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Housing Finance Bank

Housing Finance Bank Focusing On Innovation As An Avenue For Customer Satisfaction

By | Latest News
Michael Opira, the Chief Operations Officer at Housing Finance Bank

Michael Opira, the Chief Operations Officer at Housing Finance Bank

Over the last ten years, there has been a steady shift in banking and financial services from the conventional channels to a more digitized service offering. This shift has been accelerated further by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created an increased demand from customers for remote and alternative methods of accessing financial services.

The shift, however, is not new to Housing Finance Bank which begun its investment in digital transformation years ago with an aim of creating more value for its increasingly youthful and tech savvy customer base. In 2015, Housing Finance Bank introduced mobile banking and went ahead to introduce Internet Banking and Agent Banking in 2019. At the Beginning of 2020, the bank delivered a corporate internet banking suite to the business and institutional customers, further augmenting their access to remote banking services which saved them a lot of time and money.

According to Michael Opira, the Chief Operations Officer at Housing Finance Bank, along with innovation, the growth of Housing Finance Bank has been achieved through deliberate focus on the needs of the customers, and through skilling the staff to deliver the superior services that customers expect.

“Housing Finance Bank is now in the phase of its transformation where we are putting customers even more at the center of the business. We understand that demographics have changed and most of the customers are now tech savvy and demand convenience. Banking must be on the go. It must be faster and yet secure. Technology has changed over time and it has changed how we deliver services to the customer.”

It is considering these insights that Housing Finance Bank has structured itself to provide innovative solutions to be ahead of the changing needs of the customers. This is being done by investing in future looking core banking solutions and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence to offer additional value to customers. Additionally, the bank is currently collaborating further with FinTechs and other technology stakeholders while packing the mobile banking and online banking channels with more value-added services to be able to meet the needs and exceed the demand of customers.

Regarding the internal stakeholders, Opira notes that Housing Finance Bank is in the process of re-engineering internal processes in order to reduce touch points which create bottlenecks and affect turnaround time. He adds that there is a deliberate effort to invest more in the staff through trainings and empowerment to be able to support the changes and implement the evolving vision of the bank.

Housing Finance Bank Assets Hit a Record Shs.1 Trillion over Strong Performance

By | Latest News

Despite a challenging business year 2020, Housing Finance Bank (HFB) exhibited high levels of resilience to post an impressive performance during a COVID-19 suppressed environment.2020. The bank’s asset base grew by 22% to Shs1.11 trillion up from Shs912.2bn recorded in 2019. This now places the bank over the 1trillion shillings mark, a feat achieved by very few banks, let alone HFB being the only indigenous bank in this class.

With Michael K. Mugabi at the helm, the bank registered phenomenal increases in its operating income by22%, customer depositsby 17% and growth in net income by 17%. Additionally, -the bank demonstrated a lot of agility in posting these results, which can be attributed to strong leadership and efficient processes.

Given the unpredictability of the operating environment during the year, coupled with a lockdown period, thebank’s loans advanced to customers slightly reduced to Shs551billion, representing a 0.5% decline. The bank however still made a net profit of Shs. 20.6bn, placing it among the top 10 best performing banks in the country.

Notable also is that Housing Finance Bank only became a commercial bank in 2007, having previously operated as a Tier 2 mortgage institution. The bank’s dominance in the Housing Finance sector continues with its consistent command of over 60% share of mortgages in the country.

Unsurprising, the bank has also proposed Shs3billion as dividends to shareholders, up from Shs. 2billion in 2019, demonstrating consistent growth in shareholders’ returns year-on-year.

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Housing Finance Bank Managing Director, Michael Mugabi, emphasized the bank’squick response to customers’ needs with several interventions and tailored solutions during the pandemic as key drivers for the 2020 performance.

“Our customer-focused initiatives enabled us to support business sustenance and resumption which is critical for sustained growth in key sectors of Uganda’s economy. We rose to the challenge posed by the pandemic and I must say it took a lot of hard work and team effort behind the scenes. We remain hopeful as we embark on yet another financial year. We believe better things are yet to come,” Mugabi said.

He added that HFB engaged and devised restructuring plans aimed at keeping its valued business customers sustainably operational and competitive.“We also worked to ensure that personal clients whose income sources suffered due to the pandemic were adequately supported,” he added.

On service delivery, Mugabi said, the bank enhanced its presence on the digital platforms to ensure that the bulk of the bank’s services could be accessed over contactless channels.

The bank’s improved platforms include mobile banking, retail internet banking, corporate internet banking, MasterCard and Agent Banking Points among others.

