By Mark Owor
UNITED Bank of Africa is set to open at least 10 new branches before the end of the year, a top official announced over the weekend.
UBA, a subsidiary of the UBA PLC, a pan-African financial powerhouse headquartered in Nigeria, launched its operations in Uganda in May.
â€œWe have opened up six new branches, four in Kampala and two in Mbale and Jinja and are set to put additional branches in Mukono, Fort Portal and Mbarara by the close of December,â€ Manz Denga, the regional chief executive officer, said during the launch of the Kansanga branch on Friday.
Dr. Ezra Suruma, the finance minister, and Dr. Maggie Kigozi, the head of the Uganda Investment Authority, attended the launch. Denga disclosed that the bankâ€™s ambitious target was to be in at least 25 countries by the end of 2009, and thereafter cover the whole continent.
He said their Freedom Account, which does not require any deposits to open or monthly service fees, would increase access to financial services and promote a saving culture.
UBA, the only sub-Saharan bank operating in the US, has branches in 12 African countries and three continents.
Suruma urged the bank to lower the skyrocketing interest rates to enable more people access loans.
The minister urged Ugandans to use this opportunity to open up free accounts in order to increase access to financial service and promote a saving culture