Review Of Business Communication At United Bank Limited

ubl pakistan

UBL pakistan

Review Of Business Communication At United Bank Limited


The purpose of this report is to study the internal communication processes used at United Bank. We would like to study the purpose and history of their formation. We would like to analyze these processes for their effectiveness and find out the reasons why they were chosen. We would also include the limitations and restrictions that are preset in the communication network at United Bank Limited.



The total scope of this work includes the different methods of internal communication used at UBL, included would be a detailed description of such communication processes, and the advantages and limitations of this communication process. The different type of communication processes mentioned in our report will be the inter-bank communication, inter-division and the inter department communication.




UBL like nay other bank in the world needs an efficient, effective, and reliable communication system for smooth day to day operations and for overall organizational success. The fact that it has been a highly profitable organization while being a government institution reflects to some degree on the success of its communication system.


In this report that we have done for our Business Communication, we found out exactly how the communication process at UBL works, how it was developed and adapted to suit the needs of UBL environment.


In the process of this report we found out how the concepts and ideas that we have learnt during our course have been applied in a practical, real life situation, and thus realized the importance of communication.


In preparing this report, the two of us conducted two interviews at two different branches. The first one was at the International Division where we met the Senior Executive Vice President of UBL Mr. Hassan Yusuf, and also another management executive Mr. Haq Nawaz. This branch acts as a functional head office and so we learnt how they communicate with the rest of the branches, how the communication is done within the seven story building and how they communicate with the outsiders. We then went to a smaller local branch and interviewed a Mr. Zia-ud-din who was the branch manager there. We then analyzed the communication from the layer and the smaller perspectives.



United Bank Limited was formed shortly after the independence. UBL is one of the biggest nationalized banks in Pakistan. The establishment has its branches spread all over Pakistan. Its Head Office previously located in Karachi has now been shifted to Islamabad. UBL has one of the biggest work force which helps it in organizing its task all over Pakistan. It has its branches in foreign countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom etc.



Communication at UBL is divided into three distinct types. these  are

1) Inter Branch Communication

2) Intra Branch Communication

3)Communication with outsiders


For the purpose of communication UBL executives have several tools at their disposal, these include letters, telephone, telex, and facsimile. The mode of communication that they use depends upon the type of communication that they are going to make, also its nature, its intended audience, its message content and the speed of delivery and amount of contact needed are also factors which have to be considered.


The organizational structure of UBL does not have centralized departments, with responsibility for communication process. There are no set policies of communication and each branch is given a lot of latitude to form and establish its own policies and routines of communication.


Each branch is given the responsibility of purchasing all its communication equipment and any other materials that they need. They have to get their own letterhead printed and each have to get their own letterhead designed as there is no restriction on how the letterhead is written, only on what is written. This has not always been the case and a few years ago it had a centralized department which did all the purchasing and printing. However due to inefficiency, misappropriation, and corruption in this department, it had to be shut down to save on cost.


As far as typing of documents is concerned that too is organized according to the needs of each branch itself. Some of the bigger branches have either a typist pool or assigned one typist to each section and one each to the executives higher up. On the smaller branches there is usually one typist who is sufficient enough to handle the work load of that branch.

United Bank Limited realizes that good communication is an essential factor in the success of any organization. It is only through good communication that correct information reaches the correct person at the correct time enabling the person to make the correct deecisions. Written communication is done in written and oral form at UBL and there exists a grapewine as well. The internal communication at UBL follows some of the basic guidelines which are:- Firstly, the communication at UBL needs to be precise and as brief as possible. For this reason many modes and policies of communication are designed to facilitate this policy. Secondly, the communication in all forms except letters is supposed to be in direct form and in the active voice. This facilitates clarity between executives and make communication more effective and efficient.



Internal Communication at UBL may be divided into two categories. These are :

I ) Intra Branch Communication

II ) Inter Branch Communication


I ) Intra Branch Communication

While doing our research we went to two different types of UBL branches. Firs we went to the International Division which is an eight story branch divided into several sections. Then we went to a single-story, small, local branch on Mereweather Road. At the local branch, the communication was extremely informal and usually was done by word of mouth. Only short reports which were in memo form and needed to be filed were prepared in written form.


