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Unraveling dfcu Bank’s Legacy: A Q&A with Jimmy Mugerwa

9th October 1962 – In a highly anticipated ceremony, the official flag for Uganda was hoisted, to signify the end of colonial rule and the start of a new era of Independence for the country. Uganda had been a British Protectorate since 1894 and on the same day, the Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom was lowered. Two years after the historic National Independence Day, dfcu Limited opened its doors.

Originally, dfcu was set up as a development finance institution by the UK’s CDC and the Government of Uganda. Six decades and multiple milestones later, dfcu stands even firmer; recognised as one of the country’s Tier One banks, continuously contributing to national socioeconomic transformation and financing the establishment and growth of local businesses.

As Jimmy D. Mugerwa, Chairman – Board of Directors of dfcu Limited which is the Holding Company of dfcu Bank, rightfully states, the institution is almost as old as Uganda and shares in both its successes and hurdles.

QN: 60 years is quite the milestone. What are some of the key factors that have contributed most significantly to the company's success?

On the anniversary of dfcu’s 60th year of operation, I would like to point to an untiring commitment to provide shareholder value as one of the organisation’s drivers of lasting success. We have the good fortune of a firm foundation, which we attribute to our formidable investors who over the years have directly enabled our growth and expansion. Our transition from a Development Finance Company to one of the largest Commercial Banks in Uganda was made possible by the vision of our funders and shareholders.

Following the listing of the Bank on the Uganda Stock Exchange in 2004, we also have 2,800 Ugandan, retail shareholders. The sustained confidence of these stakeholders matches our determination to provide shareholder value and we attribute a major part of this milestone to this.

Another harbinger of dfcu’s year-on-year success is a keen understanding of customer needs across various sectors, segments, and financial needs. Customer needs evolve almost daily and the Bank’s ability to anticipate and evolve with these requirements has cemented it as a relevant provider of banking solutions.

dfcu was the first financial institution to offer leasing financial services to Ugandan businesses. The foresight of the organisation at that time remains one of its strongest suits today- as the spectrum of customers’ financial needs and preferences broadens by the day, dfcu continues to anticipate and meet those needs.

Remaining innovative in the development of products and services; proactively engaging with customers and employing some of the best talent in the country have allowed us to meet our clients’ needs. dfcu is an integral part of many of our customers’ journeys and our commitment is to remain steadfast in the way we serve the Ugandans who trust us with their financial needs.

QN: How has the organisation managed to overcome the myriad of obstacles over the years both in Uganda and globally?

60 years is a long time, and we are proud of this achievement. At the helm of dfcu, then and now, are strong Corporate Governance structures. Our outstanding Governance and Management teams have led us to attain long-term sustainability in an increasingly complex and competitive financial landscape.

We continue to be an employer of choice for many Ugandans, employing thousands of individuals across 54 branches in Uganda. Our contribution to socioeconomic development starts here and extends to the communities where we operate.

dfcu has developed a robust Environmental, Social and Governance policy to allow us to operate sustainably and responsibly. From Risk Management to Adaptation and Innovation, we believe that our ESG structures will act as lighthouses to create a sustainable future. We have created a sustainable business and continue to report sound financial performance. dfcu has an undeniable heritage in Uganda and we are well-equipped for the future.

QN: What is dfcu’s commitment for the future?

We are excited for the future and what the next chapter holds for us. In the face of the days to come, we reaffirm our commitment to transforming the financial and economic landscape of the country. I express profound regard for the remarkable teams at dfcu who have displayed unwavering commitment towards our shared vision. We have celebrated many triumphs and overcome multiple challenges on our journey to becoming an industry leader.

Finally, I congratulate the Boards of Directors, Shareholders, Management, Customers and Staff of dfcu Limited and dfcu Bank on this momentous occasion – we are here because of our individual and combined pursuit of excellence.

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