The Business Year

Clement Isikwe


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CEO, United Bank for Africa Mozambique


Clement Isikwe is the CEO of UBA Mozambique. He has an MBA from the University of Lagos and a Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science from the same university. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria. His banking experience spans over 19 years and numerous banks. He has played several roles in the bank ranging from Regional Director to Bank Head. The previous banks he worked with include Standard Trust Bank, which later merged with UBA Plc, and Zenith International Bank.

What prompted United Bank for Africa Mozambique (UBA) to enter the Mozambican market in 2010? The country is blessed with very rich mineral resources, a growing economy and stable and […]

What prompted United Bank for Africa Mozambique (UBA) to enter the Mozambican market in 2010?

The country is blessed with very rich mineral resources, a growing economy and stable and well-run government. Since investment will only go to where it is welcomed, we intend to carry out a lot of long-term investment in the country because of these business opportunities and solid governance enjoyed by the country. We celebrated our third anniversary in the country at the end of 2013 and currently have two branches in Maputo, while the third one will be opened shortly in Nampula. Our primary focus is corporate and commercial banking, while also reaching out to retail banking, mainly through our e-banking channel. Our business philosophy rests on value-chain banking.

What is UBA’s approach to the retail segment in Mozambique?

UBA offers unique banking products that help us drive the retail banking business and financial inclusion. A high percentage of the 23 million population remains unbanked, which makes for a huge untapped potential. Leveraging on our group’s strength and expertise in e-banking, we are constantly deploying e-banking products to serve this segment of the population. One of these unique products is our UBA Africard, which is a Visa pre-paid card. This e-wallet is increasingly integrating the unbanked population into the financial system. We invite the public to benefit from the different banking products available from UBA that are tailor-made for each customer type.

What are the corporate, retail, and SME ratios of your client portfolio?

About 45% of our business today is corporate, with 35% SMEs and 20% retail. Our business philosophy is entrenched in value-chain banking. Corporate clients have a diversity of needs. They need strong suppliers and service providers and also need to take care of their staff. At UBA, we identify and provide financial support to these areas under our value-chain banking strategy. When you support the service providers at the center of the value chain, it eases the pressure on our corporate customers, who are at the top of the chain.

What makes UBA unique in the Mozambican banking sector?

The fact remains that UBA specializes in African businesses. Our experience in other African countries helps us develop African-made solutions for specific needs. No one can understand Africa and African businesses better than Africans. Therefore, being a pan-African bank, UBA always seeks to constantly identify these needs and offer specific solutions for them. Our operations are driven by our group policies, which are domesticated in line with the local country’s regulations. UBA group is a large entity, but is also aware of local requirements of any country it operates in, as regulations differ country by country. Our ability to align our policies to the local regulations has remained a great plus for us. Another strength of UBA is that we have, at the group level, specialized divisions for every key banking area. We constantly leverage these specialized skills to deploy service and value to our numerous customers, which also makes us unique. Our staff at UBA Mozambique can be deployed to take up higher roles in any office within our group. We regularly send our staff for training to acquire greater skills and widen their understanding of Africa. We also have products that facilitate trade across the African countries where we have operations.

How would you characterize the significance of Mozambique for UBA as a pan-African bank?

The Mozambican economy, like any other, requires financial support to be able to maximise its potential. Our presence here will, therefore, support the ongoing developmental process in the country, of course while also providing returns to our shareholders. It is our belief that Mozambique will become one of the African success stories.



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