On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, the bank announced in a regulatory filing on the Nigeria Exchange (NGX) that it had engaged into a legally binding agreement to purchase a 100% equity position in Union Bank United Kingdom Limited, for which the Central Bank of Nigeria had given a letter of “No Objection.”
The transaction is however subject to the approval of the United Kingdom’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).
Commenting on the transaction, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe stated, “This transaction aligns with our strategic plan of expanding our service touchpoints beyond the Nigerian market and providing straight-through services that meet and exceed the needs of our growing clients.”
The proposed acquisition marks Fidelity Bank’s first foray into the international market and signals yet another milestone in the bank’s increasing profile as a leading African bank.
It would be recalled that renowned ratings agency, Fitch Ratings recently upgraded the bank’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) from ‘B-’ to ‘B’, reflecting the bank’s increased creditworthiness as well as its National Long-Term Rating to ‘A(nga)’ from ‘BBB+(nga)’.
Standard and Poor’s, another global ratings agency also upgraded the bank’s national scale ratings to ‘ngBBB/ngA-2′ from ‘ngBBB-/ngA-3’ in recognition of its resilience and performance through the cycle.
“The diverse service bouquet and business model of Union Bank UK offered a compelling synergy, and we hope to build on the existing capacity to create a scalable and more sustaining service franchise that will support the wider ecosystem of our trade businesses and diaspora banking services”, explains Onyeali-Ikpe.