Optimistic

According to Mugabi, HFB continues to reach out to more customers with focused value propositions in all aspects of life including housing, business, education, agriculture, and infrastructural developments for the social and economic development of Uganda.

“Housing Finance Bank looks at the future with increased optimism. We are happy to continually refine our value proposition in supportof our customers’ growth aspirations as we all work to build our country Uganda,” Mugabi concluded.

Housing Finance Bank Joins COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

By | Social Responsibility

In partnership with KCCA, Housing Finance Bank organized a two-day vaccination exercise for its employees and their families at its headquarters in Kololo and has continued to rally upcountry staff to receive vaccination at government gazetted centers. This comes at the time when the Ministry has warned of a second COVID-19 outbreak with the recent spike in numbers being registered.

“These are turbulent times. The safety of our employees, their families and customers is of utmost importance to us. The rising number of cases are overwhelming, and we believe as a bank, our first responsibility is to our people. By bringing vaccination closer to them, we are saving more lives through this,” said Marietta Mwesigwa, Housing Finance Bank, Chief Risk Officer.

The responsibility for our safety and loved ones falls on each one of us so we should take that seriously. We have come so far as a country and a second lockdown will take us so many steps back. I urge all Ugandans to embrace vaccination as a shield during these uncertain times,” she urged.

In a notice issued by the Ministry of Health, the public is cautioned to be more vigilant in upholding the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as there has been a laxity within the public in doing so. The recent change in weather patterns has partly fueled infections among young and middle-aged groups as well as more cases without signs and symptoms.

Between 16th and 22nd May 2021, Uganda registered over 1,000 cases in one week the highest since last year. The Ministry will be forced to institute another lockdown if Ugandans do not strictly observe SOPs. This they say, will be one of the strategies aimed at controlling the increasing number of infections registred in the country daily.

Currently the Ministry of Health is urging all persons who received the 1st dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine, and have completed between 8 to 12 weeks, to visit any designated vaccination health facility and receive their second dose.

While receiveing her second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng reminded the public about a resurgence which she said is more dangerous and is likely to cause more sickness and death if people do not take precuations. “I want to tell Ugandans that the situation is not good” if people are not careful, we may end up losing many more people than we did before because apparently Ugandans seem to have forgotten that we have COVID-19 and are back to their normal lives.

The number of cases are increasing daily and our isolation facilities, especially the intensive care unit at Mulago are already full. If you are eligible for bed right now, you may go on the waiting list,” she cautioned.

Housing Finance Bank Spreads Eid Ul- Fitr Cheer Among Its Partners

By | Social Responsibility

Carolyne Agudo, Head of Customer Experience (L) at Housing Finance Bank handing over a customized gift hamper to a customer. Looking on is David Muyomba, the bank’s Communications & PR Officer

In the spirit of celebration, Housing Finance Bank delivered in person to some of their partners across the country special presents to lighten up their Eid celebrations with their families and loved ones. The partners were chosen across all the 17 locations of the bank and rewarded for their loyalty and unwavering support to the bank. This comes after the Managing Director and Executive Director hosting internal Muslim staff to a cossy fast-breaking dinner at Hotel Africana.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has tapered the happiness around the nation and has led people to celebrate a muted Eid-ul-Fitr. While the crisis is still ongoing, it has somewhat evolved into a ‘new normal.

“As a bank, we embrace and celebrate the diversity of our people, customers, partners, suppliers and communities who support and sustain our existence. We are because of them, and that’s why we wanted to spread cheer during this special session,” said Patrick Harry Oyuru, Head Marketing and Communications, Housing Finance Bank.

“We are committed to always providing innovative banking solutions that are inclusive for all our stakeholders. From management and staff, we wish all our partners happy Eid celebrations. May you continue to experience peace, joy and happiness in this season,” he added.

Housing Finance Bank customer receiving gift hampers

Housing Finance Bank customer receiving gift hampers

Eid-ul-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the fast) is celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan which is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. This period is filled with celebration and festivities among families and friends.

“We value all our customers and always aim for excellence in our customer service experience. This is our way of saying thank you for walking the walk of faith and staying true to your values and belief system. This season reminds us to be generous, kind and peaceful as we go about life. May Allah bring you lots of joy, happiness and good health,” said Carolyne Agudo, Head of Customer Experience, Housing Finance Bank as she visited several customers to handover specifically customized gift hampers.

Housing finance bank is a leading financial institution with over 17 banks in the country with a diverse client base of over 190,000. Whereas the bank is known for its prowess in structuring mortgages, Housing Finance Bank is evolving into an innovative and customer-centric financial services provider, that plays across the full spectrum of commercial banks offerings in Uganda.

