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Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL) and Housing Finance Bank Uganda partner to launch ‘Quick Loan’

By | Latest News

Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda limited, the provider of affordable and secure Airtel money platform, has partnered with Housing Finance Bank Uganda and digital lending platform provider YABX to enable Airtel Money customers, to access quick loans when they do not have sufficient funds in their wallet. This is the latest service offered by Airtel Money to give financial access to support customers’ needs.

AMCUL customers with low balances will be able to complete transactions that include sending money to loved ones, purchasing airtime and bundles, paying for goods and services at Airtel money pay merchants, buying utilities like yaka, and many more.

To access the Quick loans service, Airtel money customers can dial *185*7*10# to opt In and check their eligibility.

This partnership is aligned with both Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited & Housing Finance Bank’s strategy of enhancing financial and digital inclusion through the provision of simple secure and easy-to-use financial services products that give the best value to customers. Quick Loan joins a list of affordable products offered by Airtel Money in the financial inclusion and transformation agenda of Airtel Africa.

Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited Director, Mr. Manoj Murali commented, “We are excited to partner with the Housing Finance Bank and YABX to create a product that breaks barriers to access affordable credit for our customers. A quick loan can be the difference between a farmer buying drugs to save his cow, a mother lighting up her home for the children to do homework, or buying the insulin needed to save someone’s life. We are committed to closing such intervening gaps for our customers.”

The Head Group Operations Airtel Money, Mr. Japhet Aritho commented, “Making Airtel Money a one-stop-shop for financial solutions is our goal for our customers. By supporting their day-to-day needs, we count it as a milestone in empowering and financially transforming our customers’ lives. We look forward to building on our partnership with Housing Finance Bank Uganda and YABX to include as many people into the financial ecosystem and transform their lives”

Housing Finance Bank Managing Director, Michael K. Mugabi remarked“We are excited about the value-added services we are bringing on board in partnership with Airtel & YABX. This is a demonstration of our commitment to continuously innovate not only for our account holders but also customers of our customers (in this case, Airtel Uganda). It is important for us to remain proactive while coming up with solutions that relate to the needs of customers in our Ecosystems.”

Our purpose as a bank is to enable homeownership and provide financial independence to Ugandans, we are extremely excited that this product will move us forward in this quest. We thank you Airtel Uganda and YABX for the cordial working relationship we’ve enjoyed in developing this product. May this be part of a long and successful mutually beneficial relationship for our companies.”

YABX’s Director Africa Business Eunice Ruguru Gatama says, “We at YABX are excited to be working with Airtel Uganda and Housing Finance Bank to deliver QuickLoan. Using YABX, a fintech venture in digital lending technology, the partnership seeks to enhance the digital credit profiling of customers to allow the unbanked population access credit. One-fourth of the world today is still unable to access financial products like loans, savings & insurance due to limited or non-existent financial footprints. This partnership will change this.”

HOW CUSTOMERS ACCESS THE LOAN

Airtel money customers can dial *185*7*10# to register for the service. To take a loan, a customer will transact normally on Airtel money and get a prompt to take a loan if they have insufficient funds to complete that transaction. Customers can take loans multiple times until they exhaust their limit and have 15 days to repay.

Patrick Oyuru, Head Marketing and Communications joins John Baptist Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking to launch the Double-Double Unsecured Salary Loan Campaign

Housing Finance Bank Launches Double-Double Salary Loan Campaign, Offers Record Repayment Period of 84 months

By | Latest News

For the second consecutive year, Housing Finance Bank (HFB), the leading mortgage provider and one of the fastest growing financial institutions in Uganda, has launched a salary loan campaign in a bid to enable customers access funds for their personal financial needs at a favorable interest rate and record repayment period.

The campaign that will run for 90 days will enable customers access up to UGX300,000,000 in just 48 hours at an interest rate of 16.5% and an extended period of 84 months. It comes at a time when the Government of Uganda is opening up the economy and enterprising Ugandans are preparing to revamp or establish businesses after the long lockdown period.

Patrick Oyuru, Head Marketing and Communications joins John Baptist Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking to launch the Double-Double Unsecured Salary Loan Campaign

Patrick Oyuru, Head Marketing and Communications joins John Baptist Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking to launch the Double-Double Unsecured Salary Loan Campaign

Commenting about the campaign, Mr. Patrick Oyuru, the Head Marketing and Communications at Housing Finance Bank noted with pride that Housing Finance Bank is the first and only institution in Uganda to offer a repayment period of 84 months for a salary loan.

