In a press statement, BoU said it had granted the Commercial Banking License Certificates to Afriland First Bank Uganda Limited effective September 12, 2019 and Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited (OBUL) effective September 13, 2019
“Opportunity Bank has previously been trading as a Credit Institution and has now transformed to a Commercial Bank institution,” said BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile.
As of September 2019, the Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited had total assets worth Shs132 billion (US$36.3 million).
The company is owned by five different entities, as of October 2019 and these include MyBucks, Opportunity Transformation Inc, Faulu Trust, Opportunity International Canada and Food for the Hungry Organisation.
It was licensed in 1995 as a microfinance and began operations in 1996 as Faulu Uganda, a programme of Food for the Hungry International, a non-governmental organization. In July 1999, Faulu Uganda incorporated as a limited liability company in Uganda, becoming Faulu Uganda Limited. Under that name, the company became part of the Faulu network in Uganda and Kenya.
The company later became affiliated with Opportunity International and became a member of their network. Opportunity International specializes in lending to the poorest of the working poor. As of December 2015, the institution’s total assets were valued at US$20.53 million, with shareholder’s equity of US$7.86 million.
In 2006, Opportunity Transformation Investments and Opportunity International Australia each purchased a 31.5 percent stake in Faulu Uganda Limited, giving Opportunity International a combined majority stake of 63 percent in the fourth largest microfinance institution in Uganda.
In November 2011, the institution rebranded to Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited.
Afriland First Bank is a full-service bank in Cameroon, with subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Liberia, South Sudan, São Tomé and Príncipe, Zambia and now Uganda.