Housing Finance Bank, World Remit Partner to Boost Diaspora Banking

By | Latest News

In line with their strategic objective of improving customer service delivery particularly through use of technology, Housing Finance Bank has entered a partnership with World Remit to bring convenient money transfer to the Bank’s diaspora segment.

The partnership will add value to both existing and potential diaspora customers by enabling them to send money to their loved ones at a low cost, invest in housing and also make an investment in treasury products like government securities, treasury bills and bonds as well as custodial services.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Michael Mugabi, the Managing Director at Housing Finance Bank noted that Housing Finance Bank participates in different diaspora events such as UNAA Convention, UNAA Causes, UK convention, Uganda Community in the Netherlands convention, Dubai convention annually between July and October as a way of extending Bank products to customers.

“As a Bank, we believe in adding value to our diaspora customers (both existing and potential) and our surrounding communities. That is why this partnership is one that we take pride in as we continue to enable home ownership and financial independence. Our customers will be sending money directly to their bank accounts,” he noted.

“Over 50 years now, Housing Finance Bank has continued to provide viable solutions that enable home ownership for all Ugandans and together, we shall leverage on all available platforms to enable home ownership and financial independence. This partnership will solve problems of loss of funds through relatives, High cost of transfer, late mortgage repayments, lack of means to invest in government securities and many others,” Mugabi added.

The United Nations Human Development Report 2016 estimates the number of Ugandans in the diaspora at 2.5 million people but only 30% save back home. As of January 2021, Housing Finance Bank had 2,267 customers enabling them acquire homes and transact seamlessly. This partnership is expected to boost inward remittances as customers will be able to access services on mobile phones, tablets and computers through the World Remit App which is approved in more than 220 countries globally.

Housing Finance Bank, Bulooka App Unveil Digital Trading Platform

By | Latest News

Housing Finance Bank and Bulooka App announced a new partnership to launch a digitized platform that enables customers to acquire property and motor vehicles in a fast, convenient, and hassle-free environment.

The users of the app will also be able to open accounts, pre-apply for a mortgage or chat with a Housing Finance Bank customer service assistant through the BULOOKA APP.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Michael Mugabi, the Managing Director at Housing Finance Bank noted that this partnership is pivotal in riding on the current digital transformation to support businesses across the entire housing value chain.

“I have personally encountered numerous absurd stories where prospective home-owners have lost millions of shillings through purchase of contested land, or been cheated by relatives under the guise of building for them homes particularly those in the diaspora without any means of tracking the construction process. Against this background Bulooka mobile app joins the housing eco-system at the right time to connect all sector participants by providing a free platform for advertising verified properties and connecting with the leading provider of mortgage financing in Uganda to offer on-hand credit support for the purchase of the desired property,” he said.

This partnership creates an integrated and simple to use platform where all real estate and property stakeholders interact seamlessly, cheaply and efficiently.

Speaking during the launch, Mr. Dennis Kamurasi, the Executive Director, Bulooka (U) Ltd, explained that the partnership will change how real estate business is going to be done in this market.

“The Bulooka App functionalities will direct client collaboration, lead generation and digital advertisements that have a direct applicability to the housing industry as well as home ownership.  Our goal is to make all Bulooka App functionalities available to an audience nationwide through this partnership with Housing Finance Bank.”

Bulooka App, among others, offers 3 key features;

  • In-app account opening and pre-mortgage application and chat with banker ability.
  • Offline capability which allows users to navigate and transact in the absence of an internet connection.

Unlimited access to a wide variety of properties and vehicles where users deal directly with owners or their authorized agents.

Housing Finance Bank, Enwealth Financial Services Hold a Training on Mortgage access through Retirement Benefits Schemes

By | Latest News

“Financiers are an important part of the housing value chain.” These were remarks made by Housing Finance Bank Executive Director Ms. Peace Kabunga, during a training on mortgages held at Kabira Country Club in partnership with Enwealth Financial Services.

The training that lasted two days, covered a number of topics that included the mortgages housing model, selecting a mortgage provider and many other key topics to assist Ugandans in learning about and taking the necessary steps to own property through mortgage financing.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the current housing deficit in Uganda is estimated at 2.1 million units, with the deficit at its highest in Kampala. In order to curtail this deficit, Housing Finance Bank has put in place interventions including 100% financing to enable the purchase or completion of residential property, partnership with low-cost housing developers, flexible loan repayments and Incremental housing which enables construction in phases as well as use of untitled land. The Bank is also actively facilitating housing support services including loans for solar and water connection.

