About two years ago, some gladiators in the banking industry came together and established a seemingly inconsequential bank, Titan Trust.
Titan Trust, a commercial bank with necessary accreditation, was established on the 12th of December, 2018 and obtained its National Banking license on the 26th of April 2019, operating as a fully commercial National Bank. According to information on its website, “Titan Trust Bank’s National banking license is the first National banking license that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted in the last Ten years. TITAN is passionate about the future, committed to tomorrow, and laser focused on building a pan-African world class financial institution with innovation, youth, & strength at its heart”.Since its emergence, the Bank has been taking everyone by surprise, with its unimaginable track-records. In 2019, the bank recorded a whooping profit of N644 million, and in 2020, its after-tax profit rose to N2.9 billion.
The Bank has obviously taken advantage of the identified gaps in the banking sector and addressed the unmet needs of the retail mass market, SMEs and corporate institutions.
The two-year old bank, which has been operating in ‘obscurity’ since inception, with a few branches, on Thursday acquired an 89.39 percent stake in the 104-year old Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. A significant milestone in the journey of the bank. An achievement many in the banking industry have described as highly commendable for a newly-established bank.Congratulations are in order to the parties involved in reaching this phase of the transaction. No doubt, Union bank should be eternally grateful to its investors whose significant and consequential investments over the past nine years facilitated the transformation of Union Bank, one of Nigeria’s oldest and storied institutions. Its acquisition is a step in the right direction for Titan Bank, considering Union Banks’s rich and innovative product offering, growing customer base of over six million and consistent year on year profitability. This development is an indicator to an evolutionary process, which is currently being enjoyed in the banking sector. There seems to be a revival in the sector that has raised the awareness of the banking public. Customers are seeing beyond the beautiful edifices housing a banking institution, and are looking majorly at possibilities of huge business transactions and profits propelled by modernization in the industry. Stakeholders have commended the recent development, likening it to the biological process of ontogeny. The acquisition by Titan Trust Bank projects the newness which allows the new to overtake the old swiftly. The Banking institution has positioned itself in vantage position, making its takeover of Union Bank the biggest upset in Nigeria’s Financial institution so far in 2021.
Titan Trust Bank has an alliance with Citibank, headquartered in New York, which serves it as a correspondent bank.With this transaction, Titan Trust is on its way to holding the largest equity stake by a single investor in any of the country’s publicly quoted banks. You know what this means? That means that only a limited portion of Union Bank’s shares will be readily available in the open market when the deal is delivered except a corporate resolution to sell down parts of the newly bought interest. This is a solid foundation for TTB to build on as it moves into a new era of Banking.Shares in Union Bank gained 9.78 per cent in Lagos following the news, the biggest price increase by any stock of the 157 equities listed on the NGX. To reflect the fresh change and for branding purposes, another name for Union Bank will most likely be adopted when the acquisition is perfected. Union Bank launched as Nigeria’s second oldest bank in 1917 when London-based Barclays Bank opened shop in Lagos.
The chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Tunde Lemo, said: “The Board of Titan Trust Bank and our key stakeholders are delighted as this transaction marks a key step for Titan Trust in its strategic growth journey and propels the institution to the next level in the Nigerian banking sector. The deal represents a unique opportunity to combine Union Bank’s longstanding and leading banking franchise with TTB’s innovation-led model which promises to enhance the product and service offering for our combined valued customers.”
Also the Chief Executive Officer of Titan Trust Bank, Mudassir Amray, said: “After completing over two years of operations with aggressive organic growth, we are excited to have an opportunity for a significant leap forward in market share. UBN’s widespread presence, state of the art technology platform, quality staff and strong brand loyalty fits well with our synchronized modular strategy. We look forward to delivering superior results for the benefit of our staff, customers, shareholders, and stakeholders.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Emeka Okonkwo, said: “We recognize the strategic fit between the two institutions and expect that this deal will deliver the best outcome for our employees, customers and stakeholders. We look forward to collectively writing the next exciting chapter for Union Bank”.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper