Even as Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the economy, the Ugandan banking sector in 2021 registered rapid growth, and held on steadily, posting a 6.7% growth in assets, from UGX38.8 trillion to UGX41.4 trillion.
This was realized against the backdrop of a 6% growth in lending, from UGX16.2 trillion to UGX17.2 trillion, and this is attributed to the healthy growth in deposits that enabled the sector to keep its purse strings open— deposits grew by 5% from UGX26.9 trillion to UGX28.2 trillion.
The sector also recorded a 10% growth in total income, from UGX4.7 trillion to UGX5.2 trillion, and this was urguably due to growth in lending and therefore growth in interest income, the mainstay of the sector, as well as growth in marketable trading securities that grew by 10% from UGX5.3 trillion in 2020 to UGX5.8 trillion.
Banking, which is arguably the highly risk-averse sector also recorded an average cost-to-income ratio, excluding loan provisions improving signiﬁcantly from 68% in 2020 to 55.2% in 2021, thus giving a huge boost to the aggregate sector proﬁtability, despite challenging macroeconomics.
Suffice to note, net profit crossed the trillion-shilling threshold, for the first time in the history of Ugandan banking, to reach UGX1.1 trillion. This was an increment of 32.6% from the UGX 812.6 billion registered in 2020. Eighteen (18) of the twenty- six (26) commercial banks recorded proﬁts (69%), compared to nineteen (19) of the twenty-four (24) in 2020.
Note has to be taken however, that this success story was not one that evenly spread. The impressive success was concentrated amongst the rich elite, the trillionaires’ Club.
The ten banks are Stanbic Bank, Centenary Bank, Absa Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, dfcu Bank, Equity Bank, Bank of Baroda, DTB Uganda, Citibank and Housing Finance Bank.
But who are the executives running this Trillionaires’ Club; the executives that wield this much power?
CEO East Africa Magazine critically looks at this unofficial club of banks with at least UGX1 trillion and above in assets for each. The Trillionaire’s Club, currently 10 banks, who, although formed 38% of sector players, in 2021, controlled 82.1% of total sector deposits amounting to UGX23.1 trillion of the total UGX28.2 trillion.
1: ANNE JUUKO
Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank
Tenure: 2 years (since March 2020)
Assets (2021): UGX8.71 trillion
Market Share (2021): 21% (2020: 22.1%)
Regarded as the richest banker in Uganda, Anne Juuko, the Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank, oversees the operations of Uganda’s largest bank by deposits, lending, income, profitability and assets with roughly about 21% market share across the board.
She assumed this role in March 2020 from Standard Bank Namibia, where she was the Head, of Corporate and Investment Banking, taking over from Patrick Mweheire.
In the two years Ms. Juuko has been at Stanbic, she has grown the bank’s deposits by 22% from the UGX4.72 trillion she inherited to UGX5.74 trillion.
Lending under her grew by 30%, from UGX2.85 trillion to UGX3.72 trillion. The growth in lending, contributed significantly to the 31% growth in assets, from the UGX5.39 trillion to UGX8.71 billion, at the close of 2021.
Under her reign, total income has risen by 12% from UGX 842.6 billion to UGX946.6 billion, even as profitability reduced slightly in 2020 from UGX258.7 billion, due to the divastating impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic.
At UGX5.74 trillion in deposits, Stanbic, in 2021, controlled a 20.4% market share of all deposits in the 26-bank sector, having grown by 4.5% from the UGX5.5 trillion it held in 2020. Although Stanbic’s market share of deposits dropped from 23.6% in 2020, the fact that it is UGX2.56 trillion ahead of its closest competitor, Centenary Bank, Stanbic’s leadership is a world apart.
Besides, Stanbic also maintains an unassailable- at least in the near future, dominance in the lending market. In 2021, Stanbic controlled 21.6% of all sector lending- UGX3.72 trillion. Although Stanbic’s lending market share dropped from 22.3% in 2020, Stanbic’s leadership is impregnable, for now. To demonstrate how big Stanbic’s market dominance is, all the lending done by the bottom-of-the-market 16 banks in 2021, combined (UGX2.86 trillion) is still far less, by UGX864.4 billion than what Stanbic lent out in 2021.