Speaking at the training, Ms. Kabunga quoted the Center for Affordable Housing Finance (CAHF) report that stated that Uganda is largely driven by private sector-led housing development, which is unable to meet the growing demand for affordable housing. There is thus a widening deficit of housing, estimated at 200 000 units a year.

She further noted that 61% of working class live in rented houses and that 90% of households live in a rented apartment for up to 3 years and then shift. Additionally, most Ugandans build in phases for an average of 4 years as it is difficult to get money in a lumpsum. Unfortunately, most retirement packages do not support completion of a house at retirement.

On selecting a mortgage provider, Kabunga advised Ugandans to always do their due diligence to ensure that the selected provider has experience in the mortgage business, the financial strength to suit their needs and can provide an all inclusive cost for the mortgage.

Over the past few months, Housing Finance Bank has entered into partnerships with the strategic objective of reducing the housing deficit in Uganda. Innovations such as the partnership with Bulooka App allow for Ugandans to open accounts, look for properties to buy and even pre-apply for a mortgage without additional fees.

Housing Finance Bank launches unsecured salary loan campaign

By | Latest News

Housing Finance Bank (HFB) has launched a consumer loan campaign aiming at delivering improved financial access to its growing customer base.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Michael Mugabi – the Managing Director at HFB said they have deliberately made the loans unsecured for the salaried customers, eliminating the need for any form of collateral.  Our customers can now access up to Ug. Shs. 300 million to take care of their personal development and acquire homes, plots of land, cars and other requirements as the country embarks on the path to economic recovery.

“Asked what one needs to access this loan, Mr Mugabi said, “All they need is a salary account and an employment contract with your organisation.

The Bank is offering amounts as high as Ug. Shs. 300m, with long repayment periods of up to 72 months to enable customers to have lower monthly instalments. For customers who wish to transfer their loans to Housing Finance Bank, special waivers on arrangement fees are readily available.

Mr Mugabi emphasized that one does not need to have banked with the Housing Finance Bank to borrow.

Housing Finance Bank named Most Innovative Bancassurance Agent for 2020

By | Latest News

Housing Finance Bank has been named the most innovative bancassurance agent for the year 2020 at Annual Insurance innovation awards held at Serena hotel on December 18, 2020.

Receiving the accolade, Michael Mugabi, the Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank noted that consumers are now, more than ever expecting rapid responses and personalized care and as a result, insurance service providers ought to ensure that customer service remains a priority.

“In the year ahead, as Housing Finance Bank we pledge to maximize customer-oriented service, execute maximum competitiveness in products, business operation, and systematically establish and strengthen mid-and long-term strategic partnerships,” he stated.

The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) announced the inaugural Insurance Innovation Awards early this year and are aimed at recognizing the role innovation plays in advancing the insurance sector in Uganda.

According to IRA, the focus of these awards is on use of new technologies, new products and services, and other advancements in the insurance industry with the aim of fostering innovation and creativity in insurance sector.

Housing Finance Bank was licensed to sell insurance products to its customers on the 13th of April 2018 by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) of Uganda. Overtime, the Bank’s market share has grown from 2.7% in 2018 to 4% in 2019 according to IRA industry data. Q1 results however show that the Bank underwrote the most general business premiums registering Gross Written Premium of Ugx. 1.2Bn.

“The sectors’ distribution revolution has given a new dimension to insurance products distribution on the market. Housing Finance Bank together with Insurance partners have crafted insurance solutions for its various customer segments thereby creating more customer satisfaction,” Mugabi added on the sidelines of the awards event.

Housing Finance Bank’s flagship product is the Group Life Insurance embedded on to the revolutionary Saveplus Savings Account. This is an incremental savings account for future investments with free embedded insurance as outlined; Life Cover of up to Ugx.25M, Total Permanent Disability Cover of Up to Ugx.12.5m, Medical Cash benefit and Last Expense Benefit.

The product has led to increased Insurance penetration. This is depicted by the 47% growth in enrollments over a one-year period that is from 1,671 in August 2019 to 2,464 by November 2020.  It has also led to an improved customer savings culture. This is depicted by the 80% growth in account average deposits over a one-year period that is from Ugx.1.5m in August 2018 to Ugx.2.3m by November 2020.

Housing Finance Bank Digital Buffet – Season 2

By | Latest News, Notice

David Twinamasiko, the Senior Manager Alternate Channels highlights more on how you can win in the Digital Buffet Campaign Season 2.

HFB DIGITAL BUFFET CAMPAIGN SEASON 2

David Twinamasiko, the Senior Manager Alternate Channels highlights more on how you can win in the Digital Buffet Campaign Season 2.

Posted by Housing Finance Bank on Monday, November 23, 2020

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