Boost for Kenya, UK trade as UBA bank opens in London

Kenyan exporters to the United Kingdom will benefit from reduced trade barriers following the launch of United Bank of Africa-UK.

UBA, now the only Sub-Saharan African bank to conduct banking activities in London and 20 other African countries including Kenya, officially unveiled its London subsidiary following regulatory approval from Prudential Regulation Authority, an agency of the Bank of England, to offer wholesale banking activities in the UK.

UBA Group Managing Director Kennedy Uzoka said UBA-UK will strengthen the bank’s abilities in meeting the growing cross-border financing needs, while positioning the bank as the prime conduit for trade and foreign investments into and across Africa, as well as export flows to the United Kingdom.

“With our expansion in London, African countries trade barriers with the UK have been reduced and we now expect top African exporters to the UK will take advantage of the new bank,” said Mr Uzoka in London during the official launch.

He urged investors in the UK to take advantage of the London based Pan African bank to do direct foreign investment in Africa especially in the 20 African countries where UBA bank operates.

“We are now set to offer UK to Africa direct investment to boost trade between the UK and African countries. We don’t expect anything negative from the Brexit issue, whatever happens will not affect the UBA-UK vision for Africa,” he added.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu, who also attended the launch of the UBA-UK Bank, welcomed the development saying it is significant for an African bank to get a UK operating license.

“This shows a great number of our players can and will perform at the very top of the global stage. It also means for our Kenyans in the Diaspora, especially for the small and medium enterprises, there is another avenue for access to credit which critical to their growth,” he said.

UBA Africa CEO, Victor Osadolor, said UBA-UK bank will help harness the potential of trade in Africa.

“London is the global financial hub due to its geographical location and we expect our 17 million customers in 20 African countries to reap benefits of our operation in the UK,” he said.

UBA-UK Bank will offer full scale treasury services, cash management, corporate lending and wholesale deposit offerings to professional and eligible counterparties.

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