Bank of Botswana (BoB) Governor Moses Pelaelo has expressed serious concern on the fast-growing problem of cyber-crime in today’s banking world.
Speaking recently at the opening of a Standard Chartered Bank Botswana branch at the Sir Seretse Khama, Pelaelo said this could undermine public confidence and trust in the banking system. He stated that cyber-crime and other forms of fraud also imposed a financial cost on the economy as banks and customers had to allocate large amounts of human and financial resources on preventative measures.
“The internet and other digital platforms have provided capabilities and opportunities that have transformed many business activities, resulting in much faster, easier and cheaper execution and conclusion of transactions,” said Pelaelo.
He, however, stated that the same digital platforms have provided criminals with new opportunities and fertile ground to pursue unlawful businesses, such as cybercrime.
Pelaelo said that the corrosive effect of such criminal acts, including card fraud and identity theft, can discourage members of the public from entrusting their savings with banks.
He is of the view that it is why the Bank of Botswana has implored banks to have robust and effective corporate governance frameworks and sound risk management.
He added that the banks should have internal control systems as well as ensure compliance with best international standards for combating such criminal activities, adding that they should also build resilience to withstand any threats that could arise from internal or external sources.
“It is indeed a practical demonstration of commitment towards providing convenient access to banking services, in support of economic development, employment creation, financial inclusion and, more broadly, financial sector development in Botswana,” said Pelaelo.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank (Moatlhodi Lekaukau said the bank continued to support and invest in the economy and the people of Botswana. He stated that since its inception, the bank had grown in terms of asset base, deposit and advances and to-date, it is among the four largest banks in Botswana.
Lekaukau added that the bank employed approximately 800 Batswana and operated a network of 20 branches and sub-branches inclusive of the new branch, as well as 68 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) throughout the country.
He said it first opened its doors to the public in 1897, and by the 1960s, the bank had established branches in Lobatse, Mahalapye and Gaborone. Lekaukau added that Standard Chartered looks forward to its 120-year anniversary in 2017.
“The new branch will make banking more accessible and convenient to customers as they enter and leave the City of Gaborone,” he stated.
He said it will offer world class banking facilities, and will support both the country’s tourism objectives and the ambition of the airport authorities to welcome visitors.