Barclays Bank Botswana has indicated that the new savings account, which was recently launched to transform Motshelo, the traditional group savers, is expected to provide a safe holding place for group savers in the country.
Barclays Bank Products Manager, Shepherd Kgafela, said his organisation has decided to initiate the savings account as the traditional group saving common in rural areas, revolutionise and extend to working class where a group of people save their funds for investment purposes.
He said the minimum number of three people is expected to own the account, which is operated by two signatories on behalf of the group.
Kgafela said while a minimum of two signatories can withdraw on behalf of the club, deposits can be made by any group member. He said it is for security and accountability purposes that one person cannot be allowed to be a signatory. He assured clubs interested to have the account that, with two signatories, their deposits will be safe.
“No one member can abuse their powers by withdrawing money from the account without a mandate from the other group members,” the Manager said. Kgafela also said for security reasons the account does not have debit card.
He said the minimum opening deposit of P500 is required to open the account which should have another P500 for operation.
The Bank Head of Distribution, Calistas Chijoro, encouraged people to use the opportunity to have their group savings deposited into their bank, saying in addition to benefits, such as attractive interest rate, free accidental cover for 10 members and account monitoring through SMS alert, it will mitigate incidents of robbery.
“We are trying to address challenges, such as robbery, that Metshelo are facing. Barclays motshelo will provide a safe holding place for group savers. It will also provide a piece of mind and immediate access to funds through cheque books, said Chijoro.
He said as group savers are not expected to register as companies, people should find it easy to open Barclays Motshelo and operate like a company.
Asked if money laundering and tax evasions could not emerge with unregistered clubs, Kgafela said they are unlikely to occur because the security of the initiative was assessed and approved by Bank of Botswana.
Kgafela added that the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), which regulates the non-banking financial institutions, have agreed that the bank can have clubs saving their money in Barclays bank accounts.