Home » Fidelity Bank acquires UK subsidiary of Union Bank in expansion drive

Fidelity Bank acquires UK subsidiary of Union Bank in expansion drive

by Victor Adetimilehin

Fidelity Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, has announced the completion of its 100 percent acquisition of Union Bank UK, a subsidiary of Union Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks. The acquisition, which was approved by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is part of Fidelity Bank’s strategy to expand its international portfolio and compete favourably with its peers.

According to a corporate disclosure filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the bank said that the acquisition will unlock significant value for the Fidelity Bank Group and that it is taking action to ensure the seamless integration of the operations of both entities²[2].

In an interview with Bloomberg, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the CEO of Fidelity Bank, said that the bank plans to enter five other African countries in the next three years by doing at least two acquisitions yearly. She said that the bank is targeting countries with high growth potential and favourable regulatory environments.

The acquisition of Union Bank UK is a milestone for Fidelity Bank, which has been growing steadily in the Nigerian market. The bank reported a profit before tax of N20.6 billion for the first half of 2023, representing a 72.4 percent increase from the same period in 2022. The bank also increased its customer deposits by 16.5 percent to N1.98 trillion and its total assets by 13.7 percent to N3.02 trillion.

The acquisition has also generated positive reactions on social media, especially on X, formerly known as Twitter. Many users have congratulated the bank and expressed their confidence in its future prospects. Some have even predicted that Fidelity Bank will soon join the elite group of Nigerian banks known as FUGAZ (First Bank, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank).

Fidelity Bank is not the only Nigerian bank that has been expanding its presence in Africa and beyond. In recent years, several Nigerian banks have acquired or invested in banks in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, France and the UK.

These moves reflect the ambition and resilience of Nigerian banks, which have overcome various challenges in their home market, such as currency devaluation, inflation, regulatory fines and security threats. They also demonstrate the potential of Nigeria’s banking sector to contribute to the economic development and integration of Africa.

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