Saturday, December 3, 2022

BBS sets eyes on commercial bank license

The Directors of BBS Limited have advised all shareholders that the company is finalising the process for conversion and issuance of a commercial banking license.

This follows the issuance of a provisional commercial banking licence by the Bank of Botswana in late 2021.

The provisional license issuance, according to the mortgage lending leader, was done after the central bank concluded that BBSL satisfies primary licensing requirements as stipulated in the Banking Act (Cap. 46:04).

Fast forward to 2022, it has since emerged that that a background investigation of the directors, executive officers and controlling shareholders by the central bank is ongoing and once the process is done, BBS Limited could be issued with a full banking license.

As part of its regulatory policy, the Bank of Botswana may demand that an applying enterprise replace individual proposed as part of management or board should they been be deemed to be unfit.

The bank’s licensing policy also states that a proposed Chief Executive by the applicant must possess skills that must be complemented by the directors’ skills.

The BoB policy stress that the structure, expertise and experience of the board and senior management of the applicant should relate to the type of banking operations to be undertaken.

“The bank must be satisfied that directors and senior executives are fit and proper persons and have appropriate competence and experience in financial services and banking. The proposed management structure should provide for the formation of sub committees of directors and other management structure,” reads the policy. BBSL went through a demutualisation process by converting from a building society to a company limited by shares. This process was part of the company’s journey to convert to a commercial bank which also involved selling shares to existing account holders and listing of 487 million shares on the Serala board. Currently BBS Limited’ biggest shareholders include the Botswana Privatisation Asset Holdings, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and the Botswana Police Savings and Loans Guarantee Scheme.

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