Recently, the London-based Global Brands Magazine (GBM) recognized Anne Juuko as the ‘Best Woman CEO’ in Uganda’s Banking sector for the year 2021, alongside Ruth Zaipuna, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania’s leading bank, NMB Bank.
2. FABIAN KASI
Managing Director and CEO of Centenary Bank
Tenure: 12 years (since August 2010)
Assets (2021): UGX4.79 trillion
Market Share (2021): 11.6% (2020: 12.1%)
Fabian Kasi operates behind the scenes as Managing Director of Centenary Bank; Uganda’s second-largest bank.
He not only runs the bank but has been key to its growth story as well. In 2010, when Fabian Kasi took over the leadership of Centenary Bank, it was that quiet bank, that preferred not to say much. Regardless, it was Uganda’s 5th largest bank by balance sheet size.
Under Fabian Kasi’s leadership, by 2014, Centenary Bank had overtaken Barclays (Absa) and Crane Bank to become the third-largest bank in the country— behind Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic.
In 2017 upon acquiring Crane Bank, dfcu Bank briefly became the 2nd biggest bank, displacing Standard Chartered Bank into the third position, but by 2018 Centenary Bank had overtaken both dfcu and Standard Chartered to settle in the second position with UGX2.282 trillion in deposits; UGX1.529 trillion in lending and UGX3.170 trillion in assets. Net profit in 2018 was UGX107.6 billion, having crossed the UGX100 million mark for the first time in 2015 when profit reached UGX101.6 billion.
Between 2018 and 2021, Centenary Bank has dug deep into its second position, ramping growth in deposits, the lifeblood of every banking business to UGX3.18 trillion (13.5% market share). In 2021, Centenary Bank not only grew its deposits but it is also widened its lead in customer deposits between it and Standard Chartered Bank, its 3rd placed rival to UGX706.4 billion from UGX424.8 billion in 2021.
An improved deposits mobilization game has allowed Centenary Bank to grow its lending to UGX2.28 trillion, from UGX1.96 trillion in 2020, thus upping its market share from 12.1% in 2020 to 13.2% in 2021. Centenary Bank in 2021 became the only second bank to cross the UGX2 trillion lending mark after Stanbic Bank broke this record in 2017.
The bank also was the second biggest earner with UGX864 billion in revenue (19.9% market share). As such, it was the 2nd most profitable bank in the country, having netted a cool UGX211.5 billion in net profit- a 31.2% increase from the UGX161.2 billion made in 2020.
Cumulatively, over the last 12 years (2010-2021) and under Fabian Kasi’s leadership, Centenary Bank’s customer deposits, the lifeblood of the business have grown by 5 times, or 404%, from the UGX630.8 billion that Fabian Kasi inherited, to UGX3.181 trillion, thanks to a doubled customer base- from 1 million to 2.5 million customers in the same period. Supported by surging deposits, lending has grown by nearly 6 times, from UGX395.8 billion to UGX2.277 trillion— a CAGR of 15.7%. As expected, with steady growth in lending, assets followed suit, growing 6 times from UGX807.2 billion to UGX4.8 trillion— a CAGR of 16%.
3: MUMBA KENNETH KALIFUNGWA
Managing Director, Absa Bank Uganda
Tenure: 2 years (since April 2020)
Assets (2021): UGX4 trillion
Market Share (2021): 9.7% (2020: 9.1%)
Mumba Kenneth Kalifungwa, is the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda, the 3rd largest bank by assets (9.7% market share); total income (13.7% market share) and profitability, as well as 4th by customer deposits (8.6% market share) and 5th by lending (7.6% market share).
He assumed this role in April 2020 from Absa Bank, Botswana, where he was the Chief Finance Officer and after a flourishing 15-year career within the bank.
