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Fransabank Group at a Glance

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A leading financial and universal banking player, Fransabank Group offers sophisticated and tailored retail, commercial, corporate, investment and international banking products that meet the evolving needs of the societies it serves, through its 144 branches in 9 countries across the world, namely in Lebanon, France, Algeria, Syria, Belarus, Cyprus, Sudan, Libya, and UAE (Abu Dhabi) and shortly in Iraq.

On December 15, 2011, Fransabank Group celebrated its 90 years anniversary. Established since 1921 in Lebanon and listed first amongst registered banks, Fransabank Group enjoys today the ranking of a top four leading Lebanese financial group. Celebrating more than 90 years of financial legacy in its mother land, Lebanon, Fransabank Group also has the largest local branch network with 111 branches spread all over the Lebanese territory; this is in addition to a total of thirteen Banking and Non-Banking Subsidiaries and Associates in the same market. Fransabank Group succeeded in positioning itself as a forward-looking, trustworthy, dynamic, innovative, creative, and socially responsible leading financial group.

With its clear vision and leadership, the perseverance of its dedicated, loyal and dynamic human capital and the synergy of its human, financial, and technological capitals within the group’s entities, the internationally awarded Fransabank Group sets the pace for yet another era in its promising growth history and carries the torch of “Excellence in Customer Service.” With Fransabank’s corporate slogan “Tomorrow Starts Now”, tomorrow’s accomplishments are the results of today’s well-prepared plans and actions.
Financial Highlights
Fransabank Group’s main business indicators have registered yet another record performance in 2011, in spite of the overall slowdown in the economy, exceeding the average growth indicators of the Lebanese banking sector and those of our peer banks’ groups.  Fransabank’s net profits reached USD 155.32 million, an increase of 6.57% as compared to 2010. Total assets reached USD 14.44 billion, an increase of 17.97% as compared to end of 2010; customers’ deposits reached USD 11.74 billion, an increase of 16.45% as compared to the same period of 2010 and net loans and advances to customers reached USD 4.43 billion, and of course, this has earned Fransabank Group one of the highest growth rates in net loans and advances to customers for 40.88% in 2011.
Fransabank Group’s increase in financial indicators, for 2011 over 2010, was markedly higher than that of the Alpha Group of Banks, as follows:  For net profits (Alpha Group 1.16% – Fransabank 6.57%), total assets (Alpha Group 12.01% – Fransabank 17.97%), customers’ deposits (Alpha Group 12.17% – Fransabank 16.45%), and  loans and advances to customers (Alpha Group 18.59% – Fransabank 40.88%).
*Alpha Group of Banks in Lebanon comprised 12 banks as at 31.12.2011, each with customers’ deposits equal or greater than USD 2 billion.
International & Local Awards

Fransabank Group’s achievement over the years reflected its leading role in the development of the economies where it operates. Fransabank initiatives, know-how and expertise in multiple financial fields were recognized and awarded.

In 2012, Fransabank Group was selected for five prestigious international awards by pre-eminent international magazines, the Banker, part of the Financial Times Group, the World Finance and Global Banking & Finance Review.

The Banker granted Fransabank SAL (Parent company) one award and Fransa Invest Bank SAL (the investment arm) two awards. These awards are: the “Deal of the Year 2012 Awards for the Middle East” and for the Highly Commended Banker Award for “Deal of the Year 2012 – Bonds: Sovereigns, Supras and Agencies – Middle East”.

The World Finance magazine awarded Fransa Invest Bank “The Best Investment Bank, Lebanon – 2012 Award”. This award comes in recognition of Fransa Invest Bank’s vision and commitment towards providing outstanding banking services to its clients, and adopting international best practices in the delivery of reliable and trustworthy investment banking services.

