Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2005



United Bank Limited (UBL), majorly owned by the consortium of Abu Dhabi and Bestway Group, earned a pre-tax profit of Rs5 billion for the year 2004. The Board of Directors approved the financial statements of the bank on January 31, 2005.
The profit before tax of Rs5 billion depicts an 80% rise as compared with Rs2.8 billion in 2002 the year of privatization.
This profit before tax is higher by 11% as compared with last year. Major contributory to the healthy profit was the net mark up/interest income after provisions, which increased by 11% over last year to Rs7.5 billion (2002: Rs5.2 billion), mainly due to a volume increase in the advances. Fee income increased by 13% as compared to last year to Rs1.9 billion (2002



Rs1.5 billion), mainly due to 
 increased focus on trade business during the year. Income from dealing in foreign currencies also increased sharply by 53% and stood at Rs0.7 billion, due to the weakening of the rupee, which created opportunities for effective arbitrage. The profit after tax grew by 36% over last year to Rs3.8 billion (2002: Rs1.5 billion), translating into an EPS of Rs7.38 per share (2002: Rs0.62 per share) and a return on equity of 26% (2002: 17%).

Deposits grew by 25% in comparison to the last year and stood at Rs237 billion (2002: Rs162.7 billion). Our dedicated field staff once again demonstrated their ability to exceed expectations.

The bank achieved a 51% growth in advances to Rs150 billion as compared with last year, which is one of the highest growth rates amongst the large network of banks. The advances have doubled since the year of privatization.

Trade volumes rose sharply by 31% to Rs189.5 billion whereas home remittances also increased by 12% to Rs22.7 billion as compared to last year.

The improved performance of the Bank resulted in upgrading of the Bank's long-term credit rating to "A+" from "A" and short-term rating to "A-1+" from "A-1" by the JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company. This has assisted in increasing the depositor's confidence in the Bank.

With the increasing demand of credit in the economy and the expansion of the consumer business, there has been an increasing pressure on bank's capital. To mitigate this, the Bank effectively raised supplementary capital through the issuance of listed, rated, unsecured and subordinated Term Finance Certificates amounting to Rs4 billion, split between two issues. The first issue was closed successfully in August 2004, whereas the second issue will be offered to the general public in February 2005. The capital adequacy ratio on a consolidated basis stood at 12.94% for December 2004.

2004 has been a year of major initiatives for the Bank. Four new consumer loan products were launched viz. UBL Drive, UBL Cashline, UBL Address and UBL Business Line. UBL Address and UBL Drive captured bulk of the market share within the first few months of their launch and are market leaders in their segments. UBL's Visa credit card is expected to be launched in February 2005. It is the first EMV-chip enabled credit card in South Asia.

The year 2004 also saw the launch of UBL Wallet ATM card and UBL Business Partner current account. In addition, the bank introduced e-banking services for its customers through the launch of You First Net Banking.

Going forward, UBL aims to broaden its network through ATMs and e-banking products. Following the establishment of a 24x7 call center, UBL plans to supplement its service and focus on quality improvement. The Bank's investment in human resource, premises and technology reflects its commitment to enhance customer satisfaction through world-class products and services.


United Bank Limited (UBL) recently announced that UBL is the first bank in Pakistan and South Asia to launch the Visa Chip Credit Card. Privileged UBL chip credit cardholders will now benefit from many exciting rewards & payment options and services besides enhanced security, protection and convenience.



"Post privatization the Bank has emerged to become one of Pakistan's most dynamic and aggressive financial institutions, which has launched a number of leading consumer financing products including auto, housing and personal financing. UBL's massive customer base of existing branch customers of 3.5 million and a vast reach of more than 1000 branches all over Pakistan is an advantage," said UBL's President & CEO Atif Bokhari.

He further added "As the first bank in Pakistan and South Asia to launch an EMV Chip Credit Card, UBL is now set to lead the way in this key area of consumer banking. This move is very significant for us as it provides unending opportunities and an enhanced lifestyle to our customers as well." 

"This futuristic chip-enabled credit card will offer special exciting features to customers combined with greater security and protection. UBL can now provide its customers with a product-based on real value and options to enhance their lifestyle. With the introduction of this product we are truly set to change the cards industry forever."

Further elaborating on the product, M.A. Mannan, Group Executive Consumer and Commercial Banking, said "With Pakistan's first chip credit card, the consumer can now enjoy complete freedom without the worry and hassle of cash-based transactions. It guarantees global acceptability in more than 22 million locations worldwide in  more than 130 countries and in more than 12,000 outlets within Pakistan.  In line with our You First Vision, for the first time in Pakistan UBL introduces CHIP rewards on its credit card. The way as a  privileged UBL Credit Card customer, the user will have the option of exciting instant chip rewards versus traditional point-based rewards.

We are also launching "RoadMiles" for the first time in Pakistan whereby the more you spend on your card you get free Petrol every month. Another first is TalkTime whereby the more you spend on your card you get free TalkTime/Minutes in addition to a free connection."

"We also have the Low Balance Transfer Rate facility which gives the user the opportunity of paying off balances at only 1.52% per month on the same balance. The user can withdraw cash through UBL Credit Card's instant cash advance facility from any designated UBL 'Cards Payments' Branch nationwide, and at more than 700,000 ATMs and financial institutions worldwide displaying the VISA/PLUS logo," he concluded. 

The UBL credit card launch comes after the successful launch of a series of products within the year, which include UBL Wallet ATM/Debit Card, UBL Drive, UBL Address, You First Net Banking and UBL CashLine.  It has also to its credit the first complete drive-through branch in Pakistan.