Under Kalifungwa, Absa has in the two years between 2019 and 2021 grown its assets by 17%- from UGX3.43 trillion that Kalifungwa inherited in 2019 to UGX4 trillion- to become one of the only three banks in Uganda with over UGX4 trillion in assets- another first for Absa.
Lending however reduced by 2 per cent, from UGX1.54 trillion in 2019 to UGX1.31 trillion at the end of 2021. Under his watch, and despite a tough economic environment, customer deposits have grown by 11%, from UGX2.18 trillion in 2019 to UGX2.42 trillion at the end of 2021.
Although the bank in 2020 saw its profitability reduce by 48% from UGX78.1 billion to UGX40.7 billion, the bank in 2021 made a strong come back with profits growing by 169% to UGX109.5 billion, crossing the UGX100 billion mark for the first time, in the bank’s over 90 years history in Uganda.
4: SANJAY RUGHANI
Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank
Tenure: N/A; Incoming CEO
Assets (2021): UGX3.74 trillion
Market Share (2021): 9% (2020: 9.9%)
When Sanjay Rughani, a banker with over 25 years of banking experience, formally takes up his role as the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Uganda, sometime this month, he will be among Uganda’s top 10 most influential Bank CEOs.
Standard Chartered Bank, which has been operating in Uganda for now 110 years since, 12th August 1912, is the 4th largest bank in the country by balance sheet size.
Sanjay, replaces, Albert Saltson, who retired from the bank on 23rd March 2022. Saltson, leaves Standard Chartered bank as Uganda’s 3rd largest bank by deposits (UGX2.474 trillion; 8.8% market share) as well as the 4th largest by assets (UGX3.740 trillion; 9% market share) and 4th most profitable (UGX94.3 billion; 8.8% market share). It is also the 6th largest lender (UGX1.222 trillion; 7.1% market share).
Cumulatively, Saltson, who led Standard Chartered Bank from April 2017, presided over a cumulative 24.7% growth in deposits from the UGX1.9 trillion in 2016 that he inherited to UGX2.47 trillion at the end of 2021. He also grew the balance sheet size by 27% from UGX2.81 trillion in 2016 which he inherited, to UGX3.74 trillion at the end of 2021.
Sanjay, who has spent slightly over 22 years within the Standard Chartered Bank family, has been the Standard Chartered Bank, Tanzania’s CEO since January 2016. In Tanzania, he has also been the Chair of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania since June 2018 as well as the Deputy Chair of the Tanzania Bankers Association and Member of the Governing Council of the Tanzania Institute of Bankers amongst other roles.
The University of Mumbai (B. Com, Accountancy & Commerce) and Newport University (MBA Finance) graduate, before being appointed CEO in Tanzania, he held various roles within the Group, in India, Kenya, West Africa and Tanzania.
Sanjay’s major challenge is to consolidate the bank’s leadership in the digital banking space to stabilize the bank’s fundamentals and perhaps grab back its 3rd position from Absa who is also gunning for the No.1 digital-led bank position, just like Standard Chartered.
5: MATHIAS KATAMBA-Chief Executive Officer, dfcu Bank.
Tenure: 4 years (since Dec 2018)
Assets (2021): UGX3.14 trillion
Market Share (2021): 7.6% (2020: 9%)
Mathias has been at the helm of Dfcu Bank, since December 2018. Dfcu, is Uganda’s 6th largest bank by deposits, 4th by lending and total income and as such, 5th by assets and 13th by profitability. As at end of December 2021, the bank held UGX2.28 trillion in deposits (8.1% market share).
The huge deposits war chest was able to drive big-time customer lending- UGX1.51 trillion in lending (8.8% market share). Although the bank’s lending fell by some UGX267 billion in 2021, dfcu is still one of only 6 banks with a lending book of over UGX1 trillion.