The Global Banking & Finance Review online magazine awarded Fransabank Group – the best banking Group in Lebanon 2012.
At the retail business level, Fransabank won the “Best Contactless Innovation Award” for its innovative MasterCard PayPass Card, during the “Smart Card Awards Middle East 2012” that was organized by Terrapin in the UAE.
For its proximity to customer’s strategy, Fransabank won the “Widest national Outreach Award 2010” from the Lebanon Opportunities Magazine within the Lebanese National Achievement Awards for Banking. It was also selected by the same publication for the “Best New Retail Product Award” for its revolutionary Energy Loans launched in 2010.
Socially Committed Group
At Fransabank Group, we believe that Corporate Social Responsibility is about making a contribution to sustainable development and society through creating long-term value for our shareholders, customers, employees and other stakeholders. This means putting our Corporate Principles into practice and considering not only the economic, but also the social and environmental impacts in all our decisions. We have founded our social responsibility strategy and activities on three main principles:
•    to promote effective public-private partnerships
•    to promote economic development
•    to enhance civil society’s aspirations
Our corporate responsibility strategy is shaped by the increasing need to ensure effective stakeholder relations, to fulfill the socioeconomic needs of the communities in which we conduct our business and the wider social, economic and environmental requirements whenever we exist and operate. This translates into a diverse range of social and corporate activities that advocates Fransabank’s image as a credible, solid, innovative and sustainable contributor to the overall economy.
To date Fransabank Group has successfully demonstrated a leading role in supporting various sectors and promoting the best standards in social responsibility. Although this has already earned the Group an exemplary place at the heart of the country’s corporate landscape, our corporate responsibility activities continue to drive our momentum and deliver the inspiration to pursue so much more in the years to come.
For Further Information, kindly contact:
Marketing Research Department
Tel: 01-340180/8
Fax: 01-344251
Email:  [email protected]
www.fransabank.com

Banking

UBX appoints new Chief Investment Officer

In line with its strategy to explore and invest in companies and platforms of the future, UBX—the Fintech and Corporate Venture Capital arm of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) — is announcing the appointment of Matthew Kolling as the company’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO).

Matt Kolling

Matt Kolling

As CIO, Kolling will be managing UBX’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund. He will also play a key role in raising capital for UBX while assisting the company in key corporate transactions, including the structuring of joint ventures and acquisitions.

Prior to his appointment at UBX, Kolling has been Head of Venture Investments at Aboitiz & Company since 2019, wherein he had been working with UBX on investment portfolio decisions. Before that, he held senior positions in Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Investment Banking at firms such as Providence Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley in New York.

Kolling has more than 20 years of experience in managing investments and deals in the Technology and Telecommunications industries and is active in Venture Capital and startup communities in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region. He currently chairs the Manila Angel Investors Network, among others.

“We at UBX are excited to welcome Matt as our new CIO. We firmly believe that Matt will be instrumental in driving value creation opportunities, both within the CVC fund and our corporate ventures. We look forward to working with him as we fulfill UBX’s vision of a future where banking services are embedded into everyday experiences that matter,” said UBX president and CEO John Januszczak.

Meanwhile, UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said, “The addition of world-class talents in our pool reinforces our strategy to future-proof the organization and our business as we prepare for many new opportunities that come with the changing times.”

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Banking

It’s all relative: Older generations feel helping out the family financially is more important since the Covid-19 outbreak

It’s all relative: Older generations feel helping out the family financially is more important since the Covid-19 outbreak 1

Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping younger generations out financially, that increased to a third as a result of the pandemic

A recent survey* conducted by Hodge has revealed that the Covid pandemic has led to more people wanting to help younger family members financially.

A third (31%)** of those questioned said that since the Covid outbreak giving a financial gift to children or grandchildren is more important to them, compared to 23% who said it was a priority before the pandemic.

The traditional “Bank of Mum and Dad” is still very much open for financial help, with parents being responsible for 72% of the gifts, but the study also revealed that financial gifts can come from all corners of the family – including children (14%) and siblings (14%).

The survey also found that a third of people have received a financial gift from family, with those aged between 25-34 as the most likely to receive

The most popular reason for gifting money to family is for special occasions such as a quarter of gifts were given for weddings and birthdays but 11% of people have received money to help with big purchases such as cars and houses. In addition, 19% of people have received help with day to day finances, with around 14% of those receiving a gift have done so to pay off debt.

Emma Graham, Business Development Director at Hodge, said of the research: “Our study showed that, as a nation, we all want to help our family out when it comes to money. And whilst we all think of the Bank of Mum and Dad or Gran and Grandad as a traditional source, we were surprised to see that 14% of brothers and sisters are also helping out.”

The findings come from a recent intergenerational study conducted by Hodge, who interviewed over 3000 people about their attitudes towards finances and their aspirations for the future. The full research findings can be found at https://hodgebank.co.uk/2020/05/19/money-its-all-relative/.

As part of the study, people were also asked about paying back the gift, with 40% of beneficiaries expecting to pay their parents back, but this dropped to 28% if the gift came from grandparents.

From the gift donor’s perspective, 26% expect the gift to be paid back, however just 15% of grandparents expected the money back.

