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UMB rides COVID-19 storm -Records 194% increase in profit

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mr Benjamin Amenumey

The Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has recorded an impressive 194 per cent increase in profit for the half year ended June 2020, despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the operations of businesses.



Despite the devastating impact of the current pandemic, the bank’s profit after tax increased from GH¢5.5 million in June 2019 to GH¢16 million in 2020, representing a 194 per cent increase year-on-year.

UMB also grew its asset base from GH¢2.6 billion to GH¢3.3 billion between June 2019 and June 2020 representing a growth of 25 per cent.

Half year performance

Commenting on the bank’s half year performance in a statement on August 4, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Benjamin Amenumey, noted that UMB, as a business, put in place interventions to manage expenses and these measures culminated in a 10.4 per cent reduction in expenses (year-on-year).

He explained that the bank was closely observing local and international developments regarding the pandemic and all the necessary protocols were in place to ensure the safety of their customers and employees.

“Rest assured, that UMB is available to provide you with exceptional service even in these uncertain times. As part of our measures, we had triggered aspects of our business continuity plan in response and anticipation of the impact of the COVID-19 in the environment.”

As a testament to the bank’s commitment of deploying technology as a banking solution for their customers, UMB has also introduced the ‘tap to pay’ feature for its UMB Visa contactless cards.

With the UMB Visa contactless cards, customers can make faster and secure payments on any contactless-enabled POS device or terminal worldwide.   

The measures taken by various national governments to contain the pandemic across the world have heavily impacted many businesses, especially in Ghana where small businesses make up the majority.

UMB, as one of the oldest universal banks in the country that has developed and deployed various banking solutions that meet the needs of today’s large- and small-scale businesses, has committed to supporting businesses through this difficult socio-economic situation.

According to the bank’s management, the current crisis presents an opportunity to further engage, co-create, and support their clients to recalibrate their operations.

Digital solutions

With the UMB SpeedApp, he noted that UMB customers can conveniently and seamlessly bank in the comfort of their homes using the innovative mobile banking application.

Similarly, he said customers can choose from a suite of electronic channels including 24-hour ATMs as well as the UMB Internet banking portal.

"Not only is the bank at the forefront of deploying technology to better serve its clients, it is positioning the customer at the heart of all it does in this critical period with many interventions such as financial relief packages to cushion the blow that COVID-19 has dealt many business owners especially those in the SME sector.

"Additionally, UMB has rolled out for government workers and public servants, an exciting loan package - the UMB Controller Loan, to help them secure up to GH¢150,000 at a competitive interest rate and then pay back within a 48-month period so that they can finance their everyday personal needs."