Uganda Bankers Association (UBA) was formed due to the need to develop, promote, protect and represent the professional interest of its members and promote orderly conditions in relation to banking transactions subject to provisions of any law extant at any time in Uganda.
Uganda has witnessed changes in the banking industry since its independence in 1962. When Uganda attained independence, there were 3 commercial Banks in the Country. National and Grindlays Bank having entered the country in 1906, later Standard Chartered Bank followed in 1912. Barclays Bank opened business in 1927. By 1970 commercial banks in Uganda had a total of 290 branches and mobile agencies available to serve a population of about seven million people in the country with over 16 Districts.
Before the formation of the Association, there was no forum under which views in the banking industry were put forward. On the service supply side there was no single organization to coordinate views of the sector. Representation of the sector was weak. Government, regulators and other interested parties needed feedback from the implementers of laws and policies.
Formation of UBA
In August 1981 Uganda Bankers Association was formed. The formation of the Association enabled Banks to come together and share experiences in the industry. This enabled government, regulators and other stakeholders get feedback from the implementers of laws and banking sector policies.
In 1985 there was a restructuring Program in the Financial Sector. Liberalization of the economy was among the many policies brought on board. With this policy, Ugandans saw many Banks establish businesses in Kampala. Local Ugandans also tried their business skills in owning and managing Banks. Many of the locally owned banks were closed by the regulator. The situation leading to the closure of these Banks made the regulators to place a moratorium in opening Banks in Uganda.
“As soon as the policy was lifted more Banks established businesses in Kampala. Today, there are 24 commercial banks and 1 Development Bank and all are members of Uganda Bankers Association.”