Hodge has produced a set of guides on how families can navigate the tricky subject of giving financial gifts within a family, as well as the considerations and steps that be families should think about taking before a gift is given, such as is it a loan or a gift and thinking about contingencies if the family member’s circumstances change. The guides can be found here: https://hodgebank.co.uk/news/

Emma continued: “It’s clear that families feel strongly about offering financial support to each other if they are able and this has increased since the Covid pandemic. Before Covid, 23% of people prioritised helping their families out financially in the next five years. Since the Covid-19 outbreak that has increased to a third of people saying helping a family member financially had become more important.

“So, it is clear that the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent predicted economic downturn, has led to more families looking to share wealth to help younger children or grandchildren during this difficult time. Many people may look to Later Life mortgages, where many products have reduced their rates and have flexible lending criteria, to help out a loved during these difficult times.”

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Banking

New report identifies the factors which will determine SMEs’ chances of a successful COVID recovery

New report identifies the factors which will determine SMEs’ chances of a successful COVID recovery 2

·         Analysis of the performance of over 1,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses by Allica Bank provides roadmap for SMEs 

·         Regular training, an openness to innovation, and a clear vision all contribute heavily to an SMEs’ chances of success  

·         Allica Bank has launched a programme of free workshops to expand on the findings and support business owners 

Business bank, Allica Bank has combined data and insight from over 1,000 UK SMEs with a multiple regression analysis to determine what factors most closely aligned with an SMEs’ chances of success and separated the highest-performing businesses from their peers. These ‘rules for success’ have been compiled from the research data to support British businesses as they look to chart a course to post-Covid recovery.  

The full report identifies six behaviours for small and medium businesses to follow, to maximise their chances of a successful COVID recovery. The six top-line rules emphasised by the data were: 

Rule 1: SMEs should regularly train staff 

Of the top-performing businesses analysed, 47% provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis, compared to just 32% of other businesses. Regular employee training was linked closely to success by the model.  

Despite this, many small businesses have neglected training and nearly half (46%) of the small businesses analysed only provide training for employees about once a year or less often. This included 15% that never provide employer-funded training. This discrepancy could represent a significant opportunity for small businesses to unlock the potential of their employees and thrive in the post-Covid economy. 

Rule 2: SMEs need to focus on innovation and technology 

Looking again to the best performing businesses, 76% were found to either continually (39%) or often (37%) be considering new opportunities for technology in their business. This is compared to only 51% for businesses considered to be outside of the top ranks, out of which only 27% admitted to continually looking for new technology opportunities. 

Rule 3: Small business must have a formal, long-term vision  

Nearly two thirds (66%) of the most successful businesses in the survey had a formal, long-term vision, compared to just 50% of businesses outside the top 100. Looking to the businesses that scored the lowest on the SME Performance index, only 37% claimed to have a formal, long-term vision. 

Rule 4: SMEs should broaden their customer reach and find new markets 

Of the top-performing businesses, 65% of these have overseas customers compared to just 40% of the worst performing businesses. Among the best performing SMEs, over a third (34%) identified international expansion as one of the top three drivers for their success. 

Rule 5: SMEs need to develop reinvestment plans 

22% of the best performing SMEs reinvested some of their profits into the business in the past three years with an average 9% of profits being redeployed. Tellingly, this is nearly double what other businesses admit to reinvesting in their business (5%). 

Rule 6: SMEs should engage with local business organisations and networks  

Of the top 100 SMEs, 30% had obtained external credit to expand over the past three years (compared to 24% of other businesses). Meanwhile, only 16% of all other SMEs had engaged with local enterprise partnerships or growth hubs in the past three years (compared to 23% of the top 100 SMEs). 

Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said: 

“All small businesses are different, as are all small business owners, but one trait they share is an innovative resilience. Whilst the coming months and years will undoubtedly continue to present extreme challenges, there is no doubt that small and medium sized businesses across the UK will rise to meet them head on.  

“To give them the best chance to succeed, though, they need to be equipped with the right tools. There is certainly no silver bullet or panacea for every small business, but as this study has found, there are a number of common factors found in the most successful businesses that allow small enterprises to thrive and that they can consider individually for their business.  

“This research has identified common ‘rules for success’ that speak to every aspect of running a business, not just the financials. Once we saw these results, we wanted to use them to help small businesses begin to re-build and prosper, by outlining common factors and then examining how best they can be practically applied to businesses in all sectors of the economy.  

“Small business owners and their employees have been hit hard by the crisis, but they have the drive and resourcefulness to breathe new life into the economy and bring energy to post-Covid Britain. Our commitment at Allica Bank is to give them the support they need to do so, every step of the way.”

The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics. As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.

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