Big lending, saw the bank increase its total income, from UGX414.7 billion to UGX450.1 billion in 2021, commanding an 8.9% market share of the sector’s total income. As a result, pre-provisioning profit i.e. profit before provisions, fair value losses and tax grew significantly from UGX114 billion in 2020 to UGX190 billion in 2021. However, the bank had to shoulder big loan impairment charges, resulting from the adverse impact of the Covid – 19 pandemic, and the associated containment measures and as a result, net profitability fell, by 61.4% from UGX24.1 billion in 2020 to UGX9.3 billion in 2021.
A fall in lending was a major contributor to the bank’s 10.3% reduction in its assets- from UGX3.5 trillion to UGX3.14 trillion, but regardless dfcu Bank remained amongst the top 5 banks and is one of only five banks with an asset base over UGX3 trillion, alongside Standard Chartered Bank, Absa Bank, Centenary Bank and Stanbic Bank.
Mathias Katamba is an ICF Certified Coach and a seasoned business leader with over 22 years of executive experience in the financial sector. A Chairman Emeritus of the Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA), a Director at UAP Old Mutual Uganda and the current Chairman, of Central Broadcasting Services, Buganda Kingdom’s broadcaster, he is also a member of the Presidential CEO Forum.
Before dfcu, he was the Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank which he led through a major transformation in its digital offering, customer experience and turnaround in financial performance. Before that he was Co-founder and Managing Partner of Progression Capital Africa a Private Equity Fund providing capital and technical support to microfinance institutions in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia.
6: SAMUEL KIRUBI. Managing Director, Equity Bank Uganda
Equity Bank is Uganda’s 5th largest bank by deposits (UGX2.29 trillion: 8.1% market share); the third-largest by lending (UGX1.54 trillion: 9% market share); 5th largest by assets (UGX2.29 trillion; 8.1% market share) and the 6th largest by total income (UGX382.7 trillion: 6.3% market share).
Strong income growth; from UGX292.1 billion in 2020 to UGX382.7 billion in 2021, drove equally strong performance in net profit, by 48.5% from UGX57.9 billion in 2020 to UGX86 billion in 2021, landing the bank the 6th most profitable position.
The 2021 strong performance continues a 7-year trend growth streak, presided over by Samuel Kirubi, a banker per excellence with over 24 years of experience in Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda.
In the seven years, that he has run the bank, deposits have grown 4 times or 379.4% from UGX476.7 billion in 2015 to UGX2.285 trillion in 2021; a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.1%. The bank has also moved from the 9th position in terms of deposits to the 5th!
There’s probably no bank that has enjoyed this much compounded annual growth in deposits in this period, not even Stanbic Bank, Uganda’s largest bank- which during this period, grew its deposits by a CAGR of 13%.
In the same period, lending has grown 6.4 times or 543.5% from UGX240 billion to UGX1.544 trillion at the end of 2021; a CAGR of 30.5%. Again, this is the sector’s fastest and most stable growth, enabling the bank to climb from the 10th largest lender to now the 3rd largest.
Since interest income forms a big chunk of every bank’s revenue, this has enabled Equity Bank to also become one of the most profitable banks— the 6th most profitable following, a healthy 12.6 times growth or 751.5% growth in net profit over the period, from UGX6.8 billion in 2015 to UGX86 billion- a CAGR of 43.7%.
7: RAJ KUMAR MEENA, Managing Director, Bank of Baroda
Tenure: 2 years, (since April 2020)
Assets (2021): UGX2.19 trillion
Market Share (2021): 5.3% (2020: 5.4%)
Raj Kumar Meena is the Managing Director of Bank of Baroda (Uganda) Limited with effect from April 01, 2020.
He has steered the bank through the Covid-19 pandemic- In the two years he has led the bank, he has grown deposits by 11% from UGX 1.44 trillion in 2019 to UGX1.59 trillion (5.6% market share). Under his watch, lending has grown 17% from UGX804.3 trillion to UGX942.1 billion (5.5% market share).
