Union Bank to Divest Non-banking Subsidiaries in 18 Months

The central bank had three years ago cancelled the universal banking model and enforced new minimum capital requirements for banks in a bid to avoid a repeat of the 2009 near collapse of several lenders. In compliance with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regulations separating business and retail banking, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc is set to divest its non-banking subsidiaries within the next 18 months. Following (central bank’s) approval, Union Bank will proceed to divest its interests in its non-banking and portfolio companies and operate as an international commercial bank. Union Bank scaled a recapitalisation hurdle after the central bank propped it up and it agreed a $750 million cash injection by a group of investors to keep it afloat. "The post-divestment structure will reduce the overall risk profile of the bank, while increasing the protection of depositors' funds,"