Uchumi eyes expansion after profit jump

THE Uchumi Commercial Bank (UCB) is planning to increase its outreach through bank agencies, digital platforms and brick and mortar branch expansion this year.

The bank’s expansion is targeting to not only increase financial inclusion but also bring banking service closure to farmers and SMEs in rural areas.

The UCB Chief Executive Officer, Mr Samwel Wado, told the ‘Daily News’ the main reason to target rural dwellers rests on the fact that majority of their customers are SMEs and farmers, thus easing their access to financial services will elevate their wellbeing.

“This year we want to register some 200 agents while in the next five years, we targeted to have 1000 agents,” Mr Wado said.

The bank so far has some 34,700 and 47 agencies, most of them in northern and central zones—including Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Dodoma.

He said the digital system will allow their customers to access UCB services in the comfort place of their choice and at their convenient time. Additionally, the bank went into operation in 2005, and planned to also increase the number of branches to six from the current two in the next four years.

“Our capital has currently increased and the expansion will go parallel subjected to the growth of our capital…for instance, we have already opened a new branch at Himo,” in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Mr Wado said.

To beef up their capital, the CEO said, they are targeting to increase their profit by 90 per cent from last year’s levels.

“We are planning to continue generating profits, have enough customers and better their services,” Mr Wado said.

The bank set aside 1.0 per cent of its profit for Social Services Responsibilities (CSR).

The UCB net profit has jumped up almost nine times in last year’s fourth quarter to 87m/- in the fourth quarter of last year from 10m/- in a similar period in 2021.

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