Union Bank of Jamaica  
 

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Union Bank of Jamaica

About Union Bank

Union Bank of Jamaica Limited (UBJ), formerly Citizens Bank Limited, is the island's third largest bank with total assets of $33.85B, a loan portfolio of $1.27B and deposit liabilities of $17.8B as at 31 December 2000.

 Union Bank is the result of a merger of the business of four (4) FINSAC controlled commercial banks and their three (3) allied merchant banks, all seven of which sought Government intervention when faced with insolvency. These are:   

  • Citizens Bank Limited

  • Eagle Commercial Bank Limited

  • Island Victoris Bank Limited

  • Workers Savings & Loan Bank

  • Citizens Merchant Bank Limited

  • Corporate Merchant Bank Limited

  • Island Life Merchant Bank

The merger process began with the consolidation of the businesses and operations of Island Victoria Bank, Eagle Commercial Bank and Workers Savings and Loan Bank, the revised ownership structure of which allowed unilateral action by FINSAC.

 In order to incorporate Citizens Bank into the process, the Minister of Finance approved a scheme of arrangement and issued a Vesting Order, merging the assets and business of the four banks under the Citizens Bank license, as provided for under the Banking Act. The final step came at Citizens Bank's Annual General Meeting on 29 June 1999, when shareholders voted to change the name of Citizens Bank to Union Bank of Jamaica and authorised the injection of over $2 billion of new capital by Finsac into the bank.  As a result of this and previous injections of capital by Finsac, its stake in the bank increased to 99.4% from the 60% stake initially acquired from Life of Jamaica in 1997 as part of the package of financial assistance provided to that entity at the time.

 

Why the Merger?

One of the most compelling reasons for the merger was the need to return the financial sector to a size compatible with that of the economy. Unprecedented growth in the financial sector occurred during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, resulting in a proliferation of both commercial and merchant banks which was not sustainable.

 Beyond this, the merger would facilitate:   

  • Opportunities for significant cost reduction

  • The use of common technology, which was vital in view of the Y2K compliance requirement of the new millennium and the related replacement costs the banks would have had to face individually.

  • The creation of the critical mass and efficiencies to make the institutions attractive enough to interest potential purchasers and shareholders

  • Improvement in the solvency and liquidity position of the banks with the merging of the assets of all four banks.

 

Information Technology Conversion

Union Bank of Jamaica was converted to one common platform - Finware (core retail banking application) in mid-September 1999. 

The Information Technology Unit at FINSAC was able to convert 4 different systems within a nine (9) month period. Based on precedence, a project of this magnitude would have taken at least twenty-four (24) months to complete. 

The merger of the four (4) banks saw a branch network of forty-one (41) consolidated into twenty-four (24) branches. Union Bank is represented island-wide in most major towns. This new network offers:   

  • Increased operating efficiency

  •   Increased marketing effectiveness

  •   Maximised market presence

  • Maximised customer retention

  • Significant overall cost savings

 

The Way Forward 

RBTT International Limited (“RBTT”), a member of the RBTT Financial Group from Trinidad & Tobago, has made an offer to Finsac for the acquisition of its shareholdings in Union Bank of Jamaica Limited. An agreement between the parties was signed on 05 March 2001. 

A mandatory offer as stipulated by Jamaican law has been made to the minority shareholders. This offer expired on 17 April 2001. (Links to the details of the offer are provided below).  The acquisition of Finsac’s shareholding by RBTT occurred in March 2001, giving RBTT control of UBJ as at that date.

Offer Details

Trading Information

Acceptance Forms

 

Union Bank 1999 Annual Report

(Some sections of this Report require Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Union Bank 2000 Audited Financials

 

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