“We know that the past two years have posed significant challenges for Ugandans across the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns. Access to adequate financing is a key component of economic recovery and we are excited to be the provider of this finance – up to 300 million shillings – at a favorable interest rate and extended repayment period,” he said.

“This campaign also offers zero arrangement fees for those Ugandans who are transferring their loans from other banks to Housing Finance Bank. I implore you all to come and take advantage of these unprecedented offers and take the necessary steps towards achieving your dreams,” he added.

According to Mr. John Baptist Kaweesi, the Housing Finance Bank Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking, this new campaign exceeds the market offerings but is also in line with the needs of Housing Finance Bank’s customers.

John Baptist Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking addresses guests during the launch of the Double-Double Unsecured Salary Loan Campaign

John Baptist Kaweesi, the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking addresses guests during the launch of the Double-Double Unsecured Salary Loan Campaign

“We are happy to have a solution that exceeds market offerings. A lot can be done with UGX 300 million shillings – homes can be built, businesses started, homes furnished, cars acquired and other aspirations. All of this can be achieved through this campaign at an interest of 16.5%, which translates to 1.375% per month. There is no need to borrow from other expensive sources and those with existing loans in the bank can come for top-ups and enjoy the new interest rates of 16.5%,” he noted.

“I would like to declare the Double-Double salary loan campaign open to the public with special offerings for the next 3 months,” Kaweesi concluded.

In order to ease access to the loan, Housing Finance Bank has further reduced the requirements and processing time to allow customers maximize the purpose for which the funds are sought. Customers simply need a salary account and an employment contract with their organization to qualify for the loan and the bank is guaranteeing a 24-hour response for all fully completed applications. Furthermore, customers do not need to have banked with the institution to borrow. Customers can also make inquiries directly to Housing Finance Bank by sending a WhatsApp message to +256771888755.

Housing Finance Bank, Rotary Club of Bukoto Partner to Provide COVID-19 Relief to Mulimira Zone Residents

By | Latest News, Social Responsibility

Housing Finance Bank partnered with the Rotary club of Bukoto to provide relief aid items to 100 beneficiaries in Mulimira Zone in Kampala.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges across the country and many communities have been greatly impacted. Being compelled by the elevated levels of need as a result of the partial and full lockdowns, especially in the urban poor communities, the bank joined hands with Rotary Club of Bukoto who have an ongoing campaign dubbed “Hands of Love” to help those most affected in Mulimira Zone, Bukoto.

Housing Finance Bank staff with members of the Rotary Club of Bukoto

Housing Finance Bank staff with members of the Rotary Club of Bukoto

The relief aid was handed over to different vulnerable categories including the Elderly, Women, and terminally ill residents comprised food items estimated to last for a period sixty days.

Speaking about the partnership with Rotary to provide relief items, Michael Mugabi, the Housing Finance Bank Managing Director noted that Housing Finance Bank is proud to be involved in initiatives that support social welfare and benefit the different stakeholders.

“Our social investments are directed towards enhancing the sustainability and development of the communities in which we live, work, and do business. We take this as our ethical mandate towards society and nature and are committed to being known as a caring bank.”

Housing Finance Bank staff

Housing Finance Bank staff

“As a proud indigenous brand, with a rich history and heritage, Housing Finance Bank is committed to actively contributing to a better society and a cleaner environment. Initiatives like the partnership with Rotary to improve the lives of Mulimira Zone residents are evidence of this commitment,” he concluded.

Representing the Rotary Club of Bukoto, President Edith Mujwisa said, “We are proud to partner with Housing Finance Bank to provide relief including food items to under privileged beneficiaries in Mulimira Zone where the club has been involved in community projects serving different categories of people. These are mainly the elderly, disabled, single mothers, pregnant women and those living with HIV. This partnership will supplement other ongoing efforts and programs towards improvement of the livelihoods of humanity.”

Housing Finance Bank Chief Risk Officer Marietta N Mwesigwa speaks during the handover ceremony

Housing Finance Bank Chief Risk Officer Marietta N Mwesigwa speaks during the handover ceremony

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left hundreds of Ugandans vulnerable with no means of survival, no food and zero access to income generating activities. Because of this, Housing Finance Bank has continually made efforts to ease the hardships being faced across the country. Previously, we contributed Personal Protection Equipment to the Ministry of Health to enable the frontline workers maintain safety while treating COVID-19 patients across the country,” remarked Housing Finance Bank Chief Risk Office Marietta N Mwesigwa during the handover ceremony.

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, 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.