KARACHI – UBL reported a Profit After Tax of Rs. 20.9 billion for the financial year ended 2020, which was 9% higher than 2019. These results were delivered by the highly dedicated UBL team which has worked with the utmost discipline and perseverance despite the challenges from COVID-19.
The Bank maintained strong payouts to shareholders, declaring dividends of Rs. 14.7 billion for the year 2020 (Rs. 12.0 per share). The Bank’s capital position remains strong and provides a solid foundation to support future business expansion. The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was measured at 24.4% as of December 31, 2020., an excess of 11.9% over the applicable minimum regulatory requirements.
UBL maintains one of the largest networks in Pakistan. The bank serves over 10 million customers nationwide, through its footprint of 1,356 branches, including 100 Islamic branches, 1,442 ATMs, and over 35,000 ‘UBL Omni’ dukaans. The network is well supported by our innovative and transformative UBL Digital app serving over 1.5 million customers today.
Overall gross revenues stood at Rs. 92.1 billion for 2020, growing by 10% over 2019. The bank recorded a strong year-on-year growth of 21% in net markup income which stood at Rs. 75.0 billion for 2020. Non-markup income stood at Rs. 17.1 billion for 2020, down 21% compared with last year, lower mainly due to the COVID-led slowdown in fee earnings. However non-mark-up income picked up during the last quarter of the year, as business momentum is now returning to pre-COVID levels.
UBL’s asset base stood at over Rs. 2.0 trillion at Dec’20, growing by 8% over Dec’19. The domestic franchise remains the core of the UBL brand. Branch banking continued its strong momentum, with 17% growth in deposits which stood at Rs. 1.4 trillion. The bank added over 571,000 new bank customers within current accounts, which enabled the domestic bank to record a 13% growth in average current deposits, which stood at Rs. 538 billion in 2020. The savings portfolio stood at Rs. 544 billion in 2020 with 15% growth in averages. The Bank maintained a strong CASA ratio of over 85% throughout 2020. The bank’s net advances stood at Rs. 530 billion as of December 31, 2020, down 17% over the previous year. UBL’s government securities holdings grew to over Rs. 1.0 trillion with Rs. 576 billion invested in fixed and floating rate Pakistan Investment Bonds and Rs. 345 billion deployed within Treasury Bills. This enabled the bank to maintain a healthy mark-up income in 2020.
UBL maintained its leadership in the home remittance space, with an average market share of over 23% in 2020, maintaining its status as the preferred partner of the Pakistani diaspora for home remittances. As part of the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) efforts to provide non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs) with basic banking and investment opportunities within Pakistan, UBL has been playing a leading role in supporting the Roshan Digital Account initiative. For its efforts, UBL has been recognized for the highest number of Roshan Digital accounts opened in 2020 by the Government of Pakistan.
UBL is the pioneer in the local banking industry in providing state-of-the-art digital banking services. The bank’s digital strategy is centered around making banking easier and accessible to the mass public in an easy and convenient manner. For its role in spearheading innovation in the Pakistani banking space, UBL was declared Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank for 2020 by Asiamoney, an associate of Euromoney.
UBL was also declared the ‘Best Digital Bank’ at the 2020 Pakistan Banking Awards. The year has seen UBL work on innovative ventures to bring about many customer-centric technological offerings. The award recognizes UBL’s position as Pakistan’s leading progressive and innovative Bank.
Furthermore, UBL was recognized as the “Bank of the Year 2020 – Pakistan” at the Banker Awards. The Banker is an affiliate of the Financial Times UK and is the world’s leading financial publication. The award recognizes UBL’s excellence in performance, adding customer value, innovation and leadership in society, particularly during extraordinary times due to the current pandemic. UBL has won this award for the fourth time this decade which is a testament to the bank’s efforts in expanding the scope of financial services in Pakistan as a core strategy and spearheading innovation.
Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO of UBL said, “Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, UBL delivered solid results. Our strong balance sheet gives us the foundations for future growth. We will build on our award-winning digital proposition, introducing innovative banking solutions. Our focus is on enhancing performance across our core businesses and building greater operational efficiencies and agility across the organization. I am proud of the way our people have shown great resilience to maintain the highest level of customer service during the pandemic. They are our greatest asset and we will continue to invest in their development and wellbeing. Customer centricity is at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to providing market-leading services to our ever-growing customer base.”