KARACHI – UBL has posted a standalone Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 25 billion for Full Year 2018. Excluding a one-off extraordinary pension charge for prior years, PBT reached Rs. 31.6 billion, one of the highest in the industry. The Bank maintained its strong payout, declaring dividends of Rs. 13.5 billion (Rs. 11 per share) in total to shareholders during the year. The Bank remains well capitalized as the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) improved from 15.4% in Dec’17 to 17.7% in Dec’18.
UBL is deeply embedded across core segments, serving over 5.3 million customers through its network of 1,364 countrywide branches, 1,451 ATMs and 36,000 branchless banking agents. During the year, UBL launched its banking app, “UBL Digital”. The app is equipped with enhanced security and unique features such as QR code payments, facial recognition and augmented reality. This year the Bank also launched ‘digital client on-boarding’. With this facility, customers can request to open a UBL bank account anytime, anywhere through the UBL Digital App. The app has received a positive response as the subscriber base stood at 300,000 at the end of the year.
Building on the strong momentum of its domestic branch banking franchise, UBL added 586,000 new current accounts during the year. Current deposits closed at Rs. 508 billion at Dec’18 with 15% growth over last year. Resultantly, current to total deposits ratio improved from 43% in 2017 to 46% in 2018. Domestic deposits reached Rs. 1.1 trillion at Dec’18, a 9% growth over last year.
The Corporate Banking segment remained a very active participant in public and private sector expansion projects. As a result, gross advances for the Bank have grown by 16% this year. The asset build up also remained strong within Consumer lending, led by autos where the portfolio increased by 48%. The Bank remained committed to providing easy access to financing for SMEs. In line with this commitment, average SME lending grew by 25%. The agri-portfolio also grew by 59%, on an average basis, over the previous year.
In order to enhance the capital base and support the growth trajectory of the Bank, UBL has also successfully completed the process of issuing Additional Tier 1 (ADT-1) Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) amounting to Rs. 10 billion.
The highlight of 2018 was UBL being declared the ‘Bank of the Year 2018 – Pakistan’ at ‘The Banker’ Awards in London. The Banker, an affiliate of the Financial Times UK, is the world’s leading financial publication. The most prestigious title in the global banking industry, the Banker Awards recognize excellence in performance, adding customer value, innovation and leadership in society. UBL won the award on the back of its contribution in expanding the scope of financial services in Pakistan and spearheading innovation in the local banking industry.