Total income has grown by 10% from UGX199.8 billion to UGX219.2 billion (5.7% market share), nearly doubling profitability, from the UGX45.4 billion that he inherited to UGX90.2 billion as of December 2022.Over these two years, assets have grown by 17% from UGX1.88 trillion to UGX2.19 trillion (5.3% market share).
As a result of his leadership, Bank of Baroda is now firmly entrenched as Uganda’s 7th largest bank by deposits, lending, income, and assets and the 5th most profitable as of December 2021.
Mr. Meena joined the Bank of Baroda, India on June 01, 1992. He has a rich and varied banking experience of more than 30 years in various capacities and functional areas such as Regional Manager, Assistant General Manager of State Level Bankers Committee, Regional Business Development Manager, Chief Manager Branch Operations, Training Center Head, Lead District Manager and Branch Head in India before taking up his present assignment as Managing Director.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce, a Postgraduate degree and an Executive MBA in Human Resource Management. He is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance.
8: VARGHESE THAMBI, Managing Director, DTB Uganda
Tenure: 15 years, (since July 2007)
Assets (2021): UGX2.01 trillion
Market Share (2021): 4.9% (2020: 4.6%)
The longest-serving of all the CEOs on this list, the reserved and largely media-shy Varghese Thambi has presided over one of the sector’s biggest and most patient and organic transformations, growing DTB Bank from a very little-known bank with just 7 branches, to now one of the biggest players in the sector with 34 branches and collection centres across Uganda.
Back in 2007, when he arrived in Uganda, DTB Uganda had a mere UGX54.4 billion in deposits; UGX37.6 billion in lending; UGX7.8 billion in total income and just UGX76.3 billion in total assets. That year, the bank only made UGX630 million in profit.
Under Thambi, the bank has grown by more than twenty-six times. Deposits have in the 15 years of his leadership grown by over 27.6 times from UGX54.4 billion in 2007 to UGX1.5 trillion at the end of 2021, a growth of 2658.5%.
Lending has grown 18.2 times from UGX37.6 billion in 2007 to UGX683.4 billion (1717.6%, while income has grown 25.1 times or 2406.4% from UGX7.8 billion in 2007 to UGX195.5 billion.
Profitability has grown 49 times or 4788.9%, from UGX630 million in 2007 to UGX30.8 billion at the end of 2021.
Assets have grown by 26.4 times or 2542.9% from UGX76.3 billion in 2007 to UGX2.01 trillion at the end of 2021.
Today, DTB is the 8th largest bank by deposits with 5.3% market share; the 8th largest by lending with 4% market share; the largest by income with 4% market share; the 9th most profitable. Overall, it is also the 8th largest by assets, commanding a 4.9% sector market share.
Under Mr. Thambi’s leadership, the bank has also grown its lending (UGX119 bn in 2009 to UGX592.8 bn in 2020).
Deposits have grown from UGX176 bn to UGX1.28 trillion, while income grew from a mere UGX17.7 bn to UGX187.7 bn. The bank’s profits have also improved from just UGX1.2 bn to UGX18 bn in the same period.
A senior banker with 44 years of experience in the Indian and African banking industry, Mr. Thambi, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Diamond Trust Bank Uganda Limited (DTBU) in July 2007.
Before joining DTB, he was the Senior Vice President at India’s IndusInd Bank, one of the leading commercial banks in India, responsible for products, services, digital channels and Bancassurance and Digital channels. He also served as Senior Vice President, Head of Inspection, Internal Audit as well as Branch Control during different periods from 1995 to 2007.
Mr. Thambi is a Graduate of St. Thomas College, Kerala, India and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Cyber Laws from NALSAR University Hyderabad, India.
9: SARAH ARAPTA
Chief Executive Officer, Citibank Uganda
Tenure: 6 years, (since Jan 2016)
Assets (2021): UGX1.41 trillion
Market Share (2021): 4.9% (2020: 4.6%)
The significant jump in lending led to an equally rosy jump in total income- from UGX94 billion to UGX115.2 billion, a growth of 22.6%.
As a result of a tight leash on costs, Sarah Arapta was able to lead Citibank to a 50.7% increase in net profit, from UGX36.7 billion in 2020 to UGX55.3 billion, making the bank the 7th most profitable bank in Uganda.
As of the end of 2021, Citibank was also the 12th by income (2% market share) and 9th by assets (3.4% market share). Sarah Arapta is the Chief Executive for Citibank Uganda, a position she was appointed to in January 2016. Sarah has an extensive and illustrious career in Corporate and Investment Banking of over 20 years, 12 of which have been spent in Citibank; She has held several senior positions in Barclay’s Bank of Uganda as Director, CIB and before that as Head Corporate Banking and Head Investment Banking in Stanbic Bank Uganda.
Sarah is the first woman and indeed the first Ugandan to be appointed Chief Executive and Managing Director of Citibank in Uganda. She is also, one of the only two women CEOs in the Trillionaire’s Club.
In the 6 years, Arapta has been at Citibank, she has sustained a 10.7% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in deposits and as a result doubled deposits from the UGX417.3 billion at the end of 2015, that she inherited to UGX851.1 billion at the end of 2021. Lending too has grown at a steady CAGR of 12.2%, resulting in more than two-fold growth, from UGX183 billion to UGX410 billion at the end of 2021. As a result, assets have grown by 97.7% over this period, from UGX712.7 billion to UGX1.41 trillion, a 10.2% CAGR, debuting Citibank into the CEO East Africa Magazine Trillionaire’s Club.
All the while, the bank has remained profitable, in fact nearly doubling from the UGX30.2 billion at the end of 2015 that she inherited to UGX55.3 billion at the end of 2022- a growth of 83.1%.
Thanks to her leadership, today Citibank which only came to Uganda in 1999, holds a 3.4% market share in sector assets, 2.4% market share in lending; 3% market share in deposits and is the 7th most profitable bank in Uganda.
Arapta who has been the Vice-Chairperson of the Uganda Bankers Association was recently elected its chair.
10: MICHAEL MUGABI
Managing Director, Housing Finance Bank
Tenure: 4 years (since Nov 2018)
Assets (2021): UGX1.3 trillion
Market Share (2021): 3.1% (2020: 2.9%)
Mr. Mugabi is a Ugandan banker, commercial lawyer, and Chartered Secretary. He is the Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank, since November 2018.
In the nearly four years he has been at the helm of the bank, he has helped build it into Uganda’s 8th most profitable bank, the 9th largest by total income and lending, as well as the 10th largest by assets and deposits.
Housing Finance Bank was in 2020, the 9th bank to enter the Trillionaire banks, a feat it crossed in 2020, when assets grew 17.5%, from UGX912.5 billion in 2019 to UGX1.108 trillion.
In the three years of Mugabi’s leadership, Housing Finance Bank has experienced double-digit and often above-sector growth rates.
During the three years, deposits nearly doubled growing from UGX451.3 billion in 2018 to UGX818 billion, an increase of 81%. This represents a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.0%, which is above sector growth figures of 9.6%.
In the same period, lending grew by 32%, from UGX511.6 billion to UGX674.3 billion- a CAGR of 7.1%, allowing the bank to maintain its position as the 9th largest lender. Resulting from the healthy growth in lending, the bank’s total income grew by 59% from UGX120.6 billion to UGX191.5 billion – a CAGR of 12.3%, retaining the bank’s position as the 9th largest by total income.
Net profit, in the three years under Mugabi, has grown by 96% from UGX20.9 billion to UGX41 billion- a CAGR of 13.8%, enabling the bank to climb one position from the 9th to the 8th most profitable bank.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, United Kingdom and also serves as a Council Member at the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda. He has a Master of Laws Degree in Commercial and Corporate Law from the University of London, the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree from Makerere University Kampala, among other professional qualifications. He is also a qualified Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and other Courts of Judicature.
Source: CEO East Africa Magazine
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