• Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Union Bank: Titan’s Amray to adopt ‘think big, long-term’ strategy

Union Bank: Titan’s Amray to adopt ‘think big, long-term’ strategy

Mudassir Amray became the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Union Bank Plc on June 2, 2022, after leading Titan Trust Bank Limited to growth within a three-year period as the managing director.

Amray is a seasoned banker with a well-rounded exposure of over 25 years in senior management roles and a proven track record of adaptability in six geographies (USA, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Pakistan) in the course of his career at Citibank and other foreign and local banks.

Prior to being appointed the CEO of Union Bank, Amray led the establishment of Titan Trust Bank Limited and subsequently became the bank’s pioneer CEO in October 2019.

He holds an MBA from the University of Santo Tomas and a Bachelor of Commerce from National College, University of Karachi.

Titan Trust Bank, which has now become the majority shareholder and core investor in Union Bank, commenced operation as a commercial national bank after obtaining its licence in April 2019.

Despite operating for 81 days in 2019, Amray’s led Titan Trust Bank made a profit and has continued to remain profitable. The bank reported a profit of N644 million in 2019, and N2.9 billion in 2020.

It is expected that his strategy of “think big and think long-term” will restore confidence, ensure safety of depositor’s funds and position the bank for growth, stakeholders have said.

In a recent interview with Global Brands, where he was asked to advise anyone who wants to become the CEO of a bank and what he would do differently if he could do it all again, Amray said: “My advice to young professionals in Nigeria is to ‘think big and think long-term’.”

The board of directors of Union Bank, last Thursday, announced the appointment of Amray as the CEO of the bank.

Following Union Bank’s notification in December 2021 of the execution of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) between the bank’s majority shareholders – Union Global Partners Limited, Atlas Mara Limited, et al. – and Titan Trust Bank, and the subsequent receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, it notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the Securities & Exchange Commission and members of the public of the completion of the transaction under the SSPA, which effectively transfers 93.41 percent of Union Bank’s issued share capital to TTB.

Union Bank was established in 1917 and is one of Nigeria’s longest-standing and most respected financial institutions.

Before the recent ownership, Union Bank’s ownership structure comprised Union Global Partners Limited, a consortium of strategically aligned investors with 65.10 percent shareholding, Atlas Mara Ltd with 25.58 percent, and a diverse group of shareholders accounting for the remaining 9.32 percent. Despite the acquisition, reports had noted that the new owner may face an avalanche of legacy debts arising from legal actions against Union Bank, which the financial report said “has resulted in contingent liabilities amounting to N1.98 trillion as of 31 December 2021.”

However, Amray is expected to leverage his exposure of over two decades to resolve the challenges faced by the bank’s customers.

Some of these customers have adopted the use of social media channels to lodge their complaints about the bank’s poor services.

“One of the biggest vanities upon a man is to have an account with Union Bank. The bank where betrayal is common! The bank where poor service delivery is granted. The only bank where complaining of a customer is useless. The bank that loses its prestige due to poor service delivery. The bank where staff can’t confidently confront customers’ complaints and solve it. In brief, I regret opening an account with Union Bank. The magnitude and intensity of the loss that union bank causes cannot be qualified,” a customer, Salisu Abdulsalam, said.

Another customer, Victoria Nwakaego Okere, took to Facebook to lodge her complaint: “Please you people should return my money that is on hold. Have I done wrong to be your people’s agent? Now I can’t even do my business and your stupid bank has made me lose 10k to a customer because of your useless network. How can you tell me a transaction failed and then tell me it’s successful after one week the customer left? Now who will pay for that? I regret opening an account with you guys.”

Read also: Titan Trust Bank becomes majority shareholder, core investor in Union Bank

Union Bank also went to Facebook to respond to customers’ complaints, saying, “You may be experiencing delays on our platforms; this is due to a technical issue. Please bear with us as we work to resolve the challenge as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

In his expectations from the new managing director, Uju Ogubunka, president of Bank Association of Nigeria, said the interest of every customer is to make sure that the bank continues to move forward.

He said: “Once our deposits are safe and secure, they render services that are acceptable; we are not looking for anything dramatic. So our expectation is the bank should be alive and growing. They have to continue to assure the customers and the banking public that their money is safe and sound and render services. When we need help like loans, foreign exchange and others, they should be able to deal with us fairly.

“We wish the new establishment well and we will support them to the best of our ability as long as they do not endanger our interest.”

Titan Trust Bank, the new owner of Union Bank, offers savings, mortgages, checking accounts, advancing salary, debit and credit cards, commercial lending, treasury management, and online banking services. It serves customers in Nigeria.

“We have a focused strategy. For corporate clients, we aim to deliver cost-effective financial solutions. For retail clients, we focus on convenience. For SME/MSME, it’s about providing a platform to enhance their reach. So, all in all, it’s about innovation, digital solutions, and customer service. But in my view, these are all defensive ingredients. What sets us apart is our passion to be transparent and fair. It sounds simple but is not and it is not common. There is no achievement bigger than winning clients’ trust,” Amray said in the interview.

Functionally, Amray has done corporate banking, investment banking, treasury, trade, and a bit of retail banking while serving as the CEO of Titan Trust Bank.