Union Bank will continue to ensure a high level of protection.

 “What we do is to be ahead of the criminals by upgrading our system regularly. If you hear about cybercrime, know that the system was able to detect it due to its efficiency.

“The prevalence of Covid-19 has forced us into a digital life and now more people are getting on board, getting signed on our digital platforms. Also, continued stakeholders engagement and education has increased the literacy levels of more people who have now signed on to electronic banking.

“We will continue to push forward on all fronts, sustaining promotions of e-banking, where we have made a lot of investments,” she said.

“However, cyber securities are not always 100 per cent fool proof, but depositors and shareholders should always be assured that funds are always insured and safe all the year-round.

“When you hear of cybercrime fraud, it shows that our systems are working and able to detect it, anything that is not recovered, there is insurance, the customers are not bearing any burden. Cybercrimes are issues globally and when you hear of it, shows that the systems put in place to detect attempts are working,” she maintained.

Ekezie-Ekaidem however, disclosed that there has been an increase in customer base following Union Bank nationwide campaign to give away N55 million to new and existing customers in its ‘Save & Win Palli’ promo, saying  this is another way the bank is offering Nigerians some relief from the economic hardship brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the promo period which runs from June to December 2021, new and existing customers who save a minimum amount of N10, 000 monthly will qualify to win whopping cash rewards and prizes,” she said.

She also noted that a total of 350 customers will win N100, 000 each in the monthly draws, while six customers will be awarded N1, 000,000 each during the quarterly draws.

 “The grand finale will take place in December, with one customer winning the grand prize of N5, 000,000. An additional 300 customers will win amazing gifts, bringing the total number of winners in the promo to 657,” she added.

Interestingly, Union bank is focused on cost optimisation to drive growth and profitability, and this has been the focus of the bank’s new CEO.

To drive cost optimisation, Union bank now has a cost optimisation board which has to give approvals before presentation to the board.

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