As part of efforts to provide tailored services to different sections of its customer base, Union Bank recently organised a trade finance conference for its corporate customers in Lagos.
The focus of the event which held at the Eko Convention Centre was to equip C-suite Executives and decision makers from large corporate organisations with market insights and opportunities they can leverage to drive growth and greater operational efficiency for their businesses.
The event was also an opportunity for Union Bank to unveil its Local Letter of Credit, a variant of the standard letter of credit adapted for use in domestic trade – a first in the Nigerian banking sector.
The newly introduced local letter of credit seamlessly bridges the payment gap between local buyers and suppliers, with Union Bank assuming the liability for payment to the seller. This positions the buyer more favorably, providing them with greater leverage in commercial negotiations. Also, with the local letter of credit, customers are able to obtain preferential conditions like extended payment days, thereby reducing working capital costs.
Highlighting the critical role of trade to the growth of the economy, Emeka Okonkwo, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Union Bank explained that the forum was organised at this period when corporate organisations need to be able to identify and exploit opportunities for growth, following the Nigeria’s recent emergence from economic recession.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Okonkwo said; “The launch of our local letter of credit today is in line with our commitment to provide innovative and tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of our corporate customers. At Union Bank, we remain focused on helping our customers identify and leverage sustainable ways to build their businesses as Nigeria navigates through the economic recovery process. ”
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Ozeomena Nnaji, Deputy Director, Trade & Exchange at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said;
“We applaud the innovation of Union Bank with the introduction of the Local Letter of Credit which is one way of deepening the relationship with customers and promoting their businesses. This initiative will also help the Bank’s customers save costs and stay in business. We encourage other Banks to follow suit in providing innovative solutions to help businesses grow.”
Speakers at the event included Chidi Ileka, Head of Transaction Banking at Union Bank and Sola Olubi, Head, Corporate Banking Group Specialized Unit who sat on an informative panel to discuss ways to drive business growth and operational efficiency with trade finance structures.
They were joined on the panel by Dr. Nnaji of the CBN; Venkat Subramwaniam, the Managing Director of Sambooka Fertilizers; Ikechukwu Igwe, Managing Director, Ifeoma Chukwuka Limited and Lalit Koul, Commercial/sales Director, Prima Corporation.
Part of Union Bank’s value proposition to participants at the event was a detailed presentation by Anwuli Femi-Pearse, Union Bank’s Head of Treasury Sales, who provided deep insights on Nigeria’s economic outlook and projections for coming months, to enable attendees make well informed financial decisions in their businesses.
The conference highlights Union Bank’s commitment to its customers across the country, providing them with much needed support they need to achieve their business and personal goals.