In October 2002 Sir Anwar Pervez’s Bestway Group along with High Highness Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan’s Abu Dhabi Group successfully bid for a controlling share in United Bank Limited (UBL). This was a total investment of approximately US$ 210.0 million in Pakistan’s fourth largest bank.
During the last decade the Pakistani banking sector has been completely transformed. New benchmarks in customer service; in product offerings & delivery; in profitability have been set. In such a scenario UBL has emerged as an industry leader by offering a dynamic portfolio of products through imaginative delivery channels.
In August 2003, UBL launched Pakistan’s first derivative money market product. In 2005, the bank acquired the status of Authorised Derivative Dealer – the only domestic bank to achieve this status. It is also the first institution from Pakistan & third in South Asia to be accredited with Primary Membership of International Swaps & Derivatives Association.
In July 2005 the bank was listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange, since listing UBL’s market capitalisation has increased by more than 200%. The stock’s stellar performance was rewarded with UBL’s inclusion in the Morgan Stanley Capital International Global Indices in May 2006.
In 2006, UBL Fund Managers Limited was launched. Another innovative product, the UBLFM provides unique savings and investment products as well as advisory services to its customers. In six years, UBLFM has become the largest fund manager in Pakistan.
In June 2007 the Global Depository Receipts of UBL were listed on the London Stock Exchange. The offering targeted institutional investors and rose in excess of US$ 650.million.
In June 2007 Asia Money Magazine declared UBL ‘The Best Domestic Bank in Pakistan 2007’.
In April 2010 the bank launched the UBL Omni – the pioneering branchless banking initiative that provides customers banking services through multiple access channels including Net banking/ WAP, SMS, Contact Centre, ATMs etc. With this the bank achieved the singular honour of pioneering the launch of branchless banking in Pakistan. This product was developed in house. Today, UBL Omni has managed to grow to a network of 8,000 retail business agents spread across 680 cities and towns in Pakistan.
In January 2011, Bestway Group increased its shareholding in UBL to 51% by acquiring an additional 20% of the shares from the Abu Dhabi Group at a cost of US$ 230 million.
In February 2012 UBL won the ‘Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations’ at the Global Mobile Awards 2012 for UBL Omni.
In April 2012, UBL was granted a license to operate a subsidiary in Tanzania.
In June 2012, a UBL led consortium acquired 67.4% stake in Khushali Bank Limited (KBL) for US$ 26 million. KBL is one of the largest microfinance banks in Pakistan and was established in close collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of the Government & ADB’s aim to enhance the financial outreach to the large unbanked majority in the country by offering micro credit financial solutions. This acquisition will fit in nicely with UBL Omni and the synergies between the two businesses will help enhance growth in their respective areas.
In June 2012, Asia Money Magazine declared UBL ‘The Best Domestic Bank in Pakistan 2012’.
In November 2012, the Banker Magazine declared UBL ‘The Bank of the Year for Pakistan 2012’.
In the last ten years UBL branch network has grown by over 20% to over 1,200 branches in Pakistan; a significant presence throughout the Middle East; Subsidiaries in UK and Switzerland; a branch in New York and Representative Offices in Beijing and Kazakhstan. The bank’s balance sheet has more than doubled with deposits increasing from US$ 2.69 billion to US $ 7.37 billion and asset base increasing from US$ 3.12 billion to US$ 9.38 billion, with UBL emerging as the 2nd largest retail bank in Pakistan. UBL provides employment to over 16,000 people globally as compared to 9,200 at the time of acquisition.
Due to the proactive approach of the board, the capital adequacy ratio today stands at 14.71%, which reflects the robustness of the balance sheet.
In November 2013, the Banker Magazine declared UBL ‘The Bank of the Year for Pakistan 2013’.
In March 2014 UBL Omni was launched in the United Kingdom to facilitate remittances from the UK to the South Asian subcontinent.
In June 2014 the Government of Pakistan sold its remaining 19.8% stake to international investors for US$387 million. UBL was Pakistan's first transaction in the global equity market in almost eight years. Morgan Stanley, Templeton, Blackrock and Lazard were among several foreign equity funds that participated in the UBL shares sale.
Find out more at the UBL website.