Capital Bank—a subsidiary of First Merchant Bank of Malawi reached a milestone in its existence as it celebrated five years in business.
The bank, which services mainly the corporate sector has achieved sound growth during a period marked by economic uncertainty, and now looks forward to continued growth.
The banking sector in Botswana is dominated by giants like Standard Chartered, Barclays, First National Bank and Stanbic.
Briefing the media on Thursday on the milestone achievement, Sriram Gade, the Chief Executive Officer at Capital Bank said he can clearly recall skeptical comments from people as they were forming the bank, and the economic fear which was so prevalent at the time.
“Not many believed our story when we started they thought we would close the bank after three years, but here we are today celebrating five years,” said Sriram. Capital Bank Botswana takes pride in a sound, profitable and solvent banking system which ranks among the best in Africa.
The main shareholder of the bank, First Merchant Bank, Malawi has recently acquired two banks in Zambia and Mozambique. With this, the group can be proud of presence in five countries in Africa which are Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
He said the bank has been able to survive and thrive in the competitive environment because of unparallel team spirit and support from the staff members. “We have completed five years and we are confident that we will be here for the years to come,” said Gade.
Explaining the grounds of the bank’s success, Gade said Capital bank is the only bank which pays interest to current accounts and issues out cheque books on the savings accounts. When the bank started it had 500 customers and five years later it has grown to have 5000 customers. During the five year period the bank has increased its staff from the initial 18 staff members we have 118 staff members.
Capital bank continues to develop new ways to service their customers, with plans underway to introduce several new products and services for the benefit of the customers that are retail loans to Government employees for purposes like children education, shortfall in medical expenses, buying plots. The bank intends to introduce Invoice discounting scheme for the benefit of SME sector as well as fixed deposits at higher interest rates for senior citizens. In addition a 24-hour complaints system which will enable customers to complain from anywhere uses email or SMS.
The bank which now has four branches in Gaborone hopes in the next five years will be having 10 branches. “It is our expectation to start our expansion strategy next year,” said Gade.
He however revealed that, the bank is faced with the industry challenges of interest rates falling. In addition the issue of competition is another challenge the bank is faced with.