At the international division however, communication was much more varied in terms of degrees of formality, modes of communication, nature of communication and materials used. Firstly the international division is equipped with a very extensive, state of the art intercom system connected via switchboards, which connect every room of the international division with every other room in the building. However the intercom serves the purpose for only short informal communications and for longer and more formal communication the executives have other tools  at their disposal. For quick, written communication most executives use preprinted fax sheets which have the memo format typed on them. All the executive has to do is to jot down the message on this preprinted form and either use the fax in their own offices, if they have a fax, or go down to the section fax machine and the fax their message to the relevant section.


To communicate longer, more formal messages like short reports authorized by higher executives, the staff at UBL use typewritten memos or letters. These memos are written on plain while paper and at the International Division the process of writing such a memo is that the executive assigned the responsibility usually dictates this memo to his secretary while he is formulating it in his mind. Each section has a typist assigned to them. The secretary then proceeds to write the memo and deliver it to this typists. The typists usually have a computer assigned to them on which they type this memo. Then they print a copy of this memo and send it to the executive to make any corrections he feels are necessary. After that when the memo is delivered to the executive who authorized it and if he wishes any changes to be made, these changes are also incoporated into the memo. The memo then may be filed for future refrence or it may be converted to a different form for inter branch communication or external communication.


II ) Inter Branch Communication

Inter branch communication is a routine process at UBL as different branches have to co-ordinate many of their business activities efficently and profitably. Their are many modes ofcommunication available to the UBL executives to communicate with the other branches. These  modes include the telephone, telex, modem communication, memos and letters. Each branch organizes its own communication system designing with the needs of that particular branch in mind. Telex are used at those branches which constantly need to communicate figures at regular short intervals. The international division which we visited had a telex machine installed to communicate with the forriegn branches of UBL. For example the New York branch is contacted to obtain periodic data of the foriegn exchange transactions. These figures are then used to calculate the currency reserves of UBL and then appropriate instructions are sent back. The telephone is a seldom used communication device in interbranch communication and is used only by higher executives and only when they are going to make highly personal and informal communication. Several branches these days, as they are miving towards computerization, are using the modem system of communication. In this if an executive needs to send a momo or a letter all he has to do is to type the message on the computer and after corrections send it to the computer at the other branch through the use of the modem. So far only a limited number of branches are installed with this facility, however this network is being promoted in UBL.


Memos and letters are typed on the branch letterhead which as we mentioned before are designed and printed seperately by each branch. The typing of the letters follows the route of the documents in intra branch communication . These letters and memos are used to communicate everyday ordinary routine messages to  special reports and their format follows the direct or indirect approach depending on the content and formality of the message.




External communication at UBL takes the form of either routine communication to clients or special communication to clients or other businesses. Most of the routine communication is done through preprinted forms or using standard format. Such routine communiication incluude the bank statements of accounts and other financial statements to clients. These statements are printed on paper which already has the columns and quite a lot of information preprinted on them. Other such routine requests which have standardized responses are credit requests, handling os import and export document. Most of these documents requiire very short answers orr have very limited responses or information to convey.


That is why that these are supposed to be precise and standardized. Other external communication that we acme across was the letters and reports to other businesses, government communication and communication to shareholders.


Frequently UBL needs tto coordinate its activities with other banks or it needs to communicate special or unordinary requests to its customers especially the businesses, which conduct most of their financial transactions through UBL. He  mainly uses the formal letter format to convey the information to its clients and the approach whether direct or indirect depends upon the nature of the communication.


Government communication is an integral aspect of the communication at UBL as it is a national bank and as such has to coordinate its activitiies with and follow the policies and guidelines of the Banking Council of Pakistan. Most of these are routine communication usually requests to go ahead with some activity or status reports on the current activities. Thus they follow the routine message approach as we have discussed previiously and studied in our course.


One of the functions of UBL is acting as an underwriter for companies wishing to subscribe their shares on to the stock exchange. For this purpose it gets the prospectus designed and generally oversees the ……………….. to the shareholders and the application process. The  communication for these ventures are now a routine with the UBL as it has masterfully underwritten shares of different companies and now it has a small